"Nobody worships the cows," he made clear, with a tone that was almost apologetic, seemingly aware of the tradition's potential to cause controversy. "These cows keep on roaming around, but no one puts any money into their bags."
I understand the need for a democratic ally in the Middle East, and Israel's principles are closer to our principles than are those of its neighbors, but Israel's human rights violations should also be criticized.
If we decide (e.g.) to support dictators for reasons of "stability" or the oil supply, we should at least be honest about the likely consequences and not act surprised when random individuals respond to the tuning fork.
After the carnage in Paris, Western governments turned immediately to debating the usual tactics for "bringing the terrorists to justice." Should we employ drone strikes, they wonder? Boots on the ground? Police?
If GCC officials slowly pivot toward the perception that their long-term interests reside in an improved relationship toward Iran, such a strategic shift would be seen in Riyadh as an erosion of GCC unity against an emboldened Iran.
A three-minute video, posted by a Saudi government-backed organization to YouTube on June 4, has garnered 150,000 views in 48 hours and sparked a discussion in the kingdom about how to stem sectarian conflict.
Women are the most vulnerable targets of the Islamic State (IS), which has enslaved and brutalized women who don't meet their jihadi standards, and even introduced female police squads to monitor and persecute their own sex.
As a campaigner for peace and pluralism, Ahmed is dismayed by the toxic lure of an Islamist doctrine that is supremacist, separatist, and hostile to secular Western values, and she calls for an urgent review of this ideology.
Does the situation of present-day Muslim society, marked by crisis, tensions, foreign interventions and political despotism, foster the reformist democratic Islam, or does it promote its violent and theocratic rivals?
As soon as the Tunisian elections results were announced with Nidaa Tounes overtaking Ennahdha party, celebrations of the "Islamists'" defeat at the hands of the "secularists" got underway across the media in France and many other western capitals.
As Iraq tumbles into a yet another civil war, it is important to remember how all this came about, and why adding yet more warfare to the current crisis will perpetuate exactly what the "Great Loot" set out to do: tear an entire region of the world asunder.
It may not have solved everything, but dividing Iraq up at least had the best chance for success. It might have allowed what is happening now to have happened in a more organized fashion, with a lot less violence and death. Or, to put it another way, Joe Biden was right.
While the Saudis are delighted to see Iran's top ally facing a potentially existential threat, Riyadh would be wise to recognize that Iran's loss might not necessarily advance the Saudis' longer term interests in the Middle East.