One of the primary reasons Osama bin Laden went to war with America was the
presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia, home of some of the most sacred
sites in the Muslim world. Bin Laden warned both the governments of Saudi
Arabia and the U.S. that he would war against defilers of the sacred places.
He told Saudi Arabia that he would personally war with Saddam Hussein
after the invasion of Kuwait and that no action by the U.S. to get Hussein's
forces out of Kuwait would be necessary. Bin Laden had fought successfully
to rid Afghanistan of Russian forces and his ability to effectively deal with
Saddam Hussein was a reasonable concept.
But, apparently the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia were more afraid, or more
heavily influenced by Uncle Sam than by bin Laden. The Saudi government
allowed massive American troop presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, home
of Mecca and Medina, and the stage was set for September 11 and the ongoing
war against America and American interests by Osama bin Laden and his
Many Americans might not understand what the "big deal" was in
"holy places" of Islam. Many Americans are not religious, do not go to
church on Sunday any more, as that is the Holy Day for Professional Sports
in America, whether it be the religion of football, basketball, baseball, or
the hallowed rituals of golf.
Speaking of golf, a recent occurrence in America might help Americans begin
to understand the concept of defilement of the sacred places; in this case
Augusta, Georgia, home of the Masters Tournament. This year, a big issue
was raised by women's rights advocates over the lack of diversity in the
membership of the Augusta Country Club, were women are not allowed
membership. Women's rights advocates understood that this situation may not
be illegal, but is certainly questionable ethically and morally, and decided
to pressure the tournament to attempt to force the inclusion of one or more
female members in this "Holy Place" in the sport of golf.
The reaction of Augusta president Hootie Johnson was predictable, and very
much like that of Osama bin Laden over the defilement of Islam's holy
places. Hootie said, "Over my dead body (will a woman be allowed as member
in this (Holy) Club."
Surprisingly to many, it seemed that the entire public press, the world of
sports fans (including many women) and ex-golfers and pundits supported
Hootie and the Augusta Club. The Holy Place was not to be defiled by women
-- not even American women! There are some things more sacred even than
equality and democracy and the men's only status of the Augusta Country Club
was worth preserving!
Since no women challenged the issue with guns and death threats, we cannot
say how seriously the men would take this issue, but we do know that armed
guards were placed at the entrance of the club to prevent free speech from
being exercised by protestors during the tournament.
So, Augusta and Hootie Johnson, and virtually the entire male American
public resisted defilement of Augusta by women as members. These are the
same constituency that profess not to understand what the "big deal" is of
the American presence in Saudi Arabia. Perhaps if these people could
internalize the issue to something personally familiar, they could see the
parallels between the religion of Islam and its holy places and the religion
of Golf and its own sacred places.
Think how different the world would be today if Kuwait could have been
rescued from Saddam Hussein without the American buildup in Saudi Arabia.
George H. W. Bush may have been reelected, leading to no Bill Clinton, and
George W. Bush may never have even become a candidate for office! It
boggles the mind, but unfortunately time moves in only one direction! The
world is a far more dangerous place now than in recent memory, and George W.
Bush is the scariest U.S. President ever.
The writer is a member of several falconry and ornithological clubs and
organizations. He contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from California, USA.