I am currently reading the book entitled The Prince: The Secret Story of the World's Most Intriguing Royal, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. I suspected that it would be a whitewash of the issue, but I didn't really realize just how much.
The Jerusalem Post recently discovered a Saudi web site that spoke about items that could not be brought into the country:
"A number of items are not allowed to be brought into the kingdom due to religious reasons and local regulations," declares the Web site of Saudi Arabian Airlines, the country's national carrier.So they decided to do some investigating. They found that
After informing would-be visitors that items such as narcotics, firearms and pornography may not be transported into the country, the Web site adds: "Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are also prohibited. These may include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David, and others."
An official at the Saudi Consulate in New York, who declined to give her name, told the Post that anyone bringing a Bible into the country or wearing a crucifix or Star of David around their neck would run into trouble with Saudi authorities.
"You are not allowed to bring that stuff into the kingdom," the consular official said. "If you do, they will take it away," she warned, adding, "If it is really important to you, then you can try to bring it and just see what happens, but I don't recommend that you do so."
I did a search on both the Google and Yahoo news services. The story was reported twice: by the Jerusalem Post and by The Christian Post.
People are nearly apoplectic that George W. Bush is attempting to sell weaponry to Saudi Arabia. What they unfortunately aren't as angry about, and that is told about in The Prince, is that every president since at least Nixon has sold weaponry to Saudi Arabia.
Maybe that's why nobody in the American press cares that, although Muslims can bring their Korans to America (as they should be able to), Americans can't take their Bibles to Saudi Arabia.
A British airline recently did prohibit someone taking a Bible with them on a flight.