Dr. Farid Younos

Open letter to Mohammad bin Salman


Dear Crown Prince,
Assalamu Alaikum,
I am a very simple and unimportant person and a Muslim, of course. Please don’t send your hit-squad to kill me. I am neither a danger to you nor to your kingdom.
You better learn from history of the Middle East. What happened to the king of Iran with all his might and power? What happened to other dictators in the region?
To reform your country, you cannot wipe out your opposition. This is an old approach to leadership and holding to power. It was the style of the twentieth century and before. Today, you need a high quality diplomacy nationally and internationally to reform the old despotic regime. This is my advice:
As you are well aware, your dynasty emerged with the help of the Wahabbies, the most radical Muslim group in the history of Islam after the khawarij in early Islam. Please call them for an open dialogue if you cannot get rid of them. . Remind these puritanical, marrow minded, fanatic and prejudice group about the following:
Didn’t the Quran say that men and women are created from a single soul? Didn’t the Quran say that women are clothing to men and men are clothing to women? Didn’t the Quran say that Allah will not waste the good work of either one of you being a male or a female? Then why there is a widespread discrimination against women in your kingdom?
The Quran say that if you kill one person , it is like killing the whole humanity and if you save one person it is like saving the whole humanity. Then why are you killing innocent Yamani people? Is this what Islam teaches to deal with a neighbor? Killing and destroying. Isn’t it Islam a religion of peace and cooperation?
Dear Crown Prince,
Due to all respect, your wahabi clergy call your foe , the Islamic Republic of Iran an infidel. But, Iran, albeit not perfect is much advanced in all aspects of lifethan your kingdom. Force, animosity against Muslims and non Muslims, calling them infidel will not solve your domestic problems but diplomacy does.
Dear Crown Prince Salman,
You rely on American support for survival. The king of Iran did too. But there will be a time that Americans will not stand behind you as they did not stand behind the Shah of Iran. Therefore, it is better you rely on your instinct, sound policies for the sake of people, for the sake of justice and humanity. Not assassination of your opposition or locking up your people for their political views and expression. Didn’t the Quran say that Allah taught us the mode of expression? Didn’t the Quran teaches us the use of the pen? Didn’t the Quran teaches to ponder and to think? Then why are you killing people because of their political views? Isn’t freedom of expression and the pen an Islamic value? It seems you are afraid of your people rather that afraid of Allah. Don’t be afraid of your people , rather be one of them.
Dear Crown Prince Salman,
The 21st century is a century of gender equality, equal rights among people , multiculturalism, respecting of identities, new ideas and cooperation. This country, the United States, built by ideas. You need to come up with good ideas for your kingdom. Open up to the world. Allow people to express themselves. Establish gender equality. Remove the ridiculous religious police off the street. The second Caliph and the fourth Caliph both said that Allah created people free why are you making them slaves ? Deal with Iran with sound diplomacy rather than animosity. Release your political prisoners. Islam is a religion of love and compassion then love your people. Be a leader not a dictator . All you need is a liberal group of ulema who knows Islam from depth of history and scientific principles as well as justice. You cannot reform the kingdom with the wahabis, sorry .
Farid Younos
Former professor of Cultural anthropology at California State University East Bay.

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