Saudi Arabia Buying Regional News Influence: Cables

King Salman of Saudi Arabia (Photo: © Reuters)

King Salman of Saudi Arabia (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, June 23, 2015:

Leaked cables from Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry reveal that the Wahhabist government is spending millions of dollars to influence regional media coverage. One cable shows that the Saudis granted $5 million to a popular Lebanese television channel named Murr TV, known locally as MTV (no relation to the MTV network based in the U.S.).

The secret document reveals that a directive was given on May 8, 2012 to form a committee to exploit Murr TV’s financial troubles by offering a bribe in return for pro-Saudi coverage. The committee had representatives from the Saudi Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Culture, Media and General Intelligence Agency.

Murr TV’s board chairman requested $20 million from the Saudis. The committee met on May 15, 2012 and decided that only $5 million would be offered.

The network’s website boasts of its “independence,” saying it started in 1991 and began covering news in 1995. The Lebanese government was unhappy with its coverage and shut it down in 2002. It then re-launched in 2009.

“MTV displayed a fervent commitment to acting as the fourth power, disclosing the untold about abuses of power and corruption, and speaking the mind of a suffocated public opinion, being consistently and unswervingly objective and responsible, and defending the public interest,” the website says.

It is owned by Gabiel Murr, a Christian involved with the oppositionchallenging the Lebanese political forces favorable to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and Hezbollah. MTV aired stories about human rights abuses and interviewed opposition leaders.

A 2014 study found that MTV is the top source for television entertainment in Lebanon. It is the third most popular news channel.

The leaked cable indicates that this is only one front in the Saudi campaign to influence regional news media.

“Emphasizing that in principle the support to any foreign media should serve the policy of the Kingdom and its interests. The committee doesn’t see anything to prevent the support of MTV within this policy,” the committee is reported as stating.

Other leaked cables show that the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Media sponsored two dozen media outlets in countries like Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Guinea, and Mauritania. Wikileaks says these payments ranged from $33,000 to as little as $500.

It’s possible that the Saudis were satisfied with Lebanese MTV simply continuing coverage that undermines the Syrian and Iranian regimes and Hezbollah, but the wording of the document suggests an actual promotion of the Saudi point-of-view. At the very least, the Saudis would demand favorable coverage that looks past its support for Islamist extremism and human rights abuses.

Saudi funding for media outlets is dangerous for Western security because a favorable treatment of Saudi Arabia means a favorable treatment of the radical ideology its governance is based on, often referred to as “Wahhabism.” If the Saudi point-of-view is promoted, that means promoting Wahhabism, hostility to the West and Islamist terrorism.

Yet, media outlets and political forces in the region, including Christians, are so desperate for funding that they are willing to get into bed with the Saudis.

Another cable reveals that Samir Gagea, the leader of a Christian political party opposed to the Syrian regime, asked for Saudi financial aid. He’s quoted as saying, “I’m broke. I’m ready to do what the Kingdom demands.”

The Saudis weren’t the first choice of the Christians. After all, the Saudis persecute Christians and ban the construction of churches. There is a power vacuum being filled by the Saudis that could instead by filled by the West. There is a middle-ground between Shiite extremism and Sunni extremism but those in-between these two sides are currently compelled to choose one or the other.

If we are to ever defeat Islamist radicalism and achieve peace in the Middle East, Saudi influence over the region’s media and politics will have to be countered.

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:

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar Set Sights on Cuba’s Muslims

The island of Cuba, located just south of Florida.

The island of Cuba, located just south of Florida.

Why 4,000 Muslims on a Caribbean island mean so much the world’s leading purveyors of Islamic extremism and terrorism

By Ryan Mauro:

The Islamist governments of Turkey and Saudi Arabia see a growing Muslim community in Cuba and are acting quickly to ideologically lead it. The Saudis and Turks have separately asked for permission to build a mosque there. President Erdogan wants it to reflect the Ottoman Empire, the last Islamic caliphate that was abolished in 1924.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey are competing over who will build the mosque in Havana for the estimated 4,000 Muslims in Cuba. The Saudis originally expressed interest, but now the elected Islamist government of Turkey is bidding for it. Turkish President Erdogan says his country hopes to build elsewhere in Cuba if its application is rejected.

Saudi Arabia remains an extremist state and continues to promote Wahhabism, a very radical interpretation of Islam. The Saudis spendan estimated $3 billion a year promoting Wahhabism. It is a national security threat to have the Saudis shaping the Cuban-Muslim community only 90 miles away from Florida.

Turkey is no better. President Erdogan’s government is rolling back democratic freedoms, hosts a Hamas terrorist network and is a stalwart supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. There is a scandal in Turkey over his intelligence service’s cover-up of its arming of Al-Qaeda in Syria.

The Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs says the envisioned mosque in Havana will be modeled after an Ottoman mosque in Istanbul. Its insistence that it builds the mosque without any other country’s involvement shows that this project isn’t about serving Cuban Muslims. It’s about indoctrinating the growing Cuban-Muslim community into following Turkish Islamism.

Turkey is also involved in Cuba through a terrorism-linked entity named the Humanitarian Relief Foundation. This group, based in Istanbul, is closely involved with Erdogan and his Islamist party. Over the summer, it registered people to be human shields for Hamas. The group is also linked to the scandal over Turkish intelligence’s arming of Al-Qaeda.

The IHH website says in an article all the way back in August 2012 that it is “sponsoring masjid [mosque] construction in Cuba.” IHH said hopes to “address the shortcoming of books on Islam in Spanish soon” and fly Cuban Muslims to Turkey for Islamic studies. The article says IHH delivered humanitarian aid and met with the Turkish and Saudi ambassadors there.

It’s worth reflecting on the importance of that article. The Cuban Muslim community is in need of texts to help it learn about Islam. The group that is stepping in to decide what those texts will be is openly radical and linked to the Hamas terrorist group, as well as the increasingly anti-Western government of Turkey.

The Islamist Turkish government is spreading its neo-Ottoman ideology by building mosques around the world, much as Saudi Arabia has done with Wahhabism. There are currently 18 large mosques being constructed by Turkey in the U.S., the Palestinian Territories, Somalia, the U.K., the Philippines, Russia and Central Asia.

Turkey is building the largest mosque in the Balkans in Albania. Erdogan does not hide that this was part of his neo-Ottoman project,declaring in an October 2013 speech, “Do not forget that Kosovo is Turkey and Turkey is Kosovo.”

Turkey is even constructing a 15-acre $100 million mega-mosque in Maryland that was endorsed by then-Governor O’Malley, who appears likely to run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. The project is reported to “become [one of] the largest and most striking examples of Islamic architecture in the Western hemisphere.”

Erdogan’s government is also reaching out to Native American tribes. Turkey’s lobbyists in Washington, D.C. spent over $1 million in 2010 alone to pay for congressmen and Native American tribesmen to visit Turkey, according to Islamist-Watch, which broke the story. The director of the organization says Turkey’s strategy could cause “the Islamist ideology to spread like wildfire throughout Native American tribes.”

In addition, Erdogan is building the world’s biggest mosque in Turkey and a shipping canal rivaling the importance of the Panama Canal and Suez Canal. He is competing with Egypt by building a rival university that will “replace” Al-Azhar University as the leading Islamic authority. The overall agenda is one of aspiring domination where the Muslim world falls into the neo-Ottoman Islamist fold.

Read more at Clarion Project

An American Ally’s Grand Mosque of Hate

Sophie James/Alamy

Sophie James/Alamy

New proof that the richest little emirate in the world is playing a double game with Washington and the so-called Islamic State.

Daily Beast, Jamie Dettmer, Feb. 19, 2015:

The Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab Masjid Doha is the biggest mosque in the emirate of Qatar, and it is a fountain of hate.

Built mainly in the first half of the 20th century mixing traditional and modern Islamic architecture, the air-conditioned, red-carpeted, chandelier-lit central hall can accommodate 11,000 men at prayer with a special enclosure for 1,200 women.

Re-inaugurated in 2011, the Grand Mosque was renamed after the founder of Wahhabism in the desert wastes of the Arabian Peninsula in the 18th century. Although his extreme and ascetic view of Islam has come to be associated mainly with the Saudis, it is also the official faith of incredibly rich little Qatar, which sits on a spit of land and a huge amount of natural gas in what most people know as the Persian Gulf. And Wahabbism, whether Saudi- or Qatari-funded (their zealous zillionaires compete), has provided the underpinning for the extremism in the Muslim world that spawned al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State.

So Qatar, which is also home to a major American military installation, to branches of major American universities (Northwestern, Georgetown, and Carnegie Mellon among them) and to Al Jazeera television, whose English and American branches are responsible for award-winning reporting, tries to be many things to many different audiences.

But the Islamic State and its self-anointed caliph are highlighting the deep contradictions, and nowhere is that more obvious than at the Grand Mosque.

Thus, Qatar’s authorities were quick to condemn this month the burning alive of captured Jordanian pilot Muadh al Kasasbeh. One would expect such a reaction from a country that is part of the international coalition arrayed against the Jordanian’s murderers.

Yet in Doha’s cavernous Grand Mosque on the Friday after the ISIS barbarians posted a video of the grisly killing, an imam who is also a member of the country’s Supreme Judicial Council offered the considered opinion that the Jordanian should have been traded in a prisoner swap or ransomed in accordance with Islamic principles. This, even though ISIS clearly never had any such intention and had lied in negotiations, claiming al Kasasbeh was alive when he was most certainly dead.

In recent weeks, the Qataris have come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration and other Western governments to curb the emirate’s ties with radical Islamist movements—U.S. officials say Qatar has now replaced its neighbor Saudi Arabia as the source of the largest private donations to the Islamic State and al Qaeda affiliates.

When the spotlight is on—when jihad moneymen in Qatar and their funding networks are exposed and attract high levels of Western protest—Qatari authorities take some limited actions.

But there seems to be no persuading Qatar to stop running with the hare and hunting with the hounds—and that remains the case with providing platforms for ideological fellow-travelers of ISIS and al Qaeda or their supporters. And when Western attention is focused elsewhere, the Grand Mosque rings to sermons promoting the same intolerant strain of Islam endorsed by ISIS and used to justify the group’s barbarity.

 

On the Friday before ISIS posted the horrific footage of the burning pilot, a preacher sermonizing from the Grand Mosque’s minbar prayed for the destruction of the faithful of other religions. “Allah, strengthen Islam and the Muslims, and destroy your enemies, the enemies of the religion,” intoned Saudi cleric Sa’ad Ateeq al Ateeq. “Allah, destroy the Jews and whoever made them Jews, and destroy the Christians and Alawites and the Shiites.”

His comments wouldn’t have been out of place in ISIS-controlled Mosul or Raqqa. He also beseeched Allah to save the al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third-holiest site in Islam, from the “claws of the Jews.”

Al Ateeq, who was on his sixth visit to the state-supervised Grand Mosque since 2013, reserved his most bellicose remarks for the part of the sermon called theduaa, when the preacher encourages the faithful to join in guided prayer.

Within minutes, Qatar’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs promoted al Ateeq’s remarks on Twitter. And the sermon was broadcast on several local television channels, including Qatar TV, the official state channel, signaling another stamp of approval, according to analysts Oren Adaki and David Andrew Weinberg of the U.S.-based think tank the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), who unearthed the video of al Ateeq’s sermon.

“This is another example showing that Qatar’s commitment to the war on terror is ambiguous,” argues Weinberg. “The emirate shows one face to the international community projecting a desire to help in the fight against terrorist organizations, while providing a platform for the preaching in their own backyard of the same kind of hate-filled extremism of ISIS.”

Doha’s Grand Mosque has long been a stopover for militants from across the region heading to wage jihad in the Levant. And despite the emirate’s membership in the coalition against ISIS, and while U.S. warplanes launch their bombing raids on the militants in Syria and Iraq from the American airbase in Qatar, the landmark mosque has remained a top venue to hear radical Islamic sermonizing.

Last September, Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani insisted while on a visit to Germany that the emirate “will never support terrorist organizations.” But in addition to the failure of the emirate’s authorities to stop Qatar being used as a hub for terror financing, there seems to be no will by the government to curb the promotion of a radical ideology that is helping to fuel jihadist groups.

Government invitations to extremist preachers have continued apace. Visiting preachers at the Grand Mosque in the past three years have included: Kuwaiti Hamid Abdullah al Ali, who has been blacklisted by the U.S. and UN for funding jihadists in Iraq and who in his sermon on March 2, 2012, praised the “great jihad” being waged in Syria by al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra; Nabil al-Awadhi, another alleged jihad financier, who has delivered at least three sermons there; and Hamid Hamad al Ali, who refers to himself as an “al Qaeda commando.”

But then maybe it isn’t surprising there has been no letup in the roster of militants allowed to use the Grand Mosque. Harith al-Dhari, allegedly a major jihadist fundraiser, was a guest of honor when the current emir’s father inaugurated it in 2011.

Qatari officials reject the charge they are encouraging radical Islam, insisting they oppose extremists. “We are repelled by their views, their violent methods and their ambitions,” Khalid al Attiyah, the emirate’s foreign minister, said in a statement last year in response to claims that Qatar has offered a variety of assistance—including sanctuary, money, and weapons—to radical groups from the the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hamas in Gaza to Islamist militias in Libya and jihadists in Syria.

But the Qataris’ claims of innocence as they leverage their wealth and strategic location to maximize their influence and hedge their bets across the region is increasingly frustrating allies in the coalition against jihadists.

Last month, the U.S. released the admitted al Qaeda operative Ali Saleh Kahlah al Marri from a federal prison prior to his completing a 15-year sentence, citing “time served,” and also as part of a repatriation agreement. Qatari authorities had sought his release from U.S. custody for years—offering among other things to swap him for an American couple held in jail in Doha.

On his arrival in Qatar, al Marri was welcomed as a returning hero. And not just by family members but by local celebrities and officials. As video footage demonstrated, he even received a congratulatory phone call from the emirate’s prime minister.

SAUDI ARABIA AND 9/11: THE REAL CONNECTION

saudi bushBreitbart, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Feb. 8, 2015:

Many expect a smoking gun to be found in the 28 still-classified pages of the official 9/11 Commission Report, evidence linking Saudi Arabia to Al Qaeda. The truth about the Kingdom’s links to the Global Jihadi Movement is historic and already established.

Again this week, there were calls to declassify the missing sections of the 9/11 Commission report. This time, the pressure comes from relatives of the 9/11 victims, who have brought a court case alleging that a charity linked to the government of Saudi Arabia was funneling funds to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. The revelation of official statements made last year by the so-called “20th hijacker,” Zacarias Moussaoui have given the accusations more credence. You can read the transcripts of his depositions here, here, here, and here.

Over the years, Moussaoui has made serial claims about Al Qaeda’s international links and plots beyond the 9/11 attacks, including a plan to down Air Force One with a Stinger missile. Now, he accuses members of the Saudi royalty of being financiers of Osama bin Laden and his organization. Unsurprisingly, the official response from the Saudi government has been swift and dismissive, with the embassy in Washington, D.C. stating that “Moussaoui is a deranged criminal” and that “His words have no credibility.”

Those who expect some kind of resolution or spectacular revelation will likely be disappointed even if the redacted portions of the Commission report are released. As has been documented, a wide range of Moussaoui’s stories in the past have been demonstrated to be not only questionable but even impossible. It should be remembered that back in 2006 he was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Even if he no longer suffers from mental illness, his latest statements may be just another pedestrian case of a “lifer” bargaining testimony for concessions.

The truth about the Kingdom’s connections to the international jihadist movement are in fact much older and well documented.

To begin with, the Kingdom was actually created out of the pact made between Mohammad bin Saud and the fundamentalist religious leader Mohammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of the puritanical version of Sunni Islam know as Wahhabism. Subsequently, the nation that resulted was one defined in stark contrast to enlightened modern monarchies such as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan or secular Muslim republics such as Ataturk’s Turkey. But the definitive connection between the House of Saud and the Global Jihadist Movement can be traced back to 1979. In a year that would see the Soviets invade Afghanistan and catalyze a Holy War against themselves, and a theocratic revolution erupt in Iran, 500 jihadi terrorists stormed the holiest site in Islam, the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Their leader, Juhayman al Otaybi, launched the assault because of his belief that Islam had lost its way, that Muslims were weak because they had become unfaithful, and their leaders, starting with King Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had become un-Islamic.

Eventually, the siege was broken with the help of French counterterrorism operators that had been smuggling into the Kingdom and “converted” to Islam so they could enter Mecca. However, when the king found out that Saudi clerics, members of the learned ulema, had endorsed this holy war against him and his royal house, the king made a deal with the jihadist clerics. In exchange for Saudi Arabia being kept free from jihadist ideologically internally, his regime would support the export and dissemination of Jihadism outside of Saudi Arabia, to non-Muslim lands. For chapter and verse see the excellent book The Siege of Mecca. As a result, for several decades, the Saudi government facilitated the growth internationally of jihadist ideology, be it through Arab Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, or the Balkans, or elsewhere, until the First Gulf War. When the then-king invited “infidel” US troops to station themselves on the Arabian peninsula, Osama bin Laden added the House of Saud onto his target list, despite being born a Saudi Arabian and his father being very close to the royal family. For bin Laden, the House of Saud had become false Muslims, just as in the eyes of the original Meccan raiders on 1979. This has all been well-documented, most especially in Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Looming Tower. When we sent troops to the land of Mecca and Medina, Al Qaeda reinvented itself as an organization that would not only kill infidels, but also apostate or “false” Muslims, including a campaign after 9/11 that targeted the Saudi security services and government officials.

In recent years, especially with the rise of The Islamic State, Saudi Arabia has fundamentally reassessed its attitude to the Global Jihadist Movement. That does not mean, of course, that all its princes or government officials are whole-heartedly on the side of America and her allies, but it does mean that events such as the recent immolation of the Jordanian pilot Muadh al Kasasbeh have a much greater significance for the Islamic governments of the region.

Sebastian Gorka PhD. is the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University. You can follow him of Twitter at @SebGorka.

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.

Allah in our schools

sysliderimagee1377122791697vi1-viAmerican Thinker, By Carol Brown, Dec. 28, 2014:

Jihad, in its many guises and forms, is being waged across America. No aspect of our society has been untouched by this relentless attack. Including our schools.

Our education system has been infiltrated by the enemy, as the next generation of Americans is brainwashed with white-washed Islam.

The assault is coming from all directions and it never sleeps.

Muslim Brotherhood front groups have been, and continue to be, integrally involved in the development of Common Core curriculum. They make sure a false picture of Islam is integrated into lessons, from K – 12. Our children are exposed to all manner of “educational” activities that amount to Islamic propaganda, which is now endemic in the school system.

In addition to Muslim Brotherhood front groups, Saudi Arabia exerts outside influence on school curricula. The Saudis spread a lot of money around, giving it to organizations that promote Islam throughout our institutions. Schools receive a hefty sum of brand name sickness called Wahhabism. As Stanley Kurtz wrote in NRO several years ago: “…the Saudis have figured out how to make an end-run around America’s K-12 curriculum safeguards, thereby gaining control over much of what children in the United States learn about the Middle East.” (To learn more about how the Saudi’s achieved this, see here and here.)

Then there are garden variety Muslims bent on advancing Sharia law in our schools who also wield enormous power. Take, for instance, Fethullah Gulen. Gulen is a Muslim committed to the advancement of the Islamic state. He has called for the destruction of the United States and all infidels. And he has set up a network of publically-funded charter schools.

Factor in political leadership that is clueless (at best) or willfully collaborating with the enemy (at worst) along with an electorate that has been marinating in politically-correct-multicultural-moral-equivalence “thinking,” and you’ve got a powerful force mangling the minds of our youth.

I wish I could call what is going on a battle. Or a war. But I can’t. Because thus far America has hardly put up a fight. And so, Islam advances. Marching through the halls of our schools.

To get a taste of what’s going on, please take the abbreviated tour below. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). The following all have taken place at one or more schools:

  • Students are taught the five pillars of Islam.
  • Students recite “all people must submit to Allah,” “there is no God but Allah,” and “Allah is great,” among other Muslim prayers. Sometimes students recite these words in Arabic. Students also recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic, saying: “One nation under Allah.”
  • Lesson plans promote Sharia law, polygamy, and burqas.
  • Classes unrelated to history or religion often morph into Islamic propaganda.
  • A Saudi-funded 3-week program on Islam has students living as Muslims, during which time, among other things, they recite Muslim prayers and chants and are prohibited from wearing a cross or saying the name “Jesus.”
  • Students are taught that Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews.
  • Students must write about how, if they were a travel agent, they would create a travel package promoting the Golden Age of Islam.
  • Textbooks include the Muslim call to prayer, whitewash Islam, denigrate Christians and Jews, and describe Muhammad as a wise spiritual leader; a gentle merchant with a strong moral compass; and a man who was deeply concerned about the mistreatment of others.
  • Student field trips bring them to mosques where students are given Korans, kneel down and pray to Allah, and are told that Muslims treat those they conquer better than minorities are treated in the United States. One field trip was to the mosque the Tsarnaev brothers attended, where non-Muslim boys joined adult males in prayer and girls were told Islam is pro-woman (among other egregious things).
  • A curriculum used a video that framed non-Muslims as bigots and enforced blasphemy laws.
  • Lessons teach more about Islam than any other faith.
  • Students must write essays about what it would be like to travel to Mecca.
  • Fill-in-the-blank assignments include answers that read: “Islam, at heart, is a peaceful religion” and “Most Muslims faith is stronger than the average Christian,” among other lies.
  • Korans are introduced into the classroom.
  • Muslim clerics, members of CAIR, and representatives from Islamic centers come into classrooms to observe and/or lecture.
  • Female students wear burqas as part of a lesson on Islam.
  • Lessons teach that terrorists must be called freedom fighters.
  • Students are required to study Arabic.
  • A teacher is forced to resign after making critical statements about Obama and Islam on a talk radio program. CAIR accuses a teacher of being a “racist” because she drew an analogy between the Taliban and Hamas during lessons on bullying. Christian teachers are harassed by Muslims in the school hierarchy.
  • Muslim students are given special privileges that students of other faiths are not afforded, including several times during the school day when they are allowed to leave the classroom to pray.
  • Muslim holidays are added to school calendars.

The list above is by no means exhaustive, but you get the idea. Needless to say, everything that is being taught is the taqiyya version. Would that it were the truth, we could take heart that our children were learning about an enemy intent on cutting their lives short. Instead, brainwashing is taking place that will help the enemy advance with even less resistance than it currently faces. (And it faces precious little.)

In many situations parents were kept in the dark about the Islamic propaganda being peddled in their children’s schools and only learned about it after seeing something on their child’s homework assignment.

In some cases, after parents found out about what was being taught, they challenged the school and/or pulled their children out of school. Some have pursued legal action and there have been some victories because parents became informed, took action, and fought back.

On the flip side, many parents appear unaware, unconcerned, or even supportive of this dangerous assault – otherwise known as “soft jihad” – against the minds of our young people. In addition, in many cases power brokers in the school system have stood behind the twisted ways Islam is impacting the education of our youth.

Moral equivalence, ignorance, and dhimmitude have taken hold.

So how are we dealing with this avalanche of jihad reigning down on our children?

Poorly.

In dribs and drabs. Here and there. With a barely perceptible, momentary flicker of light. And then it goes out. While the forces we are up against are organized and gaining ground by the day.

Here’s an example of the kind of slick organization that is operating to advance Sharia. It’s called the Islam Project. Their mission statement is filled with buzzwords so many Americans have come to embrace. It’s Exhibit A for taqiyya-in-action and is an example of the first stage of the 3 stages of jihad:

The PBS films Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet and Muslims are the keystones of the Islam Project, which also includes a national community engagement campaign to raise public awareness, build community bridges, support dialogue, offer educational resources, and explore workplace issues as they relate to Muslims.

The Islam Project is partnering with interfaith and other community-based organizations to focus attention on issues facing Muslims in America and throughout the world. The campaign includes a range of tools — both video and print — for use by community organizations, educators, civil rights leaders, policymakers, journalists, employers, and those in the general public who want to learn more about Muslims and Islam.

Communities in ten cities — Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Wichita, Kansas — have launched campaigns based on the tools of the Islam Project….

The Cliff Notes for the above would be: If you believe any of what you just read, you’re an idiot. Our goal is submission and we will achieve this goal by any and all means. Useful idiots welcome. Until you’re no longer needed.

An army is on the march. Where is our army to beat back this beast?

We cannot afford to lose one more child – and certainly not another generation – to the deadly influence of Islam in our schools.

Speak out. Get involved. You don’t have to start from scratch. You can, for example, join ACT! for America, a large organization dedicated to national security and battling Islamic supremacism. ACA has 280,000 members and nearly 900 chapters across the country. Become a member and help our army swell to millions.

Additional ideas for taking action can be found here (action items at end of article).

To read more about how Islam is taking hold in our schools, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. To read about a 2008 study by the American Textbook Council called Islam in the Classroom, see here.

Hat tip: While I used multiple sources for my research, I’d like to express a special word of acknowledgement to the website Bare Naked Islam which was an extraordinary resource.

Audio: Clare Lopez analysis of the Islamic State

Published on Oct 9, 2014 by The Final Say Radio Show

Clare Lopez, Vice President for Research & Analysis with the Center for Security Policy, joins the show to discuss ISIS and other security threats.

THE REAL FRONT IN THE WAR AGAINST ISIS

ISIL-Militant-TriumphantBreitbart, By Katie Gorka:

As the war with ISIS heats up, so too does the debate over what it will take to win.  Immediately following Obama’s announcement of air strikes against ISIS, the debate centered on whether air power was enough or whether the United States also needed to commit boots on the ground.

However, in recent days the focus has shifted to the war of ideas.  The now infamous verbal brawl between Ben Affleck and Sam Harris on the Bill Maher show is just one sign that more and more people are identifying the ideology of jihad as the main front in this war.

General Jonathan Shaw, former Assistant Chief of the UK Defence Staff, said in a recent interview with The Telegraph that the war against ISIS will not be won militarily.  This battle must be fought ideologically and politically.  He said the heart of the problem is Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s funding of militant Salafism.  Saudi Arabia has long funded radical mosques and Islamic cultural centers across the globe, and Qatar supports Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, considered the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Al Jazeera, the pro-Muslim Brotherhood news outlet.  But these efforts have now backfired.  According to General Shaw: “This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education, Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really.  And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money and that must stop.  And the question then is ‘does bombing people over there really tackle that?’ I don’t think so. I’d far rather see a much stronger handle on the ideological battle than the physical battle.”

Even President Obama, who spends much of his energy insisting that Islam is a religion of peace and that ISIS has nothing to do with real Islam, acknowledged that ideology might have some role here. In his September 24 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, he said, “It is time for the world — especially Muslim communities — to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al Qaeda and ISIL.”  But as Bill Gertz points out in a recent article, in fact the Obama administration is not engaging in the ideological war. They simply refuse to engage the Islamists on the battlefield of ideas.  Gertz quotes Quintan Wiktorowicz, an architect of U.S. counter-extremism strategy, who blames this failure on Constitutional constraints:

While the government has tried to counter terrorist propaganda, it cannot directly address the warped religious interpretations of groups like ISIL because of the constitutional separation of church and state…U.S. officials are prohibited from engaging in debates about Islam, and as a result will need to rely on partners in the Muslim world for this part of the ideological struggle.

But this is disingenuous.  Wiktorowicz is on record in numerous places asserting the need for the United States to tread softly with Salafists in order to avoid pushing them toward violence, even while he acknowledges that in the long run they do endorse violent jihad.

President Obama himself has repeatedly engaged in discussions about Islam, stating, for example, as he did on September 10th when he announced his plan to fight the Islamic State, “ISIL is not Islamic.”  John Kerry has likewise entered the fray, insisting that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, an assertion that has formed the basis of U.S. counter-terrorism policy and training under the Obama administration.  So to say that U.S. leaders cannot talk about Islam is simply untrue.  It is how they talk about that it is the problem.  The bottom line is that they do not see the fundamental clash between Islamism and the principles of the American founding, and as a result, they are fighting this as a purely tactical war.

As Robert Reilly, former director of the Voice of America, has written, “In fact, the U.S. side has failed to show up for the war of ideas. Strategic communication or public diplomacy, the purpose of which is to win such wars, is the single weakest area of U.S. government performance since 9/11.”

Refusing to engage in the war of ideas, whatever the reason may be, is a disservice both to Americans and to the world’s Muslims.  It is a disservice to Americans because unless the United States engages in the ideological war against ISIS, the battlefield will simply keep repopulating itself.  For every fallen jihadist, there will be ten ready to take his place, another hundred willing to fund and support them, and another thousand to silently cheer them on.  So it is not Al Qaeda or even ISIS who are the real enemies, but the ideology that inspires them, and it is this ideology that the United States must oppose, among both its violent as well as its non-violent adherents.

Obama and many others have said this is not our debate, the Muslim world must work this out for itself.  But this is not true.  The ideas of the American founding are as relevant for the Muslim world as they are to the West.  America’s forebears learned over centuries that when religion is allowed to drive politics, it leads to tyranny, oppression and endless conflict.  This is no less true for the Muslim world.  As Ahmad Mustafa writes in today’sGulf News, “Whether we like it or not, we all helped in the rise of this terrorism by manipulating religion. And here comes the simple conclusion: Religion in politics leads only to ills.”  He goes on to say, “The fight for Islam will not be won unless the current alliance partners, and the rest of regional and international powers, come to an agreement on freeing politics from religion.”

As the war of ideas heats up, the good news is that Americans are throwing off the strictures against talking about Islam.  People like Ben Affleck and Bill Maher and Sam Harris are engaging in substantive debate about the nature of Islam and what is at stake. The bad news is that our own leaders so far are not exercising – or permitting – the same freedom.  And until they do, the ideas driving our enemies will continue to thrive.

Katie Gorka is president of the Council on Global Security.  Follow her on twitter @katharinegorka.

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.

The Islamic State . . . of Saudi Arabia

pic_giant_092014_SM_John-Kerry-King-AbdullahNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, Sep. 20.2014:

The beheadings over the last several weeks were intended to terrorize, to intimidate, to coerce obedience, and to enforce a construction of sharia law that, being scripturally rooted, is draconian and repressive.

And let’s not kid ourselves: We know there will be more beheadings in the coming weeks, and on into the future. Apostates from Islam, homosexuals, and perceived blasphemers will face brutal persecution and death. Women will be treated as chattel and face institutionalized abuse. Islamic-supremacist ideology, with its incitements to jihad and conquest, with its virulent hostility toward the West, will spew from the mosques onto the streets. We will continue to be confronted by a country-sized breeding ground for anti-American terrorists.

The Islamic State? Sorry, no. I was talking about . . .  our “moderate Islamist” ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

But the confusion is understandable.

Islamic State terrorists have infamously decapitated three of their prisoners in recent weeks. That is five fewer than the Saudi government decapitated in August alone. Indeed, it is three fewer beheadings than were carried out in September by the Free Syrian Army — the “moderate Islamists” that congressional Republicans have now joined Obama Democrats in supporting with arms and training underwritten by American taxpayer dollars.

The Obama administration regards the Saudi government as America’s key partner in the fight against Islamic State jihadists. The increasingly delusional Secretary of State John Kerry reasons that this is because the fight is more ideological than military. Get it? The world’s leading propagators of the ideology that breeds violent jihad are our best asset in an ideological struggle against violent jihadists.

Aloof as ever from irony, Mr. Kerry gave this assessment while visiting King Abdullah in Riyadh on, of all days, September 11 — the thirteenth anniversary of the day when 15 Saudis joined four other terrorists in mass-murdering nearly 3,000 Americans in furtherance of the Islamic-supremacist ideology on which they were reared. The 19 were, of course, members of al-Qaeda, the jihadist network sprung from Saudi Arabia and its fundamentalist “Wahhabi” Islam.

Secretary Kerry and President Obama, like British prime minister David Cameron, insist that the Islamic State, an al-Qaeda-launched jihadist faction, is not Islamic. Evidently, this is owing to the terrorists’ savage tactics. In essence, however, they are the same tactics practiced by our “moderate Islamist” allies.

Saudi Arabia is the cradle of Islam: the birthplace of Mohammed, the site of the Hijra by which Islam marks time — the migration from Mecca to Medina under siege by Mohammed and his followers. The Saudi king is formally known as the “Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques” (in Mecca and Medina); he is the guardian host of theHaj pilgrimage that Islam makes mandatory for able-bodied believers. The despotic Saudi kingdom is governed by Islamic law — sharia. No other law is deemed necessary and no contrary law is permissible.

It is thus under the authority of sharia that the Saudis routinely behead prisoners.

I happen to own the edition of the Koran “with English Translation of ‘The Meanings and Commentary,’” published at the “King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex” — Fahd was Abdullah’s brother and predecessor. As the introductory pages explain, this version is produced under the auspices of the regime’s “Ministry of Hajj and Endowments.” In its sura (or chapter) 47, Allah commands Muslims, “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks.”

The accompanying English commentary helpfully explains:

When once the fight (Jihad) is entered upon, carry it out with the utmost vigor, and strike home your blows at the most vital points (smite at their necks), both literally and figuratively. You cannot wage war with kid gloves. [Italicized parentheticals in original.]

Sura 8 underscores the point with another of Allah’s exhortations: “I am with you: Give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: Smite ye above their necks and smite ye all their fingertips off them.”

Following the 9/11 attacks, Americans Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg were among prisoners notoriously decapitated by al-Qaeda. Reacting to their beheadings, Timothy Furnish, a U.S. Army veteran with a doctorate in Islamic history, wrote a comprehensive Middle East Quarterly essay on “Beheading in the Name of Islam.” As Dr. Furnish recounted,

The practice of beheading non-Muslim captives extends back to the Prophet himself. Ibn Ishaq (d. 768 C.E.), the earliest biographer of Muhammad, is recorded as saying that the Prophet ordered the execution by decapitation of 700 men of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe in Medina for allegedly plotting against him.

As is always the case, the prophet’s example has been emulated by Muslims through the centuries. When Muslims conquered central Spain in the eleventh century, for example, the caliph had 24,000 corpses beheaded; the remains were piled into makeshift minarets atop which muezzins sang the praises of Allah. In more modern times, Furnish adds, “The Ottoman Empire was the decapitation state par excellence” — employing the practice to terrorize enemies for centuries, including, to take just one of many examples, beheading hundreds of British soldiers captured in Egypt in 1807.

A pity Sheikh Cameron was not around back then to correct the caliphate’s understanding of Islam.

The Saudis behead prisoners for such “offenses” as apostasy. You see, our “moderate Islamist” allies brook no dissent and permit no freedom of conscience. In this, the world’s most identifiably Islamic regime is no different from its Shiite counterpart (and regional competitor) in Tehran — to which President Obama respectfully refers by its preferred name, “the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Sharia is the law there, too. While the regime is said to have repealed the punishment of decapitation, it still prescribes stoning, flogging, and amputation for various violations, such as adultery and petty theft.

Such cruel — but not at all unusual — punishments are designed to enforce a societal system that, as I’ve previously outlined, degrades and dehumanizes women, while subjecting apostates and homosexuals to death and non-Muslims to systematic discrimination.

As night follows day, young Muslims schooled in the ideology promoted in Saudi Arabia gravitate to jihadist networks such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. As recited in Reliance of the Traveller, an authoritative sharia manual endorsed by scholars at the ancient al-Azhar University in Egypt and the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Saudi Arabia, “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” They are simply acting on what “moderate Islamists” have been teaching them.

And now Republicans in Congress have joined Democrats to support President Obama’s hare-brained scheme to train 5,000 “moderate” Syrian rebels. As every sentient person knows, a force of that size will have no chance of defeating the Islamic State or al-Qaeda — even if we charitably assume that many in its ranks do not defect to those organizations, as they have been wont to do. The rebels will similarly have no chance against the Iran-backed Assad regime. In sum, our government, nearly $18 trillion in debt, will expend another $500 million to school 5,000 “moderate Islamists” in military tactics that cannot win the war in Syria but could eventually be used in the jihad against the United States. Welcome to Libya . . . the Sequel.

Oh, and did I mention that the training of these “moderate” rebels will take place in “moderate” Saudi Arabia?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Also see:

Middle East Time Bomb: The Real Aim of ISIS Is to Replace the Saud Family as the New Emirs of Arabia

King AbdulladThis article is Part II of Alastair Crooke’s historical analysis of the roots of ISIS and its impact on the future of the Middle East.

BEIRUT — ISIS is indeed a veritable time bomb inserted into the heart of the Middle East. But its destructive power is not as commonly understood. It is not with the “March of the Beheaders”; it is not with the killings; the seizure of towns and villages; the harshest of “justice” — terrible though they are — that its true explosive power lies. It is yet more potent than its exponential pull on young Muslims, its huge arsenal of weapons and its hundreds of millions of dollars.

Its real potential for destruction lies elsewhere — in the implosion of Saudi Arabia as a foundation stone of the modern Middle East. We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.

The clue to its truly explosive potential, as Saudi scholar Fouad Ibrahim has pointed out (but which has passed, almost wholly overlooked, or its significance has gone unnoticed), is ISIS’ deliberate and intentional use in its doctrine — of the language of Abd-al Wahhab, the 18th century founder, together with Ibn Saud, of Wahhabism and the Saudi project:

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the first “prince of the faithful” in the Islamic State of Iraq, in 2006 formulated, for instance, the principles of his prospective state … Among its goals is disseminating monotheism “which is the purpose [for which humans were created] and [for which purpose they must be called] to Islam…” This language replicates exactly Abd-al Wahhab’s formulation. And, not surprisingly, the latter’s writings and Wahhabi commentaries on his works are widely distributed in the areas under ISIS’ control and are made the subject of study sessions. Baghdadi subsequently was to note approvingly, “a generation of young men [have been] trained based on the forgotten doctrine of loyalty and disavowal.”

And what is this “forgotten” tradition of “loyalty and disavowal?” It is Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine that belief in a sole (for him an anthropomorphic) God — who was alone worthy of worship — was in itself insufficient to render man or woman a Muslim?

He or she could be no true believer, unless additionally, he or she actively denied (and destroyed) any other subject of worship. The list of such potential subjects of idolatrous worship, which al-Wahhab condemned as idolatry, was so extensive that almost all Muslims were at risk of falling under his definition of “unbelievers.” They therefore faced a choice: Either they convert to al-Wahhab’s vision of Islam — or be killed, and their wives, their children and physical property taken as the spoils of jihad. Even to express doubts about this doctrine, al-Wahhab said, should occasion execution.

The point Fuad Ibrahim is making, I believe, is not merely to reemphasize the extreme reductionism of al-Wahhab’s vision, but to hint at something entirely different: That through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.

For it was precisely this idealistic, puritan, proselytizing formulation by al-Wahhab that was “father” to the entire Saudi “project” (one that was violently suppressed by the Ottomans in 1818, but spectacularly resurrected in the 1920s, to become the Saudi Kingdom that we know today). But since its renaissance in the 1920s, the Saudi project has always carried within it, the “gene” of its own self-destruction.

Read more at Huffington Post

Also see Part I:

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