In a recent episode of his popular weekly show “Al-Etejah al-Muakis”, Al Jazeera Host Faisal al-Qasim locked into heated exchanges with his pro-Saudi studio guest over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
At one point, al-Qasim yelled at his guest, Lebanese Salafist Sheikh Bilal Daqmaq, who consistently defended Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince, that ‘Even Daesh (ISIS) didn’t kill the way Mohammed bin Salman killed Khashoggi’.
Al-Qasim asserted that after the Khashoggi incident, the destruction of Saudi Arabia’s worldwide image had been finalised.
The show’s other guest, Saudi opposition figure Sultan al-Abdali, ridiculed Daqmaq’s attempts to defend the ‘Saudi regime’ and bin Salman in particular.
Al-Abdali assured viewers that damning video footage evidence had been taken of Khashoggi’s killing from within the consulate, and that this footage had been intercepted by the American and Turkish intelligence agencies.
Date: 23 October, 2018
Source: Al Jazeera Arabic (YouTube)
– Host: Can you deny that after the issue of Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia has fallen into a bottomless pit?
– Sheikh: Saudi Arabia will never fall! The whole story is that there is a conspiracy against Mecca, Medina, and the Holy Quran. “The Jews and Christians will never be content with you until you follow their ways”.
– Host: Conspiracy?
– Sheikh: Yes, ofcourse! God spoke about this issue. “The Jews and Christians will never be content with you..”.
– Host: Who conspired against Saudi Arabia?
– Sheikh: All of them are conspiring against Saudi Arabia!
– Host: How are they conspiring? Who killed Jamal Khashoggi?
– Sheikh: Who killed one million Syrians? Who killed our people in Ahwaz? Jamal Khashoggi is one man, perhaps there were pressing reasons for the Saudi regime to kill him. Maybe they have justifications which they don’t wish to reveal now, certain secrets (regarding) treachery (perhaps).
The (main) concern of Islam, and Saudi Arabia, which has 30 million people, is not Jamal Khashoggi! You are talking about one of the pillars of Islam and the Muslims, that is, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia! We must support this pillar (of Islam) and correct (the wrong), and not wage war and isolate it as others are doing. Maybe the (Saudis) are right or wrong to some extent, this does not concern me! What concerns me now is that we safeguard our (political) entity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
– Sheikh: Mr Faisal please, this is the last fortress for us, we cannot deny this!
– Host: But Sheikh Bilal, okay..okay…
– Mr Sultan: This is a demolished fortress my friend.
– Host: One minute Mr Sultan, I will come to you..
The question now is: who conspired against Saudi Arabia? Who conspired against the land of the two (holy) shrines? Is it not the new Saudi leadership, represented by Mohammed bin Salman? Would the world have become outraged, and would it have wiped the floor with this regime, and demonised Saudi Arabia, had it not killed Jamal Khashoggi in a manner worse than that of Daesh (ISIS)? Daesh…Daesh…(even) Daesh did not kill in this manner!
– Sheikh: (bin Salman) did not kill (Khashoggi) himself!
– Host: (even) Daesh did not kill in this manner! (Even) Daesh did not kill in this manner!
– Sheikh: We awaited President Erdogan to see if he will reveal information that would condemn the Crown Prince, though it appears nothing of this sort exists! It appears to be an intelligence operation, and we know there is a judiciary in Saudi Arabia, religious judges, they will judge on this. Why do we not wait for the investigations?
– Mr Sultan: judges that are not independent, you don’t know the Kingdom properly.
– Sheikh: Perhaps this will be resolved in the future, where are the court cases, and legal measures?
– Host: Today after Mohammed bin Salman and his actions, and after the Jamal Khashoggi incident in particular, (Saudi Arabia’s) image has been destroyed. Look at how American politicians are dealing with Mohammed bin Salman today. Every now and again, the deputy intelligence chief, members of Congress, members of the House of Representatives e.t.c., say things like ‘he must go’, dealing with him like a small child, an employee…all are unanimous, okay, when you look at British newspapers, one says ‘he is mentally unstable’…it is clear today that the Kingdom has lost its value, its position, its immunity.
Today, in light of world outrage, no one can deny that after the Khashoggi incident, Saudi Arabia took a huge, historical beating, let’s be honest. The question everyone is asking now: how does the world view Mohammed bin Salman, especially when he picks a fight with a huge newspaper such as the Washington Post, which Jamal Khashoggi use to contribute to? (The) Washington Post will never leave Mohammed bin Salman, even if he sacks thousands of his men, like the (sacking) of that Qahtani guy or whatever his name is, and that other guy, or even if he (sacrifices) billions of dollars (as hush money), today the image of Mohammed bin Salman has been tarnished, everyone views him as a killer – not even a Daesh-style (killer), how nice is the Daesh-style compared to Mohammed bin Salman!
How can such an reckless, impulsive person – as they describe him, it’s nothing to do with me – rule the Kingdom? Today the Kingdom is in danger, if (bin Salman) remains the Kingdom will be destroyed, it will be ruined!
– Sheikh: We base our rulings on evidence and fact. What newspapers write or others, yes this has an emotional effect, no problem with that, I admit that. Yet we want clear-cut evidence. Did the Crown Prince (bin Salman) indeed send this awful, murderous group – call it what you wish – to kill Khashoggi or not? This is what matters to us. This is the fairness that we need to practice.
– Host: Sheikh Bilal…Sheikh Bilal…Sheikh Bilal…you know Saudi Arabia more than me…I swear (even) the biggest Saudi minister, if he wishes to go to the toilet, he needs permission from Mohammed bin Salman!
– Sheikh: I am not convinced..
– Host: If he wants to go to the toilet – you really think this group did it on their own accord?!
– Sheikh: Please Mr Faisal, let’s not belittle the people’s intelligence. I am not convinced that (the killing of Khashoggi) in such a primitive and stupid manner, can be the work of the likes of the Crown Prince.
– Host: Then who is behind it…who is behind it?!
– Sheikh: (Men) from the intelligence apparatus, they must be dealt with and transferred to the judiciary.
– Host: But Saudi Arabia has confessed it did it.
– Sheikh: Okay, these individuals are under trial…why do you think 18 individuals are under arrest today?
– Mr Sultan: An intelligence operation of this magnitude, and the Crown Prince doesn’t know about it?! Then he must step down!
– Host: Mr Sultan, please don’t interject, we can’t hear you.
– Mr Sultan: Whoever thinks that President Erdogan..I will address your (studio) guest and the nonsense that he mentioned…whoever thinks that President Erdogan today will give us intelligence reports and the video evidences – and I can (reveal) to you from now, the slaughter (of Khashoggi) was videotaped from inside the consulate, and it was intercepted by the American and Turkish intelligence agencies, it was taped live and sent via Skype or WhatsApp, and was sent to Saud al-Qahtani, all these (evidences) are available! President Erdogan is not an Attorney General, nor a judge, for him to reveal all these evidences.