Malcolm X was, of course a Muslim.These words are attributed to him:
The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. This is the press, an irresponsible press. It will make the criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.
Wikipedia supplies us with the essentials of Malcom X’s life: “Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little, later Malik el-Shabazz; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965) was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist who was a prominent figure during the civil rights movement. A spokesman for the Nation of Islam until 1964, he was a vocal advocate for Black empowerment and the promotion of Islam within the Black community. A posthumous autobiography, on which he collaborated with Alex Haley, was published in 1965.”
So we do know that these words were spoken by Malcolm X prior to 1965. It is most unfortunate that they ring entirely true today. The press is incredibly irresponsible. It lead to my believing total lies about a country and about the honorable man who leads his country. This country is Saudi Arabia. Its leader is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the man known as MBS. I consider myself well informed, I read reputable reports, know how to distinguish between journalism that is reliable and that which is not. Know how to discern its reliability.
However, and despite this, I thoroughly and emphatically believed that MBS was vile, a murderous man who misspent the wealth of his country. His country was on the verge of collapse and with its oil reserves depleted, the company that controlled oil production corrupt. I believed he had personal knowledge of the death of the journalist and he orchestrated it. Not only that, but I believed that I was the unlikely holder of a secret that would topple him and it all.
But I was absolutely wrong. I had been lied to by the most reputable of sources. I learned of the lie because a golden opportunity suddenly appeared. An offer I could not refuse. An Umrah pilgrimage – could travel to Mecca and Medina, those holy places inconveniently located in Saudi Arabia. Although it was not a full fletched Haji – it was a huge step, to be in those holy places at such a young age. Well a young age in the Islamic faith as I had become a Muslim only two years before. But had severe trepidation which is a a feeling of fear or agitation about something that may happen. It seemed like a trip of a lifetime – affordable and (seemingly) all I could ask for. (It was not, by the way, but that can be addressed later.) I have never taken unnecessary risks, take very good care of myself as I have never had anyone to protect or defend me. I bravely decided to go but before leaving told the secret to two confidents – my lawyer and my doctor. One’s doctor and one’s lawyer must keep your secrets, they are bound to, as long as it does not jeopardize the safety of another or others. If I were killed, they promised to release the secret. This dissipated some of the overwhelming anxiety. I also joked that if I were killed, Jannah would be my eventual fate.
Off I went, somewhat nervously but with the inner belief that Allah would keep my safe. By the fourth day, learned everything about Saudi Arabia and its leader was an utter lie. I do detest being lied to. Not only I had but millions of others had been duped as well. Saudi Arabia is obviously prosperous, an enormous infrastructure in place. It was more prosperous than the UAE, held to be a beacon of prosperity. I lived there, it was prosperous (to some, not the uncle expat workers, but to everyone else. But what of the man, the Ruler, de facto ruler actually, as his father technically holds the power. That too was an utter lie. All of it. The final truth came from the mouth of a Saudi woman, a physician who later became my friend and my Riyadh guide. We met in the lobby of my Mecca hotel – I had gone to inquire when check out time was. My tour group had not given me an itinerary or any information, so I went down to the lobby to inquire as the phone was not being answered. Two women were in the lobby and we struck up a conversation. We had so much in common, had an instant rapport – it went on for more than an hour. We discussed so many matters on a personal level. I implicitly trusted them and their judgment, so I finally posed this question.
Me: What do you think of your Ruler, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, MBS as he is known.
They: We love him. The whole country loves him
That was sufficient for me, as by then I had seen the results of his influence on his land, the people of Saudi Arabia and the thousands of pilgrims, such as myself. In the course of my 21 day trip I talked to tens of people, all held him in the highest of esteem. People in all walks of life – for example, a man that had retired from the huge oil company, now living in Denmark, for example. Met him in the first class lounge of the Medina airport on my way to Riyadh.
I was, at first shocked but then outraged by the lying, irresponsible press. More than just irresponsible. Reprehensible is a word that comes to mind. Reprehensible is deserving of condemnation. All of these synonyms come to mind: deplorable, disgraceful, discreditable, disreputable, despicable, blameworthy, culpable, wrong, shameful, dishonorable, ignoble, erring, errant, odious, repugnant, inexcusable, unpardonable, unforgivable, insufferable, indefensible, unjustifiable, unacceptable, unworthy, remiss; criminal, sinful, scandalous, iniquitous; condemnable, reprovable. What makes it more despicable, odious, repugnant and criminal is that there must be a vast conspiracy.
It is rather inexplicable but reporters, who barely know where Saudi Arabia is on the globe, must write stories to please their mogul media bosses . They fear for their jobs as investigative journalism and most newspapers are either dead or dying. I can back up my truths with photographs that will shock you in a good way. For example, a Victoria Secrets in a shopping mall next to the Hilton showing scantily clad lingerie models. Moreover, Muslim women in Saudi Arabia are freer, more independent and valued than are similarly situated women in the USA, in the UAE and in Canada. I have lived in all three locales as a Muslim woman. I know of what I speak.
My trip to Saudi Arabia, was essential. It was for religious reasons but also because it lead to the wise words of King Saud being proclaimed to the world. Once in Saudi Arabia and once seeing the real truth, I became motivated to get my magazine back. It was a necessity as I knew of its contents. I had lost my senses of concern for the misappropriation of it but it became necessary and all the Saudis how heard of its existence wanted its return. Therefore, while in Saudi Arabia on December 14, 2022 I went to my blog and pleaded for help, telling the world that I wanted my magazine back. It was not, most tragically forthcoming. Still no magazine but when searching for photos I had taken found that I had taken a photo of King Saud’s interview.
I returned home, was able to print the document so I could read the small print and it has gone forth in the world. Saudis asked me what I would do with the magazine.
They: Will you sell it to the government if it is returned to you?
Me: No! I would donate it to a museum, It is a national treasure and must be preserved and seen by its peoples and the people of the world.
But no one recognizes the Sultan pictured by my side. The UN Judge Sham’s business card is no longer in my possession – although I once had it. She and I were to meet the next day but she did not appear. I have googled UN staff but to no avail. The retrieval seems hopeless.
But King Saud’s words are now hopefully being heard. Hopefully by someone powerful. It would have to be a Muslim with empathy for the Palestinians. Usually power and empathy do not go hand in hand. A powerful man needs a ‘toe holder’ to remind him constantly that he is a mere mortal. Type toe holder into the search engine and several blogs appear. The ???? Spoke of Winston Churchill’s marriage.
“Winston was blessed with an amazing woman for a wife. It is viewed as being one of the strongest political marriages in history. She was described as being beautiful, bright, well educated and liberal. The first time they met, in 1904, he said nothing to her and she was not impressed. But then, four years later they met again and the both of them never shut up. As I have mentioned before in my blogs about empathy and power, she was a toe holder – she was able to keep him in touch with his empathy. Empathy is a trait that is lost when men achieve power. She was able help him retain his empathy because she gave him both support and forthright opinions when she felt he was wrong. In other words, she sassed. I do give excellent sass. Perhaps the word of the day should be sass. It is both a noun and a verb and when used as a noun means impudence and cheek. Boy, can I sass.”
So we are now looking for a powerful empathetic ruler. I could be called upon to sass if needed. My independence makes me strong. There is nothing like no husband, no kids and reliable independent retirement income. I can do what I like.
Then why am I writing this blog? I am not sure actually. But sometimes it seems like I am sassing the world. I guess I am at the moment.
Photographs show Alexis (Fatimah) wearing head scarves. One photo posted on Instagram, received sixty-one \likes proclaimed: “Truly international scarf, A scarf from Palestine, purchased in Canada and placed upon my head by a man from Saudi Arabia.” The other photo, taken in Dubai in 2021, shows me wearing traditional Saudi headgear. One ‘poor’ Arab man questioned my wearing it. I was in the lobby of the Marriott Marquess Hotel in Dubai.
He: Only men can wear that!
Me: It does not say that in the Quran. The Quran says (only) that both men and women should dress modestly. And besides that, I bought it in a women’s store in the Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque.
As you can readily see I can sass. The poor man was a bit flabbergasted. I do love some of that word’s synonyms: astound, amaze, take aback, dumbfound, stun, stop someone in their tracks, stupefy, bowl over, knock the stuffing out of. My very favorite is gob smack.
But my wearing to seems to offend a certain small group of people. Offending people is not necessary. I was corrected, that is was cultural norm not religious one. Therefore, later, I gave the Saudi scarf to a man who had recently become a Muslim. I wear my Palestine scarf in several ways, in honor of that county. B