Wahabism: Saudi Arabia’s wicked pseudo-Islamic dogma
by Edward Morgan
Wahhabism in Islam and Zionism in Judaism may seem like unrelated entities on the surface. But they are not.
Both of these malevolent doctrines could be seen as largely responsible for much of the misfortune in the Middle East today, a situation which by the way doesn’t just affect the Middle East, but as we’ve been witnessing since 9/11/2001 and, at an accelerated rate, since 2011, affecting the US, Europe, Eurasia, and quite probably the entire world!
These two religious/ political philosophies are responsible for decades of violence, war, suffering, and manipulation. They can be demonstrated to be the flip-sides of the same coin. They can both be traced back to the same approximate era – roughly 100 years ago, during the events of World War I.
Wahhabism, like Zionism, isn’t some centuries old, time-honored religious sect, but a relatively new politically expedient but barbaric ideology.
The modern roots of Wahhabism can be traced to Najd (the geographical central region of today’s Saudi Arabia) and the 18th century preacher Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab (1703-1792) who claimed to “purify” Islam by returning it to what, he believed, were the original principles of that religion. Far from being regarded a legitimate interpretation of Islam, Al-Wahhab was opposed even by his own father and brother for his fundamentalist, fanatical beliefs. But the movement gained unchallenged precedence in most of the Arabian Peninsula through an alliance between Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab and the House of Muhammad Ibn Saud, which provided political and financial power for Al-Wahhab’s ideologies to gain prominence.
Eventually, this alliance gave birth to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Following the collapse of the Turkish Ottoman Empire after World War I, the Sauds seized control of the Hijaz and the Arabian Peninsula and a nation was founded on the fanatical tenets of Al-Wahhab – the state-sponsored, dominant form of Islam in the birthplace of Islam.
My initial interest in this area of Arab history admittedly began 20 years ago via David Lean’s epic movie, Lawrence of Arabia, starring Peter O’Toole. Through a love of that 1963 film, I first read T.E Lawrence’s book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and then read several books concerning the exploits of T.E Lawrence and the Arab Revolt during World War I, as well as the Sykes-Picot Agreement (referenced by today’s ISIS in their “manifesto”) and the actions of the British and French colonial governments in regards to the post WWI Middle East.
The setting up of the House of Saud as the “royal family” and the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia occurred despite the fact that agreements had been made during the war to endorse and support not the Saudis but the Hashemites. It was the Hashemite Arabs, not the Saudis, who had launched the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks and had been the most involved in the campaign. Yet it was the fanatical [and some argue heretical] Wahhabi-inspired Saudi faction that gained the real power from the post-war situation.
The reason I reference this history is to point out that the Wahhabi-inspired Saudi Kingdom wasn’t the sole – or even the legitimate – claimant to that immensely privileged, immensely powerful position in the region. In fact, it was usurped just like the way Zionists usurped their way in, in Palestine.
And what has been the legacy of this Wahhabi-inspired Saudi Arabia and its influence? Well, the influence on Arabia itself and much of the surrounding region is incontrovertible, aside from the fact that the Wahhabi doctrines have been a major influence on extremism, Jihadism, and terrorism down to today’s ISIS – the very embodiment of Wahhabism outside the Arabian Peninsula. Osama bin Laden himself was a Wahhabi. Almost all Jihadi extremists, including other Takfiri groups (such as the Salafists), follow an essentially Wahhabi ideology.
A “takfiri”, by the way, is a Sunni Muslim who accuses another Muslim (or an adherent of another Abrahamic faith) of apostasy. The accusation itself is called “takfir” (in Arabic), derived from the word “kafir”, meaning unbeliever in Arabic, and is described as when “one who is, or claims to be, a Muslim is declared impure.”
At any rate, this wicked pseudo-Islamic dogma has been methodically disseminated across the Islamic world for decades, vis-à-vis Saudi sovereign funds, financing “education” and fanatical religious literature to universities and mosques everywhere from Egypt and Iraq to Pakistan and Indonesia.
What’s worse, this Saudi-funded dissemination of Wahhabi-inspired propaganda has for a long time been spreading beyond Middle East and into Western societies, especially the Muslim communities in the UK, France, and the Netherlands, among others.
A recent two-year study conducted by Dr. Denis MacEoin, an Islamic Studies Professor at the University of Fez, uncovered a hoard of malignant literature in as many as a quarter of Britain’s mosques.
All of it had been published and distributed by agencies linked to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The leaflets, DVDs, websites, and journals are full of archaic and extremist statements such as homosexuals should be burnt, stoned or thrown from mountains or tall buildings, along with adulterers and apostates (those who try to change their religion) proscribed a similar fate. Women are portrayed as intellectually inferior and in need of “beating when they transgressed”, while children over the age of 10 should be beaten if they did not pray. Half of the literature is written in English, suggesting it is targeted at British Muslim youth who don’t necessarily speak Arabic or Urdu. The material, openly available in many of the mosques, eagerly advises the British Muslims to segregate themselves from non-Muslims who are seen as inferior.
This isn’t new information, of course. Investigative journalists have uncovered similar materials on numerous occasions, while people who have actually grown up within the aforementioned Muslim communities have been aware of such ideas and literature for a long time.
Saudi-funded Wahhabi literature can be cited as a major influence (though not the sole influence) on the indoctrination of young British men alienated from mainstream society and for the seduction of young men into extremist organizations like Al-Qaeda and ISIS/ Daesh the world over. Worse, in places like Pakistan where unlike the UK most young men aren’t privileged with access to a high standard of education or to reliable sources of public information, but instead have plenty of access to religious schools (madrasa) and mosques, many of which teach from this fanatical Saudi-funded curriculum.
This is in fact a key point: The Saudi-funded literature have traditionally targeted poorer areas in the Muslim world, such as the poorest parts of countries like Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Indonesia, etc., where there are limited resources and virtually no formal educational infrastructure. In those cases, Saudi wealth is able to pay for the building or upkeep of schools or mosques – but on the condition that only their Wahhabi-centered, backward-minded interpretation of Islam be taught and distributed.
As a result of this process taking place over many years, thousands of impressionable young men have grown up on this extremist interpretation of Islam, because in essence it is being forced upon them while they lack access to more sophisticated education or information. Essentially, they just don’t know any better.
Interestingly, it was traditionally less common [even suppressed] for this sort of Wahhabi-centered indoctrination to take place in more developed or sophisticated Arab countries such as pre-war Libya, pre-war Syria, the Wahhabi sections of Lebanon, or pre-war Iraq. This is partly due to the strong, secular, and independent nature of those societies which – at the state level, at least – were more invested in a sense of national pride and cultural identity than they were in religious fundamentalism. Indeed, in places like Syria and Libya, the state was engaged in a long campaign to suppress religious extremism of any sort.
That, however, changed dramatically ever since the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the NATO conspiracy in Libya, and the bloody war that has been imposed on Syria since 2011. Consequently, all these countries are now infested with all manners of barbaric religious extremisms.
The so-called “Islamic State”, aka ISIS or ISIL or Daesh that has been injected into Syria and Iraq is essentially a movement that has 100% ideologically flowed from the Wahhabi doctrine of Saudi Arabia. ISIS is essence is Saudi Arabia without an embassy!
That connection is further exacerbated by the fact that Saudi and Qatari arms and funding are largely behind these Wahhabi and Salafist savages, with the wars in both Syria and Libya largely bankrolled by the Saudis and Qataris and the emergence of ISIS largely being a consequence of that. It has been reported, for example, that Wahhabi preachers from Saudi Arabia are frequently in Aleppo, Syria, preaching to the armed savage Jihadists to carry out a “holy war” against the Syrian state at all cost.
Yet, while the likes of Afghanistan and Iraq were subject to invasion (and the latter to deliberate near total destabilization), and the overthrow of the governments of Syria and Libya (two countries that had little, if any, influence on the growth of global Jihadism) were openly encouraged and aided by the major Western governments and Saudi Arabia – no doubt partly due to its wealth and value to Washington and her allies – have never at any point been subject to any threat or been held to international scrutiny over the cynical and methodical dissemination of extremist doctrines across the Muslim world.
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