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Benjamin Weinthal, citing a Saudi-American blogger, Rasheed Abvou-Alsamh, reports in The Jerusalem Post that the U.S. Government last week denied asylum to a gay Saudi diplomat “to avoid disrupting US-Saudi relations.” The diplomat in question, Ali Ahmad Asseri, who has worked at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, faces the death penalty for same-sex conduct if returned to the radically fundamentalist Islamic kingdom.
Apparently the decision to reject Asseri’s asylum application was made at very high levels of the U.S. government. If Abvou-Alsamh’s account proves to be true, it is impossible to see this as anything other than a disgraceful act by the Obama administration and a shameful betrayal of American constitutional principles. Indeed there are so many despicable aspects to this story that it is hard to know where to begin.
First, Saudi Arabia is the most backward country in the Muslim world. Across the Western world the Saudi government has lavishly funded mosques, madrassas, Muslim organizations, and Islamic Studies programs which preach and teach the most extreme, anti-Western, anti-democratic attitudes. Saudi cash has turned Middle Eastern Studies scholars and retired Western diplomats into amoral PR flacks for the Saudi regime. There is no way of knowing how many Western Muslims have been transformed into jihadists with the help of Saudi money.
Most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis. Yet ever since 9/11 U.S. leaders have bent over backwards to send out the message that the Saudis are our friends. This has been a bipartisan disgrace. George W. Bush was so palsy-walsy with Prince Bandar bin Sultan that he made him an honorary member of the family, calling him “Bandar Bush.” Under Obama the chumminess has continued, and the already nauseating effort to whitewash Islam has only intensified. In his famous speech at Cairo’s al-Azhar University, Obama painted an unrecognizable picture of Islam’s glorious achievements in culture, learning, and jurisprudence. The brutal laws that may spell the doom of Ali Ahmad Asseri give the lie to every word of that appalling piece of propaganda. To send Asseri back, and allow sharia to do its dirty work, is to sacrifice a human life in the name of an inhuman lie – a lie that, if not exposed, will be responsible for the taking of many more lives in the years and decades to come.
Diplomatic niceties, the military’s strategic considerations, and the hard facts of petropolitics are one thing. But for the United States of America – the nation whose Founders changed the face of the world by eloquently explaining to their fellowman that they had a natural right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – for the U.S. to send Ali Ahmad Asseri back to be executed by a regime that practices seventh-century desert justice is to trample on the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. And it is an especially cynical act on the part of President Obama, who in his first presidential campaign went out of his way to convince gay voters that he was their Great Stone Face, the champion for whom they had been waiting all their lives, the Moses who would deliver them to the Promised Land of full equality and human dignity. Obama has already, of course, betrayed that promise over and over again, but to ship Asseri back to a certain execution for being gay would, for Obama, be the ultimate unforgivable act – an out-and-out “f— you” to every gay American.
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