ISIS, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the West

The famous photograph of Abdulaziz ibn Saud meeting with President Franklin Roosevelt in February 1945 aboard the U.S.S. Quincy symbolizes the incongruity of the Saudi-American "special relationship." (Image source: U.S. Navy)

The famous photograph of Abdulaziz ibn Saud meeting with President Franklin Roosevelt in February 1945 aboard the U.S.S. Quincy symbolizes the incongruity of the Saudi-American “special relationship.” (Image source: U.S. Navy)

Gatestone Institute, by Salim Mansur, June 14, 2015:

  • What principally mattered in accepting Christian support was whether such support served the followers of Islam in spreading the faith. The same thing could also apply to an alliance with the Jews and Israel in defending Saudi interests.
  • In the age of totalitarianism — which in the last century flourished under the various headings of Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism, Hitler’s National Socialism and Maoism — Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb added Islamism. Shariah, as God’s law, in covering and monitoring every detail of human conduct, as Qutb insisted, is total; its enforcement through jihad made for an ideology — Islamism — consistent with the temperament of the totalitarian era.
  • American support in the reconstruction of Germany and Japan after 1945 was crucial. The transformation of imperial and militaristic Japan into a peaceful democracy was testimony to how American support can make for a better world. In the Korean Peninsula, American troops have held the line between the North and South since the end of the Korean War in 1953; this has made the vital difference in turning South Korea into a democracy and an advanced industrial society.

In a hard-hitting essay on ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) for The Daily Mail, the 2001 Nobel Prize winning author, V.S. Naipaul, wrote: “ISIS could very credibly abandon the label of Caliphate and call itself the Fourth Reich.” Among the writings on Islam and Muslims in recent years, Naipaul’s, as in the books Among the Believers and Beyond Belief, have been perhaps the most incisive and penetrating in exploring the extremist politics of the global Islamist movement from inside of the Muslim world. And that ISIS on a rampage, as Naipaul observed, revived “religious dogmas and deadly rivalries between Sunnis and Shi’as, Sunnis and Jews and Christians is a giant step into darkness.”

Ever since the relatively obscure Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stepped forth on the pulpit of the Great Mosque in Mosul, Iraq, on June 28, 2014 to announce the rebirth of the Caliphate (abolished in 1924 by the Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk), with al-Baghdadi himself assuming the title of Caliph Ibrahim, the ruling head of the ummah, or worldwide community of Muslims, many might agree with Naipaul, despite the hyperbole — he has left out a potentially nuclear Iran — that “ISIS has to be seen as the most potent threat to the world since the Third Reich.”

It is baffling to read about or watch the sweep of terror spawned by ISIS in the name of Islam — a world religion with a following approaching two billion Muslims. It is insufficient merely to point out that the barbarism of ISIS reflects its origins in the fetid swamps of the Sunni Muslim insurgency of post-Saddam Iraq. But ISIS is neither a new presence in the Arab-Muslim history, nor is the response to it by Western powers, primarily Britain and the United States, given their relationship with the Middle East over the past century.

We have seen ISISes before, and not as al-Qaeda’s second coming.

The first successful appearance of an ISIS in modern times was the whirlwind with which the Bedouin warriors of Abdulaziz ibn Saud (1876-1953) emerged from the interior of the Arabian Desert in 1902 to take hold of the main fortress in Riyadh, the local capital of the surrounding region known as Najd. Some twenty-four years later, this desert warrior-chief and his armies of Bedouin raiders defeated the ruling Sharifian house in the coastal province of Hejaz, where lie Islam’s two holy cities, Mecca and Medina.

Husayn bin Ali (1854-1931), Sharif of Mecca and Emir of Hejaz, had joined his fate with the British against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. One of his sons, Prince Feisal, led the “Arab Revolt” for independence from Ottoman rule made famous by T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935). But in the aftermath of the Great War, which brought the Ottoman Empire to its ruin, Bedouin tribes in the interior of the Arabian Desert were jostling for power, and the House of Sharif Husayn proved inept at maintaining its own against threats posed to its rule over Hejaz, and as the khadim [steward] of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Another Englishman, a counterpart to T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), was Harry St. John Philby (1885-1960), sent as a British agent during the Great War into the interior of the Arabian Desert. Philby would get to know Abdulaziz ibn Saud; eventually he worked for Ibn Saud as the warrior-chief rose in power and prominence. Philby chronicled the emergence of Abdulaziz ibn Saud as “the greatest of all the kings of Arabia,” and wrote the history of Ibn Saud’s tribe and people under the title Arabia of the Wahhabis. In the West, ironically, Philby is better known as the father of Kim Philby, the Soviet double agent, instead of the confidant of the founder of modern Saudi Arabia. Philby apparently became Muslim, took the name of Abdullah, and lived among the Arabs.

The defeat of the Sharifian forces in Hejaz in 1925 cleared the path for Abdulaziz ibn Saud’s eventual triumph in creating the eponymous Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The fall of Mecca to the Bedouin warriors known as the Ikhwan, or the Brethren (to be distinguished from the movement known as Ikhwan al-Muslimin [Muslim Brotherhood] founded by the Egyptian Hasan al-Banna in 1928), ended the ambition of Sharif Husayn and his sons to rule Arabia with the support of the British. The Sharifian defeat also meant that Britain would not have to referee the conflict between two of its allies — Sharif Husayn and his sons on one side, and Abdulaziz ibn Saud and his Ikhwan warriors on the other — competing for mastery over Arabia.

Philby’s loyalty to Abdulaziz ibn Saud restrained him from mentioning the terror and havocIkhwan warriors perpetrated in the occupation of Hejaz and the capture of Mecca and Medina.[1]But he was effusive in describing what he viewed as the renewal of Islam’s original revolution in the desert soil of its birth. He became the premier salesman of Abdulaziz ibn Saud and his family to the outside world, as T.E. Lawrence was of Prince Feisal and the Sharifian claims to rule the Arabs.[2] Philby wrote,

“Ibn Sa’ud made it clear from the beginning that he would tolerate no criticism of or interference with God’s law on earth… On Friday, January 8th, 1926, in the Great Mosque of Mecca after the congregational prayers, Ibn Sa’ud was proclaimed King of the Hijaz with all the traditional ceremony prescribed by Islamic precedent. It was at once an act of faith and a challenge to the world: to be made good in due course, without deviation from the principle on which it was based, to the glory of God, of whose sustaining hand he was ever conscious amid all the vicissitudes of good and evil fortune, which in the long years to come were to lead his people, under his guidance, out of the wilderness into a promised land flowing with milk and honey. The great fight, of four and twenty years almost to the day, was over; and a greater span, by nearly four years, yet lay before him to develop the fruits of victory for the benefit of generations yet unborn: generations which ‘knew not Joseph’, nor ever heard the war-cry of the Ikhwan.”[3]

ii.

The objective of the ISIS is apparently to remake the map of the Middle East, which was drawn by Britain and France as victorious powers in World War I, following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The goal is to unite the Fertile Crescent — the region between the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf — under the newly resurrected Caliphate’s rule, where “God’s law” will rule without anyone’s interference — much Saudi Arabia’s founder, Abdulaziz ibn Saud, announced in 1926 on entering Mecca.

ISIS’s self-proclaimed leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in announcing the re-establishment of the Caliphate, have set for ISIS a hugely ambitious program, even if it seems anachronistic for Muslims in the twenty-first century.

But ISIS’s gamble to engineer the creation of the Caliphate and obliterate the post-WWI settlement is not entirely far-fetched when considered in the context of the making of Saudi Arabia.

There is also the shared doctrine of the Wahhabi-Salafi interpretation of Islam, which Abdulaziz ibn Saud insisted, and ISIS insists, is the only true Islam; all other versions and sects of Islam among Muslims are denounced as heresy or, worse, as apostasy, to be violently punished.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire let loose forces in the Middle East, some of which were contained by Britain and France, as victorious powers, in accordance with their Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916.

In the Arabian Peninsula, Britain kept in check the forces let loose, preventing their spillover into the Fertile Crescent, until one coalition of Bedouin warriors led by Abdulaziz ibn Saud emerged as clear winner over the territories previously held by Turkey in the Fertile Crescent.

The deep forbidding interior of the Arabian Peninsula consists of the highlands and desert of Najd, far removed from what were once the major centers of the Islamic civilization at its peak. Inhabited by Bedouin tribes, deeply conservative in their customs and manner of living, and disapproving of the ways of the outside world, Najd was a primitive backwater of the Middle East and was left on its own.

The emergence of Abdulaziz ibn Saud as the ruler of Najd and Hejaz in the 1920s, and then as the monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the watchful eyes of Britain as the hegemonic power in the Middle East after the World War I, was not merely the result of one coalition of Bedouin tribes trouncing its opponents for the spoils of war. It was also the victory of a doctrine — of Wahhabism,[4] to which Abdulaziz ibn Saud was wedded as a legacy of his family and tribal history, and which provided the religious and ideological legitimacy for the so-called “conservative revolution” or the Wahhabi version of Islamic “reform” he heralded in establishing his kingdom.

Read more

Saudis Plan Tourist Venue Where Foundation of Radical Ideology Was Formed

Al-Diriyah-on-the-northwestern-outskirts-of-Riyadh.-APHassan-Ammar-640x480Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, June 1, 2015:

Saudi Arabia plans to turn the birthplace of Wahhabism–just outside the capital city of Riyadh–into a tourist destination filled with entertainment, historic exhibits, parks, and restaurants.

Wahhabism, the radical Islamic ideology that is promulgated worldwide through Saudi influence and the dominant philosophy of Saudi Arabia, was founded over 250 years ago in the village of Diriyah, thanks to an alliance between the Saudi royal family and a radical cleric, according to the New York Times.

In Diriyah, the House of Saud inked an alliance with Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, who would be allowed to preach his radical jihadist ideology in exchange for a guarantee that the Saudi royal family would be allowed to stay in power. Tow-hundred-and-fifty years later, the treaty between the radical Islamists and the Saudi royalty remains in place.

Al-Wahhab’s Wahhabism preaches a puritanical version of Islam. Supporters describe the ideology as “pure Islam” that is perfectly compliant with Sharia law.

Critics of Wahhabism have noted that the group’s adherents tend to support worldwide terrorist movements across the globe. Some allege that Wahabi officials and clerics are responsible for fostering ideological support for jihadist groups and bankrolling outfits such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey has said of Wahhabism:

Those who direct Saudi Arabia’s state religion, the Wahhabi sect of Islam, loathe Christians, Jews, other Muslims, modernity, decency toward women, and freedom itself. The Saudi establishment has accepted a Faustian bargain, buying protection for itself by financing the spread of Wahhabi hatred around the world.

Nonetheless, the Saudis are following through with the tourist venue, which will be “filled with parks restaurants, and coffee shops,” the Times reports. “Nearby stands a sleek structure that will house a foundation dedicated to the sheikh [Al-Wahhab] and his mission,” the report adds.

The man in charge of the project, Abdullah Arrakban of the High Commission for the Development of Riyadh, said in support of the Wahhabi tourist venue, “It is important for Saudis who are living now, in this century, to know that the state came from a specific place that has been preserved and that it was built on an idea, a true, correct and tolerant ideology that respected others.”

More whitewashing:

RECOMMENDED READING: “Saudi Arabia’s Rulers Reconsider Ties To Wahhabi Clergy”

Saudi+Arabia+flagBy , Jan. 9, 2015:

An Arabian business magazine has published an article titled “Saudi Arabia’s Rulers Reconsider Ties To Wahhabi Clergy” that looks at what is said to be an “adjustment” to the Saudi relationship with so-called Wahabbi Islam. The Arabian Business.com report begins:

December 17, 2014 Saudi Arabia’s ruling Al Saud royal family are trying to adjust their relationship with the country’s strict Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam as they increasingly view the teachings of some of its ultra-conservative clergy as a domestic security threat.

Radicalisation of Muslims in the world’s top oil exporter has led to domestic attacks and the involvement of Saudi citizens in jihadist movements in Iraq and Syria, while extreme religious practices have damaged efforts to boost employment.

Over the past decade the House of Saud has not only put in place measures to control clerics and their sermons, but has started to favour more modern clergy for top state positions.

Saudi rulers are also starting to reform areas once the exclusive domain of the clergy, such as education and law, and have promoted elements of national identity that have no religious component.

Saudi Arabia remains one of the most religiously conservative countries on earth, and the royal family are not cutting off the clergy or ditching Wahhabism’s basic precepts, analysts and diplomats say.

They are instead attempting to foster a reading of its teachings that distances it from Islamist militants such as Islamic State, and which better meets the demands of a modern economy. ‘

Read the rest here.

The GMBDW reported in March of last year that Saudi Arabia had formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and was among a group of Gulf countries that had recalled their envoys from Qatar over the issue. We also reported in May 2014 that the country had arrested nine university professors for their alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood and reported the same month that three well-known imams in Saudi Arabia’s Southern Province had been banned for life from delivering sermons after they were found to be connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.  However, at the same time wediscussed certain inconsistencies related to the Saudi Muslim World League (MWL) which appeared to be operating outside of the new Saudi policy on the Brotherhood by maintaining ties to important figures in the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Should the above report prove to be accurate, it would lend further credence to the idea of a sea change in the relationship of Saudi Arabia to the Muslim Brotherhood

In May 2013, Ahram Online published a useful history of the tumultuous and sometimes difficult to understand relationship between Saudi Arabia and the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi religious leader OKs rape of children

150102muslimgirlWND, by F. MICHAEL MALOOF, Jan. 3, 2015:

WASHINGTON – Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh, the kingdom’s top religious authority in the ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam, has ruled it’s acceptable for men to marry girls so young the West would deem it nothing short of pedophilia and rape.

Despite the Saudi justice ministry’s failed efforts to date to set 15 as a minimum age to marry a girl in the kingdom, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz declared there is nothing prohibiting Muslim men from marrying girls even younger.

As Grand Mufti, Abdulaziz is president of the Supreme Council of Ulema (Islamic scholars) and chairman of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing Fatwas, which means he speaks authoritatively in Islamic teachings.

Grand Mufti Abdulzaiz’s more recent ruling on marrying young girls comes following a similar ruling in 2011 by Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, a prominent cleric and member of the Saudi’s highest religious council, who issued a fatwa, or religious edict, that there is no minimum age to marry girls, “even if they are in the cradle.”

Fawzan’s fatwa came from a similar edict in the Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari li Ibn Battal, which said the ulema, or Islamic scholars, agreed to permit fathers marry off their small daughters.

“The ulema have agreed that it is permissible for fathers to marry off their small daughters, even if they are in the cradle,” the edict declared. “But it is not permissible for their husbands to have sex with them unless they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men. And their capability in this regard varies based on their nature and capacity. Aisha was six when she married the prophet, but he had sex with her when she was nine, that is, when she was deemed capable.”

Fawzan said there is nothing in Islamic, or Shariah law, that sets a minimum age limit on marrying girls, citing Quran 65:4.

“It behooves those who call for setting a minimum age for marriage to fear Allah and not contradict his Shariah, or try to legislate things Allah did not permit,” Fawzan said. “For laws are Allah’s province, and legislation is his exclusive right, to be shared by none other. And among these are the rules governing marriage.”

Scholars say the age of marrying young girls and consummating the “marriage” is based on the example set by Muhammad when he married Aisha when she was no more than seven years of age, consummating the marriage when she was nine.

“The grand point of the Saudi fatwa, however, is not that girls as young as nine can be married, based on Muhammad’s example, but rather that there is no age limit whatsoever,” Middle East expert Raymond Ibrahim writes in Middle East Forum. “The only question open to consideration is whether the girl is physically capable of handling her ‘husband.’”

“The lives of countless young girls are devastated because of this teaching,” Ibrahim said.

He cited the case of an 8-year-old girl who died on her “wedding” night when her “husband” raped her. He also referred to a 10-year-old girl who hid from her 80-year-old “husband.”

Grand Mufti Abdulaziz and Fawzan’s fatwas come even as Saudi men have been reportedly purchasing young girls from Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan.

As WND recently reported, rich Saudi Arabian men – some associated with the Saudi royal family – have been purchasing for their sexual pleasure Syrian girls and young women from among the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war conflict to Lebanon and Jordan.

Most of these Saudi men are said to be in their 60s and 70s. When they tire of the girls, they often hand them off to other men.

“They come into Lebanon and Jordan and go to the Syrian refugee camps where the Syrian families there have nothing,” one Lebanese source told WND. “The Saudis then offer $200 for girls aged 9 to 14 years and take them from their families. Because the families are so desperate for money, they give in to the temptation.”

The United States, allied with Saudi Arabia, has been silent on its treatment of young girls..

“Given the influence the United States has over Saudi Arabia, why hasn’t your president confronted the Saudis about this?” one source asked WND. “Sometimes, the girls are returned to their families, but they won’t have a future.”

F. Michael Maloof, senior staff writer for WND/ G2Bulletin, is a former security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He can be contacted at mmaloof@wnd.com.

Oil money and Saudi Arabia’s stranglehold over global affairs

Money Jihad, Sep. 18, 2014:

The five year anniversary of this blog’s inception is coming up in October. Before then we’ll revisit five videos that have touched on extremely important concepts in terrorist financing.

Today we’ll look at two. Money Jihad has shown one of them before—an interview with Bernard Lewis on C-SPAN—but it’s important enough to return to, about how oil money and the love affair between the House of Saud and Wahhabi clerics precipitated the rise of global jihad:

 

The other picks up where Lewis left off.  Former CIA director James Woolsey offers additional examples and comparisons about what Saudi oil money and the related control by Wahabbi clerics has meant for Islamic developments throughout the world over the past several decades.

 

Watching these videos and considering the billions of petrodollars that have flowed to terrorism, it almost feels silly to sniff out smaller transactions of a thousand dollars here and hundred dollars there to individual “martyrs” and their operations.

You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

n-WAHHABISM-large570By Alastair Crooke, Fmr. MI-6 agent; Author, ‘Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution’:

BEIRUT — The dramatic arrival of Da’ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed — and horrified — by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia’s ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, “Don’t the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?”

It appears — even now — that Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite “fire” with Sunni “fire”; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da’ish’s strict Salafist ideology.

Other Saudis are more fearful, and recall the history of the revolt against Abd-al Aziz by the Wahhabist Ikhwan (Disclaimer: this Ikhwan has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan — please note, all further references hereafter are to the Wahhabist Ikhwan, and not to the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan), but which nearly imploded Wahhabism and the al-Saud in the late 1920s.

Many Saudis are deeply disturbed by the radical doctrines of Da’ish (ISIS) — and are beginning to question some aspects of Saudi Arabia’s direction and discourse.

THE SAUDI DUALITY

Saudi Arabia’s internal discord and tensions over ISIS can only be understood by grasping the inherent (and persisting) duality that lies at the core of the Kingdom’s doctrinal makeup and its historical origins.

One dominant strand to the Saudi identity pertains directly to Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism), and the use to which his radical, exclusionist puritanism was put by Ibn Saud. (The latter was then no more than a minor leader — amongst many — of continually sparring and raiding Bedouin tribes in the baking and desperately poor deserts of the Nejd.)

The second strand to this perplexing duality, relates precisely to King Abd-al Aziz’s subsequent shift towards statehood in the 1920s: his curbing of Ikhwani violence (in order to have diplomatic standing as a nation-state with Britain and America); his institutionalization of the original Wahhabist impulse — and the subsequent seizing of the opportunely surging petrodollar spigot in the 1970s, to channel the volatile Ikhwani current away from home towards export — by diffusing a cultural revolution, rather than violent revolution throughout the Muslim world.

But this “cultural revolution” was no docile reformism. It was a revolution based on Abd al-Wahhab’s Jacobin-like hatred for the putrescence and deviationism that he perceived all about him — hence his call to purge Islam of all its heresies and idolatries.

Read more at The Huffington Post

 

Saudis Must Stop Exporting Extremism

1534157424 (1)ISIS Atrocities Started With Saudi Support for Salafi Hate

New York Times, By

ALONG with a billion Muslims across the globe, I turn to Mecca in Saudi Arabia every day to say my prayers. But when I visit the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the resting place of the Prophet Muhammad, I am forced to leave overwhelmed with anguish at the power of extremism running amok in Islam’s birthplace. Non-Muslims are forbidden to enter this part of the kingdom, so there is no international scrutiny of the ideas and practices that affect the 13 million Muslims who visit each year.

Last week, Saudi Arabia donated $100 million to the United Nations to fund a counterterrorism agency. This was a welcome contribution, but last year, Saudi Arabia rejected a rotating seat on the United Nations Security Council. This half-in, half-out posture of the Saudi kingdom is a reflection of its inner paralysis in dealing with Sunni Islamist radicalism: It wants to stop violence, but will not address the Salafism that helps justify it.

Let’s be clear: Al Qaeda, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram, the Shabab and others are all violent Sunni Salafi groupings. For five decades, Saudi Arabia has been the official sponsor of Sunni Salafism across the globe.

Most Sunni Muslims around the world, approximately 90 percent of the Muslim population, are not Salafis. Salafism is seen as too rigid, too literalist, too detached from mainstream Islam. While Shiite and other denominations account for 10 percent of the total, Salafi adherents and other fundamentalists represent 3 percent of the world’s Muslims.

Unlike a majority of Sunnis, Salafis are evangelicals who wish to convert Muslims and others to their “purer” form of Islam — unpolluted, as they see it, by modernity. In this effort, they have been lavishly supported by the Saudi government, which has appointed emissaries to its embassies in Muslim countries who proselytize for Salafism. The kingdom also grants compliant imams V.I.P. access for the annual hajj, and bankrolls ultraconservative Islamic organizations like the Muslim World League and World Assembly of Muslim Youth.

After 9/11, under American pressure, much of this global financial support dried up, but the bastion of Salafism remains strong in the kingdom, enforcing the hard-line application of outdated Shariah punishments long abandoned by a majority of Muslims. Just since Aug. 4, 19 people have been beheaded in Saudi Arabia, nearly half for nonviolent crimes.

M_Id_364974_beheadingWe are rightly outraged at the beheading of James Foley by Islamist militants, and by ISIS’ other atrocities, but we overlook the public executions by beheading permitted by Saudi Arabia. By licensing such barbarity, the kingdom normalizes and indirectly encourages such punishments elsewhere. When the country that does so is the birthplace of Islam, that message resonates.

I lived in Saudi Arabia’s most liberal city, Jidda, in 2005. That year, in an effort to open closed Saudi Salafi minds, King Abdullah supported dialogue with people of other religions. In my mosque, the cleric used his Friday Prayer sermon to prohibit such dialogue on grounds that it put Islam on a par with “false religions.” It was a slippery slope to freedom, democracy and gender equality, he argued — corrupt practices of the infidel West.

This tension between the king and Salafi clerics is at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s inability to reform. The king is a modernizer, but he and his advisers do not wish to disturb the 270-year-old tribal pact between the House of Saud and the founder of Wahhabism (an austere form of Islam close to Salafism). That 1744 desert treaty must now be nullified.

The influence that clerics wield is unrivaled. Even Saudis’ Twitter heroes are religious figures: An extremist cleric like Muhammad al-Arifi, who was banned last year from the European Union for advocating wife-beating and hatred of Jews, commands a following of 9. 4 million. The kingdom is also patrolled by a religious police force that enforces the veil for women, prohibits young lovers from meeting and ensures that shops do not display “indecent” magazine covers. In the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the religious police beat women with sticks if they stray into male-only areas, or if their dress is considered immodest by Salafi standards. This is not an Islam that the Prophet Muhammad would recognize.

Salafi intolerance has led to the destruction of Islamic heritage in Mecca and Medina. If ISIS is detonating shrines, it learned to do so from the precedent set in 1925 by the House of Saud with the Wahhabi-inspired demolition of 1,400-year-old tombs in the Jannat Al Baqi cemetery in Medina. In the last two years, violent Salafis have carried out similar sectarian vandalism, blowing up shrines from Libya to Pakistan, from Mali to Iraq. Fighters from Hezbollah have even entered Syria to protect holy sites.

Textbooks in Saudi Arabia’s schools and universities teach this brand of Islam. The University of Medina recruits students from around the world, trains them in the bigotry of Salafism and sends them to Muslim communities in places like the Balkans, Africa, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Egypt, where these Saudi-trained hard-liners work to eradicate the local, harmonious forms of Islam.

What is religious extremism but this aim to apply Shariah as state law? This is exactly what ISIS (Islamic State) is attempting do with its caliphate. Unless we challenge this un-Islamic, impractical and flawed concept of trying to govern by a rigid interpretation of Shariah, no amount of work by a United Nations agency can unravel Islamist terrorism.

Saudi Arabia created the monster that is Salafi terrorism. It cannot now outsource the slaying of this beast to the United Nations. It must address the theological and ideological roots of extremism at home, starting in Mecca and Medina. Reforming the home of Islam would be a giant step toward winning against extremism in this global battle of ideas.

“Our Holy Pilgrimage will be Complete Once We Have Killed You, Ripped Out Your Hearts and Raped Your Women.”

slide_3825_54092_large1-450x327FPM,By :

Muslims in America are trained to spend a lot of time complaining about Islamophobia. But some Muslims from Dearbornistan only learned what the real thing was when they made their pilgrimage to Mecca.

Like so many Dearbornies, they were Shiites. And Saudi Arabia is a Sunni country.

A group of Americans visiting Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj were threatened and attacked earlier this week on Oct. 16 by a radicalized group of extremists. When they encountered a group that identified themselves as not only Americans, but also as Shiite Muslims, they were threatened and attacked by the group of men, who were apparently armed with knives and other blades.

In continuing the assault, the men also shouted “We’re going to do Karbala all over again,”

The Americans fled the tent area, which the Saudi government had specifically designated for American and European pilgrims. During the escape, many of the group, almost entirely U.S. citizens and mostly hailing from Dearborn, Michigan suffered bruises (in one case, due to an attempted strangulation), concussions, broken bones, and black eyes.

During the attack, the men reportedly shouted “Our [holy pilgrimage] will be complete once we have killed you, ripped out your hearts and eaten them, and [then] raped your women.”

Nothing says Holy pilgrimage like a little heart-eating and woman-raping. And who are we to judge their heart-eating rape culture anyway?

Radicalized extremists?

So that must mean that the heart-eaters and rapists weren’t representative of the moderate Saudi population and government in general.

Victims of the attack reported that nearby police refused to take action, and in some cases were openly laughing at the attack. The Americans approached other officers, including one described as a “lieutenant with stars on his shoulder pads.” They reported the attack and showed police video footage of the attack taken on cell phones.

The “lieutenant” confiscated the phones and immediately deleted the videos in front of onlookers. Without comment, he returned the phones to their owners and left.

It’s almost like the Saudi population and government is a bunch of radicalized extremists. But we all know that’s impossible.

“I personally thought it was the end,” said one of the victims of this attack, a dentist from Michigan, not wishing to be identified for fear of reprisal from the Saudi police or other extremists.

So the Saudi police are now “extremists”? Doesn’t that mean the entire Saudi system is “extremist”?

The attackers are believed to be of the Salafi sect, more popularly known as Wahabis, who are often associated with strong anti-Shiite viewpoints. Critics believe that many of Al-Qaeda’s members subscribe to the Salafi belief system.

Really? There are Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia; a Wahhabi country? I’m shocked. So that’s only a tiny minority of twenty million extremists.

Members of the group also turned to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia for assistance, but were told help could only be provided if members of the group had died in the attacks.

Non-Saudis turning to the US embassy whose sole task is to funnel Saudis into the United States at the directive of a State Department that asks how high every time the Saudis tell it to jump.

Surprising that didn’t go well.

In countries run by our “moderate” oil-rich allies, the US embassy is every bit as helpful as the local authorities. That is unless you’re a Saudi with terrorist ties looking for a visa to the US.

This incident is the latest in a string of attacks against Westerners in Saudi Arabia. In different incidents in past years, Shi’ite Imams from the United States and Canada were either assaulted or arrested for complaining about assaults.  The previous incidents, as well as this week’s attack, all required medical treatments.

And if Shiites owned Mecca and were a majority in the region, then Sunnis would be treated about as well.

Human rights and separation of mosque and state are alien notions in the Muslim world. Whoever has the most power kicks around everyone else. That’s what the Syrian Civil War is really about.

The Dearbornies might have gotten away from all that in the United States, but instead they’ve chosen to push Islamization which perpetuates the same conflicts that they found in Saudi Arabia.

Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood: what is the difference?

08-02-12_h-1By Mark Durie:

For western lay people, it can be hard to distinguish one radical Muslim from another.  What is the difference between Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood?  Are they really all that different?  And why do Western governments seem to favour and even partner with Brotherhood-backed groups, but denigrate Salafis?


The 2011 People’s Assembly elections in Egypt focused the world’s attention on the Salafis when they proved to be the ‘dark horse’ of that poll, winning 25% of the seats.  This, together with the Muslim Brotherhood’s 47%, gave Islamists  almost three quarters of the seats in the Assembly. How do these two powerful Islamic groups compare?

Today the Brotherhood and Salafis also figure prominently in reports from Syria.  Both brands of Islamists field rebel forces in Syria, and Brotherhood leaders dominate the Syrian National Council, which has been recognized by the Arab League and some UN states as the legitimate representative of Syria.

Often the past Western politicians have made the mistake of dismissing the Salafis as marginal extremists, while being all too willing to lap up the Brotherhood’s propaganda about their democratic credentials.  A good example was David Cameron’s statement in Parliament this past weekconcerning the Syrian National Council, as he sought to downplay any suggestion  that the conflict in Syria had a religious basis:

“When I see the official Syrian opposition I do not see purely a religious grouping; I see a group of people who have declared that they are in favour of democracy, human rights and a future for minorities, including Christians, in Syria. That is the fact of the matter.”

As troubling as Cameron’s ignorance about Brotherhood ideology appears to be, even more disturbing is his intent to forward military support to rebel groups, at the very time that a report has come from Syrian refugees of genocidal measures being enacted by Islamist rebels against the Syrian Christian minority.

This past week evidence has also emerged that among the insurgents who attacked the American Embassy in Benghazi in September 2012 were Egyptians, captured on video saying that ‘Dr Morsi sent us’.  Yet Dr Morsi, the Brotherhood President of Egypt, is claimed by the US as an ally, and Brotherhood operatives have had long-standing high-level access to and support from the US Government.

Read more

 

France’s Growing Islamist Problem

franceBy Ryan Mauro:

The reaction to a recent Muslim robbery of a priest in France is a sad indication of where the country is headed. A Catholic official pointed out, “If it had been an imam or rabbi, he [the Interior Minister] would already been on the spot.” This is no surprise, as Socialist President Hollande’s pandering to the Muslim population played a large role in his election.

The incident began when four Muslims surrounded the priest and told him to hand over his cell phone. One thief knocked him unconscious. The attack may have been motivated by criminality and not jihad, but the two are part of a common trend.

There are over 750 government-designated “Sensitive Urban Zones” in France, referred to as “No-Go Zones” by Dr. Daniel Pipes. About 5 million Muslims live in these areas of France where law enforcement doesn’t exercise decisive control. When the authorities do have to step in, a violent backlash quickly arises. There are many videos of Muslim worshippers holding illegal prayers in the streets when their mosques overflow without any response from police.

On New Year’s, about 1,200 cars were set on fire and police clashed with residents in the Muslim-majority districts of Strasbourg and Mulhouse. In August, a two-day rampage was sparked when a Muslim was arrested for driving without a license around the time of a funeral. Massive riots have broken out in these no-go zones because of the hostility to reasonable law enforcement. Over half of the French prison population is Muslim, where many are radicalized.

A lack of integration is the most common factor in Islamic terrorists. These unassimilated areas are not just breeding grounds for criminals, but for extremism as well—particularly when foreign Islamist governments and organizations get involved.

The Saudi Arabia-based Muslim World League, described by Andrew McCarthy as “the Muslim Brotherhood’s principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology,” is helping finance the construction of 200 new mosques. The French Council of the Muslim Faith wants to eventually doublethe 2,500 mosques in the country.

Qatar, the supposed U.S. “ally” that subsidizes the Muslim Brotherhood, is also active in France’s Muslim community. It is financing mosques and the Union of Islamic Organizations in France, the Muslim Brotherhood’s main branch there. It demands the government to pass a law against “Islamophobia.” The Qatari government is also investing $65 million in the suburbs where over 1 million Muslim immigrants live.

This isn’t purely an act of humanitarianism or a business investment. The Qatari constitution is based on Sharia Law. The Christians in Qatar, almost 6% of the population, are allowed to practice their faith but cannot proselytize  to Muslims. Hypocritically, Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani publicly pledged in December 2011 to “spare no effort” to proselytize the Islamic teachings of Muhammad al-Wahhab, the founder of what is often called “Wahhabism.”

Read more at Front Page

Is Saudi Funding Behind the Boston Marathon Bombing?

sheikh-saleh-bin-abdulrahman-al-husseinCitizens United:

The following links demonstrate that the Saudi government funds a global network of Islamic extremism, and exports the radical ideology (Wahhabism) that formed Al Qaeda.  This global network provides an endless supply of recruits for Al Qaeda in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Africa, and the Taliban in the Af-Pak region.  The Taliban’s fight against the US attracts recruits from all over the world, including Chechnya, the ethnic origin of the Boston Marathon bombers.  This link indicates that Saudi money has been financing Islamic extremism in Chechnya, and this post provides evidence of the brothers involvement in Islamic extremism.  For example, one of the brothers (Tamerlane) was named after a 13th century jihadist who is compared to Osama bin Laden.  The comparison to bin Laden is based on the use of violence to spread Islam.

The first CSPAN clip below is terrorism expert Alex Alexiev.  He lays out compelling evidence of the Saudi government’s financing of global terrorism.  Alex is a former director of the National Security Division at the Rand Corporation, and a consultant to the CIA and Defense Department.  He was also a leading expert on Sovietology during the Cold War and is currently a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy.  Mr. Alexiev said the CIA, in 1996, cited dozens of Saudi charities that were funding terrorism, and “without huge amounts of Saudi money in the past three decades, our problem of terrorism wouldn’t be anywhere as acute as it is.  It [Saudi Arabia] is the lifeline of terrorism.”   Clip1

The next CSPAN clips are from a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Af-Pak region.  Obama’s special envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke, was testifying before the committee.  When committee members provided evidence of Saudi’s funding the Taliban, Holbrooke said “we do not have a program to close that down”.  Clip2Clip3Clip4   This hearing was six years after Senator Jon Kyl, during a Judiciary Committee hearing, cited Saudi Arabia as the “monetary lifeblood of today’s international terrorists.”  But President Obama didn’t have a program to shut down Saudi financing.  Oops!  In this next clip, Holbrooke admits that US and Pakistani intelligence agencies helped set up terrorist organizations.  Clip5

This link is an article written by Curtin Windsor, former U.S. Ambassador and Special Emissary to the Middle East during the Reagan administration.  It’s well sourced with many footnotes and is  titled “Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism and the Spread of Sunni Theofascism”.  Check out the section on page 8 titled “Causes of American Inaction”.   In the section on American inaction, Windsor says Prince Bandar bin Sultan helped mask the threat of Saudi sponsored terrorism.  In the PBS documentary “Black Money“, Prince Bandar plays a central role in global corruption relating to the arms trade.

After the 911 attack, some families who lost loved ones refused payments from the US government and sued the Saudi government.  The Texas law firm Baker Botts, a partner of which is James Baker, former Secretary of State under Bush 41, represented the Saudi government against 911 families.   John O’Neill was director of counter terrorism at the FBI prior to the 911 attack.  He repeatedly warned of an Al Qaeda attack on U.S. soil, but frustrated by US officials who ignored his warnings, he went to work as head of security at the World Trade Center and was killed on 911.  To hear his story, watch the PBS documentary, “The Man Who Knew“.

In spite of compelling evidence implicating the Saudi government in global terrorism, the Bush and Obama administrations insist that Saudi Arabia is a US ally in the War on Terror.  Hmmm?  American citizens must question the US/Saudi alliance and demand accountability for the resulting loss of American lives, treasure and freedom.   For more info, check out the sections “Closing the Loop on Terrorism” and “American and Chinese Communism, a Partnership” in Knowledge is Power.

The Saudis have been using their huge reserves from oil exports to increase the influence of radical Islamic doctrine in the US government, universities, media coverage and even grade school curriculums. They fund radical Islamic mosques in the US and groups that attempt to install Shariah law in the US. Watch this webinar to learn more:

See also:

Manal al-Sharif: The Woman Who Dared to Drive

OB-WU669_winter_DV_20130322183751By SOHRAB AHMARI:

‘You know when you have a bird, and it’s been in a cage all its life? When you open the cage door, it doesn’t want to leave. It was that moment.”

This is how Manal al-Sharif felt the first time she sat behind the wheel of a car in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom’s taboo against women driving is only rarely broken. To hear her recount the experience is as thrilling as it must have been to sit in the passenger seat beside her. Well, almost.

Ms. Sharif says her moment of hesitation didn’t last long. She pressed the gas pedal and in an instant her Cadillac SUV rolled forward. She spent the next hour circling the streets of Khobar, in the kingdom’s eastern province, while a friend used an iPhone camera to record the journey.

It was May 2011, when much of the Middle East was convulsed with popular uprisings. Saudi women’s-rights activists were stirring, too. They wondered if the Arab Spring would mark the end of the kingdom’s ban on women driving. “Everyone around me was complaining about the ban but no one was doing anything,” Ms. Sharif says. “The Arab Spring was happening all around us, so that inspired me to say, ‘Let’s call for an action instead of complaining.’ ”

The campaign started with a Facebook FB +0.29% page urging Saudi women to drive on a designated day, June 17, 2011. At first the page created great enthusiasm among activists. But then critics began injecting fear on and off the page. “The opponents were saying that ‘there are wolves in the street, and they will rape you if you drive,’ ” Ms. Sharif recalls. “There needed to be one person who could break that wall, to make the others understand that ‘it’s OK, you can drive in the street. No one will rape you.’ “Ms. Sharif resolved to be that person, and the video she posted of herself driving around Khobar on May 17 became an instant YouTube hit. The news spread across Saudi media, too, and not all of the reactions were positive. Ms. Sharif received threatening phone calls and emails. “You have just opened the gates of hell on yourself,” said an Islamist cleric. “Your grave is waiting,” read one email.

Read more at WSJ

H/T Citizen Warrior

 

#AnaLama – Report: Saudi Court Releases Imam Who Raped, Murdered 5-Yr. Old Daughter

In 2009, the brutal shooting of Neda Soltan made her the face of the Iranian opposition. In 2011, Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in Tunisia set off the “Arab Spring.” In June 2011, the torturing and murdering of a 13-year old boy named Hamza al-Khatib sparked protests in his name in Syria. In 2013, Lama’s name may became synonymous with an unstoppable movement for change in Saudi Arabia.

Lama al-Ghamdi

Lama al-Ghamdi

by Ryan Mauro:

Revolutions and irresistible movements for change don’t happen spontaneously. They are “sparked” by a dramatic moment. In Saudi Arabia, such a “spark” may have been lit. News reports say Islamist preacher Fayhan al-Ghamdi has admitted to torturing and murdering his five-year old daughter, Lama, and is walking away a free man. He even still has custody of his two other children. And now, Saudi activists are taking a stand.

Al-Ghamdi, whose extremist preaching was often on Saudi television, was originally accused of abusing Lama last April. That attack was so vicious that she suffered a fractured skull and brain damage. Tragically, he was still permitted access to her, leading to her death in December.

Read more at Radical Islam

 

Westerners and Wahhabism: Living in a Fool’s Paradise

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The Saudi Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, recently called for a destruction of all churches in the Arabian peninsula, as well as marriage for girls as young as 10 years old.

by: Jamal Hasan:

Many Westerners are still living in fool’s paradise, buying the apologist’s soft-sold idea that Wahhabism is a minority view of the Islamic world. The reality indicates that the situation is just the other way around.

The proliferation of Wahhabistic philosophy is so widespread all across the globe that it can hardly be considered an aberration. From Pakistan to Qatar, from Bangladesh to Afghanistan, the common belief system among Muslim masses is very close to Wahhabite ideology.

Read more at Radical Islam