On Easter Sunday this year in Sri Lanka three Christian churches together with three hotels in Colombo were targeted by ISIS in suicide attacks which claimed the lives of more than 250 people and injured some 500 others including worshippers and foreigners. The attack was premeditated. What is more the Saudi Arabian foreign office knew it was planned five days before it happened.
The following leaked document shows that the Saudis were aware of the slaughter that was about to take place and may even have been the perpetrators. In a top secret letter from Foreign Minister, Ibrahim bin Abdul Aziz al-Assaf, to Saudi Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Abdul Nasser al-Harethi, it instructed Saudis in Sri Lanka to stay away from churches on Easter Day.
Saudi Arabia has a history of funding ISIS and terror. As Julian Assange pointed out in an interview with John Pilger not only was Saudi Arabia funding ISIS it was also funding the Clinton Foundation.
Only last year a journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was murdered in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul by a special squad flown in from Saudi Arabia to do the dirty act. The BBC was, for once, excellent in reporting this and for a few days the plight of the destitute and dying in Saudi’s war on Yemen was given coverage. Sadly, because of western love of Saudi money it was short-lived.
The love of money is the root of all evil according to a letter written by Paul to his fellow-Christian Timothy. By the time of his second letter to the same he was in chains and imprisoned for speaking the truth. People who tell things as they are – there are few in mainstream media allowed this luxury – are just as likely today to be persecuted for their honesty as they were in Paul’s day.
That is why Julian Assange is in Belmarsh prison. He told the truth about US war-crimes in Iraq. Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning provided Wikileaks with video evidence of these war crimes. For telling this truth and providing the shocking footage many of us have seen, she went to prison. Although released by the Obama administration she is back in custody now for an indefinite period for refusing to testify against Wikileaks. People who speak the truth lay themselves open to all kinds of punishment, from incarceration, torture and amputation to capital beheadings and crucifixion. It is widely held that Julian Assange is currently being subjected to mind-warping drugs.
We in the west love money so much we are prepared to forgive Saudi Arabia for its genocide against Yemeni people already struggling to survive in one of the poorest of countries in the world, people who are often indiscriminately slaughtered with western weapons, and children dying of starvation. We are prepared to forgive Saudi Arabia for the planned murder of the US and former Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in the consulate in Istanbul. We are prepared to forgive Saudi Arabia for the mass execution of its political opponents. We are prepared to forgive Saudi Arabia for any involvement in the mass murder of Christians in Sri Lanka.
Why? We forgive them not because forgiveness is a tenet of Christian teaching – though it is. We forgive them because we love their money. This love of money is the root of all the criminal acts outlined in the previous paragraph. Yet western governments lack the moral fibre to speak the truth. Worse still, western governments seek to make those who do tell the truth, pay for their honesty and for the moral fibre they possess that governments lack. Saudi Arabia is not our friend. Neither are western governments.
Julian Assange, like Paul, and many others from history, is being persecuted for revealing the truth. We teach our children it is right to tell the truth. If journalists and human rights campaigners stop telling the truth there is no hope for the future of society. We come into the world without money. We go out of the world unable to take anything we gained with us. Paul said that too. Therefore there is an obligation on us to speak the truth and support others who do so. I urge one and all to speak up for Julian Assange. He represents us all.