Friday, October 02, 2015

The Trajectory of Violent Political Islam

"Nothing has been more corrosive to the stability and modernization of the Arab world, and the Muslim world at large, than the billions and billions of dollars the Saudis have invested since the 1970s into wiping out the pluralism of Islam -- the Sufi, moderate Sunni and Shiite versions -- and imposing in its place the puritanical, anti-modern, anti-women, anti-Western, anti-pluralistic Wahhabi Salafist brand of Islam promoted by the Saudi religious establishment."
Thomas Friedman, American journalist, The New York Times

"Wahhabism has been a devastating invasive species in Islam's enormous ecosystem -- it's the zebra mussel, the Asian Tiger mosquito, and the emerald ash borer wrapped into one. The consequences have been fateful: A solid line of causation from the slaughter in Islamic State-controlled Iraq and the tragedy of 9/11 traces back directly to Saudi evangelization and the many radical mosques and extremist NGOs it spawned."
Daniel Benjamin, Brookings Institution
A photograph of the Kaaba (center of photo) in the city of Mecca circa 1887

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's entree into the sphere of those whom the United States considers 'friends' was its oil wealth, which has protected the country from anyone wishing to look too closely at its affairs as an exporter not only of oil on the world stage, but violent Islamism as well. Saudi investment abroad in the building of mosques and Islamic social centres has permitted it to also export its brand of pure Islam into the consciousness of impressionable Muslims the world over.

Through the medium of madrassas, schools of Islamic teaching where the Koranic principles dating back to the Prophet Mohammad are taught in Arabic, and infused into the very psyche of those exposed to its teaching Islamism and its core, jihad, has expanded exponentially. The Kingdom's type of Islam, is hard-core and hostile to any other religions or other expressions of Islam itself. In Saudi Arabia, state punishment is as harsh and unforgiving as it was in the Medieval era.

"Insulting" Islam or the Prophet can result in a death sentence, and death delivery as a state enterprise in the Kingdom is not for the squeamish including crucifixion, beheading, hanging. The Old Testament virtues of an "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth", exemplifies Islamist justice. Where clan and tribe vendettas can consume generations and where freedom from dire vengeance meted out as per the Koran can sometimes be bought through blood money.

Saudi money still supports al-Qaeda and other Sunni-dominated terrorist groups; at one time the Muslim Brotherhood found a warm and inviting home in the Kingdom, since the type of Islam both espoused fairly well coincided. It is no accident that all of the 9/11 suicide-jihadists were Saudis, nor was it accidental that while America reeled under the shock of the attacks, the administration spirited back to the Kingdom through a secret flight members of the Obama clan who happened to be in the U.S. at the time.

And now, fourteen years later, the families of the nearly three thousand victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks were shocked to hear that a judge claiming lawyers working on their behalf failed to demonstrate evidence sufficient to persuade him to link the country to the attacks, causing him to dismiss the inclusion of Saudi Arabia in their lawsuits as a defendant. Saudi Arabia's sovereign immunity from being sued was upheld.

It is an exclusionary country, one which will not permit any vestiges of another religion to be seen within its borders. Nor, with all its riches, has it beneficently agreed to take in any Syrian refugees as a fellow Islamic country, practising the compassion that the Koran is said to impress upon its followers. That Germany has agreed to accept a staggering number of Syrian refugees has impressed the Kingdom to the degree that it offered to fund two hundred more mosques in Germany.

If the millions of Muslims in Germany are not sufficiently engrained with Islamism, Saudi Arabia is prepared to ensure that their Wahabbist brand will furnish the grounding they need to impress them with the fundamental requirements of jihad. That the United States continues to support Saudi Arabia and its oil interests is one thing. That Canada too, with its own emphasis on upholding human rights has refrained from criticizing Saudi Arabia is inexplicable.

But of course there are pecuniary interests at play here. Canada has recently signed an agreement with the Kingdom for the sale of advanced weaponry. The armoured tanks that Saudi Arabia will receive will perhaps help in their ongoing conflict in Yemen, a poverty-stricken country where Iran, Saudi Arabia's arch enemy is arming the Shiite Houthi rebels in a proxy war that is victimizing ordinary Yemenites.

Just as the proxy war involving Iran-Syria-Lebanon/Hezbollah-Iraq and now Russia, is playing out in Syria, with Saudi Arabia-Turkey-Qatar countering with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as their Sunni choice to unseat Syria's Alawite-minority president who has been busily butchering his civilian Sunni population.

The Obama administration is playing both ends against the middle; negotiating with Iran over its nuclear-weapons program to manoeuvre the international community into accepting that the unsigned 'deal' with Iran's nuclear aspirations will keep it from attaining the nuclear weapons it so much yearns for to augment its weapons delivery system to cap its advanced ballistic missiles.

The hell-hole of the Middle East is self-immolating and creating a nightmare of exodus and expectations of worse to come. And it began with Saudi Arabia's exports; the oil that furnished the lucre enabling the spread of Wahabbism, providing Iranian Shiite Ayatollahs with the impetus to themselves create their own brand of terrorism; the two colliding in an expression of Islam run amok.

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