Saudi Arabia: Women beheaded in street, corpses dangling from cranes

Source

A SHOCKING new documentary reveals the reality of life in Saudi Arabia, and how disturbingly similar its punishments are to IS. Confronting content.

A SHOCKING new documentary will reveal the horrors of daily life inside Saudi Arabia.

Titled Saudi Arabia Uncovered, the ITV film aims to expose the brutal punishments dished out to those deemed to have broken the country’s strict Islamic laws.

At one point a woman accused of killing her stepdaughter is heard screaming “I didn’t do it” before she is beheaded in the street. Another clip shows five corpses strung up from a crane, The Sun reported.

As well as showing the barbaric reality of life inside Saudi Arabia, the film also questions Britain’s close relationship with the hard line Islamic state.

It comes as capital punishment in the country hit a new high, with public executions taking place at a shocking average rate of one person per day.

In one clip a woman is seen screaming for mercy as she is pinned down by police officers who eventually use a large sword to cut off her head.

Bodies are left hanging from a crane as a reminder to people to do no wrong. Picture: ITV

Bodies are left hanging from a crane as a reminder to people to do no wrong. Picture: ITV

So frequent are the brutal executions that one large public space in central Riyadh is nicknamed ‘Chop Chop Square’ due to the sheer number of state-sanctioned killings there.

Drains in the square are stained red due to the amount of amount of blood spilt there.

The documentary was filmed using secret cameras over a six-month period and reveals a chaotic prison system, abject poverty on the streets and an incredibly strict religious police force.

It also reveals the shocking treatment of burqa-clad women, who are very much second class citizens.

In one shocking scene an unprovoked man is secretly filmed shoving a woman to the floor in a supermarket.

Saudi Arabia Uncovered, produced by Hardcash Productions, airs on British TV screens tomorrow night.

A woman is pushed and beaten in a supermarket. Picture: ITV

A woman is pushed and beaten in a supermarket. Picture: ITVSource:Supplied

COMPARISONS TO ISLAMIC STATE:

Women beheaded in the street and corpses dangling from cranes shows how Saudi Arabia is just as bad as Islamic State when it comes to dealing out brutal punishments.

Last year, IS released a penal code which listed crimes punishable by methods including amputation, stoning and crucifixion.

The code, titled ‘Clarification [regarding] the hudud (a set of fixed punishments)’, was published as a reminder and warning to those living under IS rule in Syria and Iraq.

It stipulated the need for Muslims to adhere to tough Sharia codes of conduct but also warned ‘crimes’ such as homosexuality will result in the death penalty.

Interestingly, Middle East Eye compared the punishment methods of Saudi Arabia and IS and found they were pretty much identical.

However, while human rights groups have been outspoken about Saudi’s treatment of its citizens, and in particular its women, Western governments have not been as vocal.

On the other hand, the atrocities of Islamic State have been widely condemned.

 

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Saudi Arabia Rejects Human-Rights Criticism, Then Crucifies Someone

Krishnadev Calamur

Even as it excoriated Canada for scolding it over human rights, Saudi Arabia beheaded a man Wednesday in Mecca, then put his body on public display, for allegedly stabbing a woman to death. The method of punishment is known in Saudi Arabia as a crucifixion, which the government says is sanctioned by Islamic law, and is reserved for only the most severe crimes in the kingdom.

The suspect in this case was a man from Myanmar who was accused of breaking into the home of a Burmese woman and repeatedly stabbing her until she died, according to Bloomberg. He was also charged with weapons theft, the attempted murder of another man, and the attempted rape of another woman. King Salman endorsed the execution. The crucifixion practice is a gruesome one and is employed sparingly; most capital crimes in Saudi Arabia are punished through beheadings alone.

But as recently as 2013, Amnesty International reported that Saudi authorities executed and crucified five Yemenis in the city of Jizan after they were found guilty of armed robbery and the murder of a Saudi man.

“Pictures emerged on social media appearing to show five decapitated bodies hanging from a horizontal pole with their heads wrapped in bags,” Amnesty International said in a statement at the time. “In Saudi Arabia, the practice of ‘crucifixion’ refers to the court-ordered public display of the body after execution, along with the separated head if beheaded. It takes place in a public square to allegedly act as a deterrent.”

Saudi Arabia, which became a country in the 1930s, has employed beheading as a means of execution for decades—though the practice itself is centuries old and was once widely employed throughout the Muslim world and beyond…

Saudi Arabia executes more people than any country except China and Iran—and it does so for a variety of crimes.

News of the latest execution came amid a bitter diplomatic dispute between Saudi Arabia and Canada over a Canadian government statement that called on Saudi authorities to “immediately release” civil-society and women’s-rights activists detained in recent days and weeks. As my colleague Sigal Samuel wrote in response, Saudi Arabia declared the Canadian ambassador persona non grata and recalled its envoy to Ottawa. It froze all trade and investment deals, canceled educational-exchange programs, and suspended flights to and from Canada.

The flare-up occurred at a pivotal time for Saudi Arabia. Its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, or MbS, has cast himself as a reformer who is seeking to wean the Saudi economy away from its long overreliance on cheap oil and foreign labor. There have been other developments as well, which may look normal for the rest of the world but are potentially transformative for the kingdom—most significant among them, the government granting women the right to drive last September; the origins of the ban, as I noted at the time of the announcement, were murky, but the restriction appeared to be more cultural and religious than legal. But, as Samuel noted, “that win has been bookended by losses.” Women’s activists and human-rights campaigners continue to be detained. Torture remains rife in Saudi prisons, and executions continue apace.

The European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, a human-rights group, said 146 people were executed in 2017, slightly less than the 154 executed in 2016. “Such a level of executions has not been witnessed since the mid 1990s,” the group said in a report released this week. The group said that as of April 2018, Saudi authorities had executed 47 people and were on pace to meet last year’s figure. Dozens more, it said, continue to face the death penalty, including some under the age of 18.

Jeffrey Goldberg, now The Atlantic’s editor in chief, wrote about one of these people, Ali al-Nimr, in 2015. Al-Nimr, the nephew of a prominent Shia leader in Sunni Saudi Arabia (who himself was executed), was sentenced to death by beheading and crucifixion, and, despite international appeals, is still awaiting execution for alleged crimes committed when he was a minor during the Arab Spring protests that rocked the region.

Saudi Arabia employs the death penalty, which sometimes is carried out by gunfire, and usually in public, in response to a wide variety of transgressions, including murder, adultery, atheism, and sorcery and witchcraft. Despite this, it has in recent years found itself on various UN panels that oversee human rights and women’s rights around the world. (The country is hardly alone in its punitive practices—or its membership on elite UN panels… The United States is among the few Western nations that conducts executions, though it is mostly carried out by lethal injection.)

Saudi Arabia’s practices have been widely condemned by the international community and human-rights groups, but given its angry response to Canada’s alleged “interference” in its internal affairs, the kingdom looks unlikely to change the way it metes out its punishments. Saad al-Beshi, a Saudi executioner, said in a 2003 interview that he was “very proud to do God’s work.”

“It doesn’t matter to me: two, four, 10—as long as I’m doing God’s will, it doesn’t matter how many people I execute,” he said, according to the BBC. He added: “No one is afraid of me. I have a lot of relatives, and many friends at the mosque, and I live a normal life like everyone else. There are no drawbacks for my social life.”

Source: The Atlantic, Edited by website team

 

Brotherhood, Wahabism: Two Faces of the Same Coin

 

Apr 13, 2012

Tikrit and Najaf: the agony and the ecstasy

November 10, 2017

by Pepe EscobarTikrit and Najaf: the agony and the ecstasy

TIKRIT and NAJAF, Iraq – Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares you to revive, on the spot, the memory of what will go down in history as ISIS/Daesh’s most horrid killing field in Iraq or Syria since the death cult stormed across the border in the summer of 2014; the Speicher massacre of June 12, 2014 – when almost 2,000 Iraqi army recruits were assassinated in and nearby a former Saddam Hussein palace on the banks of the Tigris near Tikrit.

As Dylan would sing it, “ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet”. In 2003, a few days after Shock and Awe and the fall of Baghdad, I took the road to Tikrit for Asia Times to survey Uday Hussein’s bombed palace as well as his father’s birthplace, only to return 14 years later to one of those palaces turned into a house of horror.

The Speicher killing field was gruesomely staged – and filmed – by Daesh only a few days after the fall of Mosul. Daesh’s Salafi-jihadi goons were feted as “liberators” by many a Sunni tribe around Trikrit just as 10,000 Iraqi Army recruits from different provinces, mostly Shi’ites, were being trained at an Air Force academy nearby.

With Daesh fast advancing and the Iraqi Army at the time dissolving by the minute, the youngsters were ordered to switch into civilian clothes, leave their weapons behind, and go home. As they were literally walking back to their home provinces they ended up falling in a lethal Daesh trap. Bearing echoes of the Nazi era, the youngsters were divided into Sunnis and Shi’ites – with the Shi’ites bundled in trucks described as their “transportation” home. Instead they were taken to what would become a killing field framed by decaying Saddamist architecture.

The horror, the horror

It’s late evening on a windless Monday – and I’m standing at the eerily silent exact spot of one of the killing field’s sites, captured by a Daesh propaganda video in part of this harrowing footage. Hayder Atamiri, the official representative of the Tikrit massacre committee, almost in tears, swears, “all the tribes in the area took part in this”. He’s convinced the massacre took place in “an icon of Saddam” and it was “revenge for Saddam’s death”.

Daesh leaders presided over a gruesome ritual from a balcony as three jihadis summarily killed the recruits with a bullet in the back of the head. Today, discreet shrines with pictures of the dead surround the balcony. So far 1907 victims have been catalogued – many from Iraq’s Shi’ite-majority and/or poorer provinces (for instance, 382 from Babylon, 254 from Diwaniya, 132 from Karbala, 119 from Diyala, 99 from Najaf.)

Atamiri says locals at the time found roughly 90 bodies “and the rest drifted away” along the Tigris. Nearby, Daesh goons “dug trenches, used bulldozers and covered the bodies with rocks.” No less than 14 mass graves have been found, 13 of them “already excavated.” Two more mass graves were identified “but there’s no proper storage for the remains yet.”

Other figures by the Iraqi Ministry of Health list 1,935 dead – with 994 bodies found, 527 fully identified, 467 under examination and still 941 missing. A systematic search for human remains only started in March 2015 – eight months after the massacre – when Tikrit was finally recaptured by Baghdad’s forces.

Compared with Ramadi or Mosul, Tikrit suffered very little damage as it was reconquered largely by Hashd al-Shaabi, a.k.a. the People Mobilization Units (PMUs), called into action by Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s 2014 fatwa. Atamiri is adamant “Hashd was the only force liberating Tikrit.” And crucially these fighters were not Shi’ites; they were Sunnis.

Yezen Meshaan al-Jebouri, the son of the governor of Tikrit, Raed al-Jebouri, head of the Salahuddin PMU brigade – and a member of the very prominent Sunni Jebouri family, which was historically inimical to Saddam Hussein, had previously confirmed to me in Baghdad; “Local tribal leaders encouraged the work of Hashd. They understood we believe in Iraq’s political system.” Almost a third of the PMU force – a total of around 20,000 fighters – is Sunni. As al-Jebouri stressed, “Tikrit returned to its people. And Tikrit University was protected.”

In the complex Iraqi tribal chessboard, the local consensus is that certain Wahhabi-tinged jihadis were part of the Speicher massacre, but that did not translate into a collective Sunni endeavor. Daesh killed Sunnis as well, and Sunnis helped at least a few Shi’ites to flee.

Atamiri is adamant, “only Hashd stood with us. Now they are maintaining peace and won’t allow any extra-judicial revenge”. He frames the whole battle ahead as the need to “eradicate extremist ideology” and notes that some Daesh jihadis, when captured, “tried to show remorse, but that is very difficult for us to believe. And some of them are now living in European countries.”

Families of the murdered youngsters silently exhibit photos of their sons and ask “international bodies to do something”. They all agree; the response from the “international community” has been shameful. Still, the Tikrit massacre committee vows to keep the memory of Speicher alive. Mothers of victims have been to Geneva to ask for help as well as mental health support for quite a few families, and plan to visit again in June 2018.

This has been one of Iraq’s most devastating nightmares of the past three decades. After such sorrow, what forgiveness?

Shrine honoring victims of a Daesh killing field by the Tigris, near Tikrit, Iraq. Photo Pepe Escobar

Keep walking towards redemption

It’s possible. From agony to ecstasy. There could not be a more radical contrast between darkness and light than taking the road to Najaf – the Iraqi Vatican, and fourth holiest city in Islam – and Karbala, alongside millions of black-clad pilgrims during the annual celebration of Arba’een, the “40th Day” of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

Countless tents, tea shops and impromptu restaurants, festively decorated, line up the road to Najaf and Karbala. Suddenly we’re thrown into the vortex of the largest gathering of humans in history, way outdoing the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca; nearly 20 million people as opposed to about 1.5 million. Here is the record of my own pilgrimage in 2003 – a few days after the fall of Baghdad.

To be inside the Imam Ali shrine – in all its glimmering, refracted glory – is a religious experience in itself, the apotheosis of Shi’ite rituals of redemptive suffering (readers interested to know about Arba’een may consult scholar Seyyed Hosein Mohammad Jafri’s book The Origins and Early Development of Shi’a Islam.)

The Imam Ali shrine, in all its splendor, is managed, at the highest instance, by the marja’iya – the religious sources of emulation, mostly personified by Grand Ayatollah Sistani, whose office is in a narrow alley nearby; and in practice, by a foundation. According to its secretariat “more than 20 million people are registered in the shrine”.

Najaf welcomed refugees of the fight against Daesh by the tens of thousands; Sunnis from Anbar province, Christians, Shi’ite Turkmen from Tal Afar; “Now many are back to their communities”. The PMUs are incredibly popular – their white flags fluttering everywhere alongside black Imam Hussein and multicolored Imam Ali banners.

The shrine is proud to at least assist in helping victims from the Speicher massacre; “The government may be shorthanded”.

I was in Najaf last week, at the start of the pilgrimage. But the apex of Arba’een is today, November 10. And that happens in the most extraordinary of historical circumstances; the final defeat of Daesh.

Inside the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, Iraq, a few days before Arba’een. Photo Pepe Escobar

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) announced on Wednesday it had captured Albu Kamal, the last town held by Daesh in Syria – after Iraqi forces captured its sister town across the border, al-Qaim. In Baghdad, before leaving to Najaf, I was assured by a top PMU commander that al-Qaim would be retaken “in a matter of days”: four, in the end, to be exact.

None of this is getting traction in Western media. The final victory on the ground against Daesh, in Syria, was accomplished by the Syrian army with help from Russian strategy and air power, and in Iraq by the Iraqi army and the PMUs. Syrian and Iraqi forces are symbolically reunited at the border.

Meanwhile, at this very moment, millions of souls – Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis, northern Africans, Central Asians, Persian Gulf nationals – are being soothed via the massive, cathartic walk from Najaf to Karbala. A pilgrim captured the spell – spiritual redemption merging with political statement – as he told me, with the flicker of a smile, the walk is also “a protest against terrorism”.

نارام سرجون:بعد النصر .. استعدوا لخوض الحرب الأصعب والأقسى؟؟ .. اللحم سيقاتل العظم

“لانعرف حتى اللحظة كيف سيمكننا اجراء عملية فصل الاسلام عن التراث وفصل المسلم عن التراث دون أن نفصل المسلم عن الاسلام …… انها عملية تشبه فصل اللحم عن العظم .. فالتراث المنقول هو لحم الاسلام الذي يحمله هيكل عظمي هو فكر الاسلام .. ولحم التراث مليء بالاسرائيليات والمتناقضات ومليء بالطفيليات وبالعداء للتفكير والمنطق والفلسفة والعقل ..”

تعليق المحرر على المقالة

اتفق مع الكاتب بان الحرب مع مع داعش واخواتها من الحركات الاسلاموية (الوهابية واخوان الشياطين وحزب التحرير الاسلاموي…… الخ الخ) ، تنتهي بانتصار ناجز لا لبس فية، بدون “فصل المسلم عن الثراث المنقول لكني  لا اتفق مع مقولته عن “لحم الاسلام الذي يحمله هيكل عظمي هو فكر الاسلام” لأني ازعم ان الهياكل العظمي التي حملت لنا التراث المنقول ( العنعنة، وتابعه علم الرجال وعلم الناسخ والمنسوخ والاصول والمعلوم من الدين …..) هم  “علماء” و”فقهاء ” السلطان الاموي والعباسي و… و  والعثماني، والازهر وأم القرى وحميع حركات الاسلام السياسي الذين هجروا القران واعتبروا التراث المنقول وحيا ثانيا لا يمكن ان نفهم التنزبل الحكيم بدونه

وهنا لا بد من لفت انتباه الكاتب بان المشكلة لا تقتصر على العقل العربي المسلم فقط وانما العقل العربي “الداعشي” المسلم المسيحي والعلماني والملحد وكل عقل يدعي امتلاك الحقيقة المطلقة ويكفر الآخر

قال تعالى

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا 

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۗ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ

قال تعالى:

قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ قُلِ اللَّهُ ۖ وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَىٰ هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

 [الجزء: ٢٢ | سبأ ٣٤ | الآية: ٢٤]

 في الآية يخبر الله رسوله أن الرزق للمؤمن والمشرك  من الله

وويقول له ان الحقيقة الآنسانية نسبية ولا احد يمتلك الحقيقة المطلقة سوى الله

 : قل يا محمد:  “….. ۖ وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَىٰ هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

اي : وانا (محمد) او اياكم (المشركين )

قال (او)  ولم يقل (و)

اي انا او انتم علي هدى

او انا أو انتم على ضلال مبين

هذه رسالة امر الله عزوجل رسوله الاعظم ان يبلغها ليس للمشركين فقط وانما للناس وخصوصا للذين نصبوا انفسهم ناطقين باسمه وباسم نبيه فحددوا من يدخل النار واختصروا الطريق الى الجنة بتلاوة كذا او كذا ووزعوا صكوك الغفران وبوالص التامين النبوي:

الدعوة الى سبيل الله

قال تعالى

ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

 [الجزء: ١٤ | النحل ١٦ | الآية: ١٢٥]

قال: بالحكمة ولم يقل بالحكمة الحسنه لنفهم ان الحكمه حسنة بالضرورة ولا وجود لحكمة سيئة

وقال: بالموعظة الحسنة لنفهم ان الموعظة قد تكون حسنة وقد تكون سيئة

كلمة (الحسنة) ليست زائدة وليست حشوا

اذا هناك موعظة سيية

والدليل الحاسم هو فضائيات التكفير على اختلاف تلاوينها

وقال: وجادلهم بالتي هي احسن

اي لا تجادلهم بالتي هي اسوأ

اي  الجدال قد يكون سيء وقد يكون حسن وقد يكون احسن

والمطلوب هو الجدال الاحسن

وهل هناك احسن من يتواضع نبي ورسول ومبلغ رسالة لا تنطق عن الهوى فيقول للمشركين:

وانا او اياكم على هدى او في  ضلال مبين؟

وقال

وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ۚ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ

 [الجزء: ٢٤ | فصلت ٤١ | الآية: ٣٤]

قال ادفع ولم يقل ادفش والدفع هنا لا يعني تسديد الدين

بل يعني الدفاع عن حرية الرأي والتعبير ليس بالسيف والتكفير والاتهام بالنفاق  واقامة الحجة بالتي هي أحسن وأخير ماهو سبيل الله وما هي كلمة الله التي سبقت

قال تعالى

وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً ۖ وَلَا يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ – إِلَّا مَن رَّحِمَ رَبُّكَ ۚ وَلِذَٰلِكَ خَلَقَهُمْ ۗ وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لَأَمْلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ (119)

 صدق الله العظيم انظر حولك فالناس مختلفين كما اخبرنا الله في تنزيلة الحكيم باستثاء من رحم ربي وهم الانبياء   ،  والرسل، وهو يخبرنا انه خلق الناس أحرار ليختلفوا بارادتهم الحرة، وباختلافهم تمت كلمته التي سبقت. وعلية فحيث يكون النسان حرا تكون كلمة الله هي العليا

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نارام سرجون:بعد النصر .. استعدوا لخوض الحرب الأصعب والأقسى؟؟ .. اللحم سيقاتل العظم

وكالة أوقات الشام الإخبار ية

دعونا نتوقف الآن لالتقاط الانفاس ونقول ان هذه الحرب مع التيارات الاسلامية في المنطقة ستنتهي سريعا بانتصار ناجز لالبس فيه .. ولكن على هونكم ياسادة .. فلا تستعجلوا قرع الكؤوس والأنخاب وتبادل التهاني .. ولاتسترخوا .. لأنها فقط احدى جولاتها وهي الجولة الاطول والاقسى والاعنف وستتلوها هدنة طويلة الامد ولكن الحرب سجال ويجب على المنتصر الأن ان لايرقد مسترخيا بل أن يبدأ في الاعداد للحرب القادمة .. وهي الأقسى والأصعب ..

ان منتهى الخيال أن نعتقد أننا خضنا المعركة الأخيرة مع الاسلام السياسي الذي انطلق مع غياب آخر الخلافات وهي الخلافة العثمانية .. وظل الشغل الشاغل للأجيال منذ ذلك اليوم هو اعادة الخلافة أو شبه الخلافة .. لأن العقل الشرقي الاسلامي لايزال مقتنعا أن المؤامرة التي أسقطت الخلافة ستبقى في وجهه لمنع اعادتها وقيامها مجددا .. وعقب كل هزيمة عسكرية وانتهاء جيل من الاسلاميين يقر الجيل اللاحق بأن من سبقوهم أخطأوا التخطيط والتسديد .. ومايجب على الجيل القادم هو تلافي هذه الأخطاء وتطوير التجربة لأن الله سينصر عباده المؤمنين في نهاية المطاف !! .. وهم على موعد مع نصر حتمي قدره الله .. بدليل تعدد نسخ التجارب الجهادية في معظم بلدان المنطقة وكلها تعيد انتاج نفسها وبطرق عنف مختلفة تدل على أنها ليست مأزومة فقط بل مقتنعة تماما ان العنف الداخلي (الذي يسمى جهادا) هو السبيل الوحيد لاعادة الخلافة لأن ماسقط بالحرب لن يعود الا بالحرب .. وليس بالحب .. ولعل أكثر عبارة تدل على أن المعركة انتهت فقط مع هذا الجيل من الاسلاميين وان الجيل اللاحق يستعد هو عبارة يرددها الكثيرون ببراءة وسذاجة مفادها: (هذا الذي رأيناه ليس الاسلام الحقيقي) .. ولكن هذه العبارة هي التي ستشكل الحامل والرافعة للمشروع القادم الذي سيخترع أصحابه نسخة أخرى “حقيقية” جاءت كما ياتي المخلّص .. ويعتبرون ماحدث من هزائم حتى الآن هو جولات وعملية حقن الاسلام بلقاحات متنوعة يتعرض لها الجسم العسكري الاسلامي في سيرته الجهادية الطويلة .. ولذلك فانه من الطبيعي أن يتعرض لطفرات جديدة أو لعملية لقاح بالهزيمة تكسبه مزيدا من المناعة ..

وهنا لاأريد أن يفهم من كلامي انني ارى ان مافعله داعش هو الاسلام الحقيقي لأنني انا فعلا مقتنع أن ماقدمه داعش والنصرة هو برنامج اسلام من قماش تلمودي موسادي ووهابي التطريز .. ولكن العبارة (هذا ليس الاسلام الحقيقي) بحد ذاتها رغم دلالتها الكبيرة على أنها عملية القبول والاعتراف والتسليم بهزيمة المشروع الاسلامي مرحليا فان فكرة الهزيمة النهائية لاتزال غير مقبولة في نظر الاسلاميين بل ينظر اليها لى أن ماحدث مجرد معركة .. مثل معركة (أحد) مثلا لابد ان يتلوها نصر وفتح مبين ..

أبني كلامي واستنتاجي على قاعدة

أن جميع التنظيمات الجهادية اليوم مشتقة من بعضها وهي رغم تفاوتاتها وخلافاتها الفقهية فانها تملك ذات الجذر وذات المراجع الفقهية والرؤية التاريخية والفلسفية فالفرق بين الاخوان المسلمين وداعش يبدو شاسعا في السطح ولكنه في العمق متماه كثيرا من حيث فكرة التكفير والعلاقة مع الأغيار من غير المسلمين أو حتى من المذاهب المنشقة عن مذهب أهل السنة أو حتى المدارس السنية التي تخالفهم الرأي والاجتهاد .. بدليل أن الاخوان المسلمين لايمكن مثلا أن يصدروا بيانا يقولون فيه رأيا يخالف داعش من حيث تكفير الشيعة والدروز والعلويين والمسيحيين وغيرهم .. لأن هؤلاء جميعا كفار في نظر داعش والاخوان المسلمين وجبهة النصرة .. ومافعله داعش فقط أنه وسع دائرة الكفار حتى شملت أهل السنة والجماعة الذين يختلفون عنه .. ولو انه اكتفى بدائرة التكفير الاخوانية التقليدية لما تلعثم الاخوان المسلمون في تأييدهم لخلافة على منهاج النبوة تشبههم ولم يتأتئوا في تعبيرهم عن الانسجام مع أفكارها وبقيت الخلافات الفقهية الأخرى اجتهادات أخطأ فيها الدواعش ولهم فيها أجر واحد فقط لا أجران !!! .. هو ثواب المجتهد ..

وسنكون واقعيين جدا في الاعتراف بأن عملية نزع فتيل الصاعق من القنبلة “الاسلامية” لن تنجح بهذه البساطة لأنهم ببساطة ذخيرة للغرب ورصاص يوجهه الى صدورنا في أية لحظة لأن مفهوم الوطن مغيب لدى الاسلاميين أمام سطوة فكرة الخلافة التي تبتلع الأوطان جميعا وتضعها تحت عباءة خليفة .. فالاسلاميون الوهابيون احتلوا الحجاز ونجد وعطلوا فريضة الجهاد المكي ضد الغرب واسرائيل مما أوقف مليار مسلم عن عملية التطوع لنصرة فلسطين “الا بالدعاء” .. ولكن الغرب أيضا أطلق الاسلام الجهادي ضد الروس والسوفيت وضد الايرانيين وضد البعثيين القوميين العروبيين أيضا في سورية والعراق وضد المقاومة في لبنان ..

أما الاخوان المسلمون فهم النسخة الأخرى للوهابية وهما من ذات فصيلة الزواحف .. والفوارق هي في التكوين والبيئة .. فالوهابيون يشبهون في قسوتهم التماسيح التي تنهش فريستها بوحشية .. أما الاخوان فهم زواحف الدم البارد والأفاعي ذات الجلود الناعمة والتي تحقنك بالسم .. ثم تبتلعك بهدوء .. ولكن كلها زواحف ..

مسؤول “الاخوان” سعيد رمضان مع الرئيس الأمريكي إيزنهاور في البيت الأبيض عام 1953.

وقد جاء الربيع العربي ليثبت أن الاسلاميين على اختلاف مشاربهم ذخيرة عظيمة للغرب لن يساعدنا الغرب على التخلص منها بل سيعيدها الى الحظائر مؤقتا لاجراء صيانة وتزويد خطاباتها بقطع الغيار والملونات والمذاقات التي تخفي خطاب الكراهية ..

ويجب هنا الانتباه الى أن أي محاولة بريئة لاطلاق تيارات اسلامية موازية لامتصاص قوة هذه التيارات وانتزاع الجيل من الانتماء اليها بحجة أن اطلاق الاعتدال سيخفف من التطرف فاننا سنكون واهمين لأن أي خلل في الميزان سيجعل عملية الهجرة الى معسكر التطرف سهلة طالما أن المشتركات الفقهية كثيرة وعملية الانزياح في الاتجاهين واردة جدا وتتبع عوامل متحولة ..

ومانكون قد فعلناه هو اننا هيأنا جيشا رديفا للتطرف سينضم اليه عند أول تلاعب في الخطاب الديني كما حدث اليوم في حرب السنوات السبع عندما كانت المنطقة كلها معتدلة ومضبوطة بفعل العامل القومي الذي ما ان تراجع حتى تسلمت التيارات المتطرفة قيادة جزء من الجماهير المعتدلة بل والجماهير القومية والعلمانية .. لان عملية الانزياح هنا ليست بين دين ودين .. وليست بين مذهبين .. وبين سنة وشيعة .. بل تماه بين اتجاهين في نفس المذهب وعناصر في نفس الاناء ..
وهنا تكمن المعضلة .. لأننا لانريد أن نحاصر الاسلام ولكن في حصارنا للتيارات الفكرية الاسلامية سنجد أننا نبدو وكأننا في مواجهة مع الاسلام وفكر الاسلام وتبدو عملية الفرز والتمييز والفصل مستحيلة بين فكر الاسلام وبين أسلمة الفكر ..
ولذلك فان القطيعة مع الاسلاميين دون التأثير على الاسلام كعنصر هوية للمنطقة وموروث حضاري لايمكن أن تنجح الا بمشروع شامل يبدأ تأثيره من لحظة نزول الوحي في القرن السابع الميلادي وحتى هذه اللحظة .. والحقيقة أننا نقف جميعا حائرين أمام هذه المعضلة في عملية تقطير الاسلام ونزعه من مخالب الحزبية السياسية وتحويله الى كينونة ثقافية مندمجة في مشاريع التطوير الحضاري المتنوعة .. ورغم أن الاسلام الشيعي يعاني من نفس المعضلة الا أنه يبقى في تأثيره محصورا في جزء صغير من الأمة لأن العالم الاسلامي هو عالم سني في غالبيته .. فمهما حدث في الساحة الشيعية فان الهزات الارتدادية التي تصل الى العالم السني ضعيفة نسبيا وتبقى محصورة ..

لاأحد يملك جوابا عن مرحلة مابعد الربيع الاسلامي الأخير .. وكيف سيتم التعامل مع مفرزات هذه المرحلة وأنقاضها الخطيرة ودروسها .. ولانعرف حتى اللحظة كيف سيمكننا اجراء عملية فصل الاسلام عن التراث وفصل المسلم عن التراث دون أن نفصل المسلم عن الاسلام .. انها عملية تشبه فصل اللحم عن العظم .. فالتراث المنقول هو لحم الاسلام الذي يحمله هيكل عظمي هو فكر الاسلام .. ولحم التراث مليء بالاسرائيليات والمتناقضات ومليء بالطفيليات وبالعداء للتفكير والمنطق والفلسفة والعقل ..

اننا أمام عملية هي أصعب من مرحلة الحرب .. وهي استخلاص دروس الحرب التي تقاتل فيها اللحم مع العظم .. لأن الاستنتاجات الخاطئة أخطر مما نتوقع وهي تشبه الهزيمة .. اي خضنا حربا وانتصرنا ولكننا حصلنا على نتائج الهزيمة عندما لم نحول التجربة الى نتيجة وخلاصة .. لذلك يجب اطلاق هجوم معاكس في الحال بالضوء على الظلام .. يبدأ برنامجه في سطور التراث ومن رفوف الكتب وفي عملية التعليم .. ويعمل في قلب المساجد وحلقات الذكر وليس في التلفزيون من بعيد .. ويعتكف المفكرون والتنويريون لايجاد افضل طريقة لتحويل مسار الموجة الاسلامية القادمة على ابنائنا لتكون بردا وسلاما ..

ويجب أن نقوم بتدريس هذه المرحلة من الحرب على سورية بدقة وأمانة في المناهج والاعتراف بكل الأخطاء التي وقعت فيها جميع الأطراف .. ولكن ماهو مهم جدا هو أن يتم تخصيص جهد تأريخي واعلامي متواصل طوال العقدين القادمين لرواية الرواية السورية الوطنية دون انقطاع والاستفادة من جو الهزيمة العسكرية للاسلاميين التكفيريين ومن اعادة اعلام العرب وكلابه الى حظائره .. وأن يكون شرط اعادة العلاقات مع اي دولة عربية ان تعيد تقديم الرواية السورية على حقيقتها في اعلامها وافساح المجال للرواية السورية أن تقدم نفسها لأول مرة من دون تزوير .. لأن الجمهور العربي المغفل لايزال هو ماأنتجته الجزيرة .. فهو باختصار “ضحية” الجزيرة التي أرضعته طوال سبع سنوات ولايزال حليب ثدييها في فمه وفي عروقه .. ويجب أن تغسل أمعاؤه ودماؤه بالماء الصابون ..

ومع هذا فان أفضل علاج برأيي سيكون هو محاصرة و تدمير نموذج الدولة الدينية اليهودية في المنطقة التي قدمت نفسها على أنها الدولة الدينية الأولى ونموذج ملهم للاسلاميين وينظر لها من قبلهم على أنها ثمرة من ثمار سقوط الخلافة .. وأنها مشروع ديني ناجح يمكن تكراره بنسخة اسلامية حتى بطريقة تكوينها العنيفة .. وان اسقاط هذه الثمرة اليهودية لن يكون الا باعادة الخلافة الاسلامية التي أسقطت من أجل تسهيل قيام اسرائيل .. فيعود الاسلاميون كل مرة الى عاصمة عربية يرفعون فيها شعار أن الطريق الى القدس يمر من هنا .ولذلك لاأظن أنه يمكن ايقاف المد الاسلامي الا بايقاف المد اليهودي .. فكلاهما يتلاقحان وبتفاعلان ويتبادلان الخبرات والوجود .. بدليل تكرار تجربة الدولة اليهودية ونموذجها العنيف الارهابي بالتطهير العرقي في تجربة داعش التي كانت نسخة اسلامية عن اسرائيل ..

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The ’Lust for Murder’ and the Morality of Sayyed

 Sayyed Nasrallah on 2nd Liberation: Lebanon Protected...US-’Israeli’ Scheme Falling Apart

Mohamed Nazzal

01-09-2017 | 08:08

About 2,500 years ago, in China, one of the most famous warlords in history wrote:

“To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”

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These were the words of Sun Tzu, the author of The Art of War, a book that has become a classic icon taught in military institutes and colleges. Tzu was wise, rational, somewhat moral, and paid for it in the end with the King’s “lust for murder”. He was ousted from his position after a record number of victories. It just so happened that “public opinion” replaced the king.

A collective desire to kill, just to kill, to satisfy the tendency of revenge, away from the major objectives of the war.

Something like this happened a few days ago in Lebanon. Public opinion, and this a problematic term that needs to be fixed. The public opinion is upset asking why the rest of the Daesh militants were allowed to leave instead of being killed. It may be understandable if this comes from the people, from various parties, but to be issued by “opinion leaders”, leaders and dignitaries – this is something else altogether.

They are either ignorant, and this is probably true, or they have a psychological handicap, above all else, that makes them rested when they see blood, all the blood, from the trapped Daesh militants and the Lebanese and Syrian armies, to Hezbollah fighters, whose blood would have been spilt more if the decision had been made to fight Daesh to the last man. Often those theorists have no one sacrificing their flesh and blood in the battlefield for them. They wrong Hezbollah for having succeeded in negotiating the exit of Daesh.

They often do not impede negotiations – in its origins. But their problem is that Hezbollah succeeded in it and they have faced repeated failure in previous negotiations along with their failure in the war. Killing during the war is a means of winning the war, but when its won with less blood spilt than expected, what reason remains for it to continue? Who among us does not wish to see those Daesh militants prosecuted for their actions? But this is war. The field for the heroes’ panting and not the noise of the children.

Blessed be Confucius, the Spirit of Tzu, who wrote:

“The art of war is of vital importance to the state. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin …. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Otherwise, fighting, but on one’s own terms, including: shortening the period of war and easing the pain and human losses.”

This is what Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah did. Sayyed is careful with his fighters and allies, as he was with his own son. His son, who fought on the battlefield twenty years ago, was martyred. Is it personal? Certainly not, especially not to him. But it is also foolish to overlook this aspect. He is the leader who has tried almost everything.

Another issue regarding the characteristic of this leader is his moral authority. Being a Shiite has nothing to do with his identity, or the fact that he is a descendant of a Shiite family. It is due to the maturity of his Alawi “war ethics” within himself. It can be said, or rather asserted, that some orientalists understood Sayyed Nasrallah more than many in this region, even though they share heritage, history and civilization with him.

A few days ago, we saw a Hezbollah fighter kneel in front of a wounded “Daesh” militant lying on the ground and say to him in his Lebanese accent: 

“We will provide you with medical treatment, food and water. We will take care of your family. Your family is our family. We do not attack families, and we do not oppress. He said it to him in his Lebanese dialect. The wounded man, just moments ago, wanted to kill him. If he had caught him, he would’ve cut his throat.

This young man, from Hezbollah, is a moral product of Sayyed Nasrallah in his party; he is the product of Sayyed’s understanding of the ethics of war according to his Alawi system. Anyone can disagree with Hezbollah, in politics and others areas. But not trying to deeply understand it is stupid.

Its beginnings should be understood. You will find in the party those who would deviate from that rule. This is normal. They are just human beings. These violations happen in all wars. This workmanship, in which no one knows pain, remains – by all accounts – the “moral rule” of the party. Sayyed has absolutely read the Alawi “war ethics”, read about delaying the fight for daytime: “It is closer to the night. It is better to kill less. The pursuer returns home and the defeated escapes.” And he certainly read about the river water being prevented from flowing to Ali’s camp. And then when he managed to reach the river, he did not prevent the enemy’s camp from getting water. If we became like them, then why do we fight them? It is true that this morality passed onto him eternal grief. The Iraqi writer Aziz al-Sayyed Jassim writes: “The hero was sad, high in his grief. He did not despise those who fought him, but was sad for them.” They are things near to impossible. It is not new that these things are not understandable. But in general, those who wanted to understand Nasrallah – friends and enemies – should understand Ali (Imam Ali). This is not a sectarian call, and not necessarily a religious one. Let it be an abstract anthropological reading between history and the present; a call for understanding. It is a moral battle for Nasrallah, purely moral, and we are the witnesses.

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper

 

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

By Alastair Crooke

July 14, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  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.

MUSLIM IMPOSTORS

The American author and journalist, Steven Coll, has written how this austere and censorious disciple of the 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, Abd al-Wahhab, despised “the decorous, arty, tobacco smoking, hashish imbibing, drum pounding Egyptian and Ottoman nobility who travelled across Arabia to pray at Mecca.”

In Abd al-Wahhab’s view, these were not Muslims; they were imposters masquerading as Muslims. Nor, indeed, did he find the behavior of local Bedouin Arabs much better. They aggravated Abd al-Wahhab by their honoring of saints, by their erecting of tombstones, and their “superstition” (e.g. revering graves or places that were deemed particularly imbued with the divine).

All this behavior, Abd al-Wahhab denounced as bida — forbidden by God.

Like Taymiyyah before him, Abd al-Wahhab believed that the period of the Prophet Muhammad’s stay in Medina was the ideal of Muslim society (the “best of times”), to which all Muslims should aspire to emulate (this, essentially, is Salafism).

Taymiyyah had declared war on Shi’ism, Sufism and Greek philosophy. He spoke out, too against visiting the grave of the prophet and the celebration of his birthday, declaring that all such behavior represented mere imitation of the Christian worship of Jesus as God (i.e. idolatry). Abd al-Wahhab assimilated all this earlier teaching, stating that “any doubt or hesitation” on the part of a believer in respect to his or her acknowledging this particular interpretation of Islam should “deprive a man of immunity of his property and his life.”

One of the main tenets of Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine has become the key idea of takfir. Under the takfiri doctrine, Abd al-Wahhab and his followers could deem fellow Muslims infidels should they engage in activities that in any way could be said to encroach on the sovereignty of the absolute Authority (that is, the King). Abd al-Wahhab denounced all Muslims who honored the dead, saints, or angels. He held that such sentiments detracted from the complete subservience one must feel towards God, and only God. Wahhabi Islam thus bans any prayer to saints and dead loved ones, pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, religious festivals celebrating saints, the honoring of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, and even prohibits the use of gravestones when burying the dead.

Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote.

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity — a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all.

There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab’s doctrine of “One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque” — these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of “the word” (i.e. the mosque).

It is this rift — the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests — makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.

BRIEF HISTORY 1741- 1818

Abd al-Wahhab’s advocacy of these ultra radical views inevitably led to his expulsion from his own town — and in 1741, after some wanderings, he found refuge under the protection of Ibn Saud and his tribe. What Ibn Saud perceived in Abd al-Wahhab’s novel teaching was the means to overturn Arab tradition and convention. It was a path to seizing power.

Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear.

Ibn Saud’s clan, seizing on Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine, now could do what they always did, which was raiding neighboring villages and robbing them of their possessions. Only now they were doing it not within the ambit of Arab tradition, but rather under the banner of jihad. Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab also reintroduced the idea of martyrdom in the name of jihad, as it granted those martyred immediate entry into paradise.

In the beginning, they conquered a few local communities and imposed their rule over them. (The conquered inhabitants were given a limited choice: conversion to Wahhabism or death.) By 1790, the Alliance controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula and repeatedly raided Medina, Syria and Iraq.

Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. In 1801, the Allies attacked the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq. They massacred thousands of Shiites, including women and children. Many Shiite shrines were destroyed, including the shrine of Imam Hussein, the murdered grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

A British official, Lieutenant Francis Warden, observing the situation at the time, wrote: “They pillaged the whole of it [Karbala], and plundered the Tomb of Hussein… slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above five thousand of the inhabitants …”

Osman Ibn Bishr Najdi, the historian of the first Saudi state, wrote that Ibn Saud committed a massacre in Karbala in 1801. He proudly documented that massacre saying, “we took Karbala and slaughtered and took its people (as slaves), then praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and we do not apologize for that and say: ‘And to the unbelievers: the same treatment.’”

In 1803, Abdul Aziz then entered the Holy City of Mecca, which surrendered under the impact of terror and panic (the same fate was to befall Medina, too). Abd al-Wahhab’s followers demolished historical monuments and all the tombs and shrines in their midst. By the end, they had destroyed centuries of Islamic architecture near the Grand Mosque.

But in November of 1803, a Shiite assassin killed King Abdul Aziz (taking revenge for the massacre at Karbala). His son, Saud bin Abd al Aziz, succeeded him and continued the conquest of Arabia. Ottoman rulers, however, could no longer just sit back and watch as their empire was devoured piece by piece. In 1812, the Ottoman army, composed of Egyptians, pushed the Alliance out from Medina, Jeddah and Mecca. In 1814, Saud bin Abd al Aziz died of fever. His unfortunate son Abdullah bin Saud, however, was taken by the Ottomans to Istanbul, where he was gruesomely executed (a visitor to Istanbul reported seeing him having been humiliated in the streets of Istanbul for three days, then hanged and beheaded, his severed head fired from a canon, and his heart cut out and impaled on his body).

In 1815, Wahhabi forces were crushed by the Egyptians (acting on the Ottoman’s behalf) in a decisive battle. In 1818, the Ottomans captured and destroyed the Wahhabi capital of Dariyah. The first Saudi state was no more. The few remaining Wahhabis withdrew into the desert to regroup, and there they remained, quiescent for most of the 19th century.

HISTORY RETURNS WITH ISIS

It is not hard to understand how the founding of the Islamic State by ISIS in contemporary Iraq might resonate amongst those who recall this history. Indeed, the ethos of 18th century Wahhabism did not just wither in Nejd, but it roared back into life when the Ottoman Empire collapsed amongst the chaos of World War I.

The Al Saud — in this 20th century renaissance — were led by the laconic and politically astute Abd-al Aziz, who, on uniting the fractious Bedouin tribes, launched the Saudi “Ikhwan” in the spirit of Abd-al Wahhab’s and Ibn Saud’s earlier fighting proselytisers.

The Ikhwan was a reincarnation of the early, fierce, semi-independent vanguard movement of committed armed Wahhabist “moralists” who almost had succeeded in seizing Arabia by the early 1800s. In the same manner as earlier, the Ikhwan again succeeded in capturing Mecca, Medina and Jeddah between 1914 and 1926. Abd-al Aziz, however, began to feel his wider interests to be threatened by the revolutionary “Jacobinism” exhibited by the Ikhwan. The Ikhwan revolted — leading to a civil war that lasted until the 1930s, when the King had them put down: he machine-gunned them.

For this king, (Abd-al Aziz), the simple verities of previous decades were eroding. Oil was being discovered in the peninsular. Britain and America were courting Abd-al Aziz, but still were inclined to support Sharif Husain as the only legitimate ruler of Arabia. The Saudis needed to develop a more sophisticated diplomatic posture.

So Wahhabism was forcefully changed from a movement of revolutionary jihad and theological takfiri purification, to a movement of conservative social, political, theological, and religious da’wa (Islamic call) and to justifying the institution that upholds loyalty to the royal Saudi family and the King’s absolute power.

OIL WEALTH SPREAD WAHHABISM

With the advent of the oil bonanza — as the French scholar, Giles Kepel writes, Saudi goals were to “reach out and spread Wahhabism across the Muslim world … to “Wahhabise” Islam, thereby reducing the “multitude of voices within the religion” to a “single creed” — a movement which would transcend national divisions. Billions of dollars were — and continue to be — invested in this manifestation of soft power.

It was this heady mix of billion dollar soft power projection — and the Saudi willingness to manage Sunni Islam both to further America’s interests, as it concomitantly embedded Wahhabism educationally, socially and culturally throughout the lands of Islam — that brought into being a western policy dependency on Saudi Arabia, a dependency that has endured since Abd-al Aziz’s meeting with Roosevelt on a U.S. warship (returning the president from the Yalta Conference) until today.

Westerners looked at the Kingdom and their gaze was taken by the wealth; by the apparent modernization; by the professed leadership of the Islamic world. They chose to presume that the Kingdom was bending to the imperatives of modern life — and that the management of Sunni Islam would bend the Kingdom, too, to modern life.

On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.

But the Saudi Ikhwan approach to Islam did not die in the 1930s. It retreated, but it maintained its hold over parts of the system — hence the duality that we observe today in the Saudi attitude towards ISIS.

On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.

ISIS is a “post-Medina” movement: it looks to the actions of the first two Caliphs, rather than the Prophet Muhammad himself, as a source of emulation, and it forcefully denies the Saudis’ claim of authority to rule.

As the Saudi monarchy blossomed in the oil age into an ever more inflated institution, the appeal of the Ikhwan message gained ground (despite King Faisal’s modernization campaign). The “Ikhwan approach” enjoyed — and still enjoys — the support of many prominent men and women and sheikhs. In a sense, Osama bin Laden was precisely the representative of a late flowering of this Ikhwani approach.

Today, ISIS’ undermining of the legitimacy of the King’s legitimacy is not seen to be problematic, but rather a return to the true origins of the Saudi-Wahhab project.

In the collaborative management of the region by the Saudis and the West in pursuit of the many western projects (countering socialism, Ba’athism, Nasserism, Soviet and Iranian influence), western politicians have highlighted their chosen reading of Saudi Arabia (wealth, modernization and influence), but they chose to ignore the Wahhabist impulse.

After all, the more radical Islamist movements were perceived by Western intelligence services as being more effective in toppling the USSR in Afghanistan — and in combatting out-of-favor Middle Eastern leaders and states.

Why should we be surprised then, that from Prince Bandar’s Saudi-Western mandate to manage the insurgency in Syria against President Assad should have emerged a neo-Ikhwan type of violent, fear-inducing vanguard movement: ISIS? And why should we be surprised — knowing a little about Wahhabism — that “moderate” insurgents in Syria would become rarer than a mythical unicorn? Why should we have imagined that radical Wahhabism would create moderates? Or why could we imagine that a doctrine of “One leader, One authority, One mosque: submit to it, or be killed” could ever ultimately lead to moderation or tolerance?

Or, perhaps, we never imagined.

Part II

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

By Alastair Crooke

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.

“We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.”

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.

“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.”

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.

THE SAUDI TAIL HAS WAGGED BRITAIN AND U.S. IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Paradoxically, it was a maverick British official, who helped embed the gene into the new state. The British official attached to Aziz, was one Harry St. John Philby (the father of the MI6 officer who spied for the Soviet KGB, Kim Philby). He was to become King Abd al-Aziz’s close adviser, having resigned as a British official, and was until his death, a key member of the Ruler’s Court. He, like Lawrence of Arabia, was an Arabist. He was also a convert to Wahhabi Islam and known as Sheikh Abdullah.

St. John Philby was a man on the make: he had determined to make his friend, Abd al-Aziz, the ruler of Arabia. Indeed, it is clear that in furthering this ambition he was not acting on official instructions. When, for example, he encouraged King Aziz to expand in northern Nejd, he was ordered to desist. But (as American author, Stephen Schwartz notes), Aziz was well aware that Britain had pledged repeatedly that the defeat of the Ottomans would produce an Arab state, and this no doubt, encouraged Philby and Aziz to aspire to the latter becoming its new ruler.

It is not clear exactly what passed between Philby and the Ruler (the details seem somehow to have been suppressed), but it would appear that Philby’s vision was not confined to state-building in the conventional way, but rather was one of transforming the wider Islamic ummah (or community of believers) into a Wahhabist instrument that would entrench the al-Saud as Arabia’s leaders. And for this to happen, Aziz needed to win British acquiescence (and much later, American endorsement). “This was the gambit that Abd al-Aziz made his own, with advice from Philby,” notes Schwartz.

BRITISH GODFATHER OF SAUDI ARABIA

In a sense, Philby may be said to be “godfather” to this momentous pact by which the Saudi leadership would use its clout to “manage” Sunni Islam on behalf of western objectives (containing socialism, Ba’athism, Nasserism, Soviet influence, Iran, etc.) — and in return, the West would acquiesce to Saudi Arabia’s soft-power Wahhabisation of the Islamic ummah (with its concomitant destruction of Islam’s intellectual traditions and diversity and its sowing of deep divisions within the Muslim world).

“In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success. But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous ‘gene’ within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.”

As a result — from then until now — British and American policy has been bound to Saudi aims (as tightly as to their own ones), and has been heavily dependent on Saudi Arabia for direction in pursuing its course in the Middle East.

In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success (if taken on its own, cynical, self-serving terms). But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous “gene” within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.

Winning western endorsement (and continued western endorsement), however, required a change of mode: the “project” had to change from being an armed, proselytizing Islamic vanguard movement into something resembling statecraft. This was never going to be easy because of the inherent contradictions involved (puritan morality versus realpolitik and money) — and as time has progressed, the problems of accommodating the “modernity” that statehood requires, has caused “the gene” to become more active, rather than become more inert.

Even Abd al-Aziz himself faced an allergic reaction: in the form of a serious rebellion from his own Wahhabi militia, the Saudi Ikhwan. When the expansion of control by the Ikhwan reached the border of territories controlled by Britain, Abd al-Aziz tried to restrain his militia (Philby was urging him to seek British patronage), but the Ikwhan, already critical of his use of modern technology (the telephone, telegraph and the machine gun), “were outraged by the abandonment of jihad for reasons of worldly realpolitik … They refused to lay down their weapons; and instead rebelled against their king … After a series of bloody clashes, they were crushed in 1929. Ikhwan members who had remained loyal, were later absorbed into the [Saudi] National Guard.”

King Aziz’s son and heir, Saud, faced a different form of reaction (less bloody, but more effective). Aziz’s son was deposed from the throne by the religious establishment — in favor of his brother Faisal — because of his ostentatious and extravagant conduct. His lavish, ostentatious style, offended the religious establishment who expected the “Imam of Muslims,” to pursue a pious, proselytizing lifestyle.

King Faisal, Saud’s successor, in his turn, was shot by his nephew in 1975, who had appeared at Court ostensibly to make his oath of allegiance, but who instead, pulled out a pistol and shot the king in his head. The nephew had been perturbed by the encroachment of western beliefs and innovation into Wahhabi society, to the detriment of the original ideals of the Wahhabist project.

SEIZING THE GRAND MOSQUE IN 1979

Far more serious, however, was the revived Ikhwan of Juhayman al-Otaybi, which culminated in the seizure of the Grand Mosque by some 400-500 armed men and women in 1979. Juhayman was from the influential Otaybi tribe from the Nejd, which had led and been a principal element in the original Ikhwanof the 1920s.

Juhayman and his followers, many of whom came from the Medina seminary, had the tacit support, amongst other clerics, of Sheikh Abdel-Aziz Bin Baz, the former Mufti of Saudi Arabia. Juhayman stated that Sheikh Bin Baz never objected to his Ikhwan teachings (which were also critical of ulema laxity towards “disbelief”), but that bin Baz had blamed him mostly for harking on that “the ruling al-Saud dynasty had lost its legitimacy because it was corrupt, ostentatious and had destroyed Saudi culture by an aggressive policy of westernisation.”

Significantly, Juhayman’s followers preached their Ikhwani message in a number of mosques in Saudi Arabia initially without being arrested, but when Juhayman and a number of the Ikhwan finally were held for questioning in 1978. Members of the ulema (including bin Baz) cross-examined them for heresy, but then ordered their release because they saw them as being no more than traditionalists harkening back to the Ikhwan— like Juhayman grandfather — and therefore not a threat.

Even when the mosque seizure was defeated and over, a certain level of forbearance by the ulema for the rebels remained. When the government asked for a fatwa allowing for armed force to be used in the mosque, the language of bin Baz and other senior ulema was curiously restrained. The scholars did not declare Juhayman and his followers non-Muslims, despite their violation of the sanctity of the Grand Mosque, but only termed them al-jamaah al-musallahah (the armed group).

The group that Juhayman led was far from marginalized from important sources of power and wealth. In a sense, it swam in friendly, receptive waters. Juhayman’s grandfather had been one of the leaders of the the original Ikhwan, and after the rebellion against Abdel Aziz, many of his grandfather’s comrades in arms were absorbed into the National Guard — indeed Juhayman himself had served within the Guard — thus Juhayman was able to obtain weapons and military expertise from sympathizers in the National Guard, and the necessary arms and food to sustain the siege were pre-positioned, and hidden, within the Grand Mosque. Juhayman was also able to call on wealthy individuals to fund the enterprise.

ISIS VS. WESTERNIZED SAUDIS

The point of rehearsing this history is to underline how uneasy the Saudi leadership must be at the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Previous Ikhwani manifestations were suppressed — but these all occurred inside the kingdom.

ISIS however, is a neo-Ikhwani rejectionist protest that is taking place outside the kingdom — and which, moreover, follows the Juhayman dissidence in its trenchant criticism of the al-Saud ruling family.

This is the deep schism we see today in Saudi Arabia, between the modernizing current of which King Abdullah is a part, and the “Juhayman” orientation of which bin Laden, and the Saudi supporters of ISIS and the Saudi religious establishment are a part. It is also a schism that exists within the Saudi royal family itself.

According to the Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper, in July 2014 “an opinion poll of Saudis [was] released on social networking sites, claiming that 92 percent of the target group believes that ‘IS conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law.’” The leading Saudi commentator, Jamal Khashoggi, recently warned of ISIS’ Saudi supporters who “watch from the shadows.”

There are angry youths with a skewed mentality and understanding of life and sharia, and they are canceling a heritage of centuries and the supposed gains of a modernization that hasn’t been completed. They turned into rebels, emirs and a caliph invading a vast area of our land. They are hijacking our children’s minds and canceling borders. They reject all rules and legislations, throwing it [a]way … for their vision of politics, governance, life, society and economy. [For] the citizens of the self-declared “commander of the faithful,” or Caliph, you have no other choice … They don’t care if you stand out among your people and if you are an educated man, or a lecturer, or a tribe leader, or a religious leader, or an active politician or even a judge … You must obey the commander of the faithful and pledge the oath of allegiance to him. When their policies are questioned, Abu Obedia al-Jazrawi yells, saying: “Shut up. Our reference is the book and the Sunnah and that’s it.”

“What did we do wrong?” Khashoggi asks. With 3,000-4,000 Saudi fighters in the Islamic State today, he advises of the need to “look inward to explain ISIS’ rise”. Maybe it is time, he says, to admit “our political mistakes,” to “correct the mistakes of our predecessors.”

MODERNIZING KING THE MOST VULNERABLE

The present Saudi king, Abdullah, paradoxically is all the more vulnerable precisely because he has been a modernizer. The King has curbed the influence of the religious institutions and the religious police — and importantly has permitted the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence to be used, by those who adhere to them (al-Wahhab, by contrast, objected to all other schools of jurisprudence other than his own).

“The key political question is whether the simple fact of ISIS’ successes, and the full manifestation (flowering) of all the original pieties and vanguardism of the archetypal impulse, will stimulate and activate the dissenter ‘gene’ — within the Saudi kingdom. If it does, and Saudi Arabia is engulfed by the ISIS fervor, the Gulf will never be the same again. Saudi Arabia will deconstruct and the Middle East will be unrecognizable.”

It is even possible too for Shiite residents of eastern Saudi Arabia to invoke Ja’afri jurisprudence and to turn to Ja’afari Shiite clerics for rulings. (In clear contrast, al-Wahhab held a particular animosity towards the Shiite and held them to be apostates. As recently as the 1990s, clerics such as bin Baz — the former Mufti — and Abdullah Jibrin reiterated the customary view that the Shiite were infidels).

Some contemporary Saudi ulema would regard such reforms as constituting almost a provocation against Wahhabist doctrines, or at the very least, another example of westernization. ISIS, for example, regards any who seek jurisdiction other than that offered by the Islamic State itself to be guilty of disbelief — since all such “other” jurisdictions embody innovation or “borrowings” from other cultures in its view.

The key political question is whether the simple fact of ISIS’ successes, and the full manifestation (flowering) of all the original pieties and vanguardism of the archetypal impulse, will stimulate and activate the dissenter ‘gene’ — within the Saudi kingdom.

If it does, and Saudi Arabia is engulfed by the ISIS fervor, the Gulf will never be the same again. Saudi Arabia will deconstruct and the Middle East will be unrecognizable.

 

“They hold up a mirror to Saudi society that seems to reflect back to them an image of ‘purity’ lost”

 

In short, this is the nature of the time bomb tossed into the Middle East. The ISIS allusions to Abd al-Wahhab and Juhayman (whose dissident writings are circulated within ISIS) present a powerful provocation: they hold up a mirror to Saudi society that seems to reflect back to them an image of “purity” lost and early beliefs and certainties displaced by shows of wealth and indulgence.

This is the ISIS “bomb” hurled into Saudi society. King Abdullah — and his reforms — are popular, and perhaps he can contain a new outbreak of Ikwhani dissidence. But will that option remain a possibility after his death?

And here is the difficulty with evolving U.S. policy, which seems to be one of “leading from behind” again — and looking to Sunni states and communities to coalesce in the fight against ISIS (as in Iraq with the Awakening Councils).

It is a strategy that seems highly implausible. Who would want to insert themselves into this sensitive intra-Saudi rift? And would concerted Sunni attacks on ISIS make King Abdullah’s situation better, or might it inflame and anger domestic Saudi dissidence even further? So whom precisely does ISIS threaten? It could not be clearer. It does not directly threaten the West (though westerners should remain wary, and not tread on this particular scorpion).

The Saudi Ikhwani history is plain: As Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab made it such in the 18th century; and as the Saudi Ikhwan made it such in the 20th century. ISIS’ real target must be the Hijaz — the seizure of Mecca and Medina — and the legitimacy that this will confer on ISIS as the new Emirs of Arabia.

Alastair Crooke, a former top British MI-6 agent in the Middle East, is author of Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution.

This article was first published by Huffington Post 

See also

U.S. Doubled Support for Saudi Bombing Campaign in Yemen

Saudi Arabia boosting extremism in Europe, says former ambassador

Theresa May buries report feared to show Saudi links to extremism

The West Must Face Reality: Saudi Regime Is the Root Cause of Islamist Terrorism

Thanks to State Department Cables, a Torture Victim Won a Rare $10 Million Settlement

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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