High in the misty mountains of Asir, no man could escape the rant of the “evil father” of Khamis Mushayt.
White fluorescent strips illuminated the squat mosque as evening took hold. But powerful amplifiers made up for what the minaret lacked in stature as the imam’s message was force-fed into the neon jumble at the centre of town.
This is the conservative corner of Saudi Arabia from which five of the September 11 hijackers were recruited. And according to Ali Al Mosa, an academic reform campaigner, the mosque of Sheik Ahmed Al Hawashi was a vital link in the al-Qaeda recruitment drive.