Saudi Arabia funds and exports Islamic extremism: The truth behind the toxic U.S. relationship with the theocratic monarchy
Posted on December 19th, 2016

BEN NORTON

The little-told history of the U.S.-Saudi “special relationship” is a story of blood, oil & violent fundamentalism

Saudi Arabia funds and exports Islamic extremism: The truth behind the toxic U.S. relationship with the theocratic monarchy(Credit: AP/Susan Walsh)

Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.” So advised world-renowned public intellectual Noam Chomsky, one of the most cited thinkers in human history.

The counsel may sound simple and intuitive — that’s because it is. But when it comes to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. ignores it.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading sponsor of Islamic extremism. It is also a close U.S. ally. This contradiction, although responsible for a lot of human suffering, is frequently ignored. Yet it recently plunged back into the limelight with the Saudi monarchy’s largest mass execution in decades.

On Jan. 2, Saudi Arabia beheaded 47 people across 13 cities. Among the executed was cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a leader from the country’s Shia religious minority who was arrested for leading peaceful protests against the regime in 2011-12.

Sheikh al-Nimr was known throughout the Islamic world for his staunch opposition to sectarianism. The outspoken Saudi dissident firmly insisted that Sunnis and Shias are not enemies, and should unite against the sectarian regimes oppressing them. The oppressed should unite together against the oppressors, instead of becoming tools in the hands of the oppressors,” he declared.

 By executing a dissident who challenged sectarianism, the Saudi monarchy was only further fomenting it.

Human rights organizations condemned the executions. Amnesty International said the Saudi regime is using the death penalty in the name of counter-terror to settle scores and crush dissidents,” sentencing activists to death after grossly unfair trials.” Amnesty called this a monstrous and irreversible injustice.”

Yet atrocities like the mass beheadings are by no means new in Saudi Arabia. What is new is the global attention to them.

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, the nephew of the murdered cleric, was arrested at age 17 for attending a peaceful pro-democracy protest in 2012. He was allegedly tortured, before being sentenced to death by beheading and crucifixion.

Saudi Arabia is one of the last places on the planet where crucifixions are still practiced — ordered by the government itself.

In recent years, the Saudi monarchy has also arrested at least two other peaceful teenage pro-democracy activists and sentenced them to death.

Furthermore, a Palestinian poet was sentenced to death by Saudi Arabia in November for renouncing Islam and criticizing the royal family.

In 2015, the Saudi regime executed 158 people, largely by beheading. On average, approximately half (47 percent) of people executed in Saudi Arabia are killed for drug-related offenses, according to Amnesty International. Every four days, then, on average, the Saudi monarchy executes someone for drugs — while its own princes are caught with thousands of pounds of drugs at foreign airports.

Journalist Abby Martin devoted an episode of her show The Empire Files” to exploring the Saudi-U.S. relationship. The episode, aptly titled Inside Saudi Arabia: Butchery, Slavery & History of Revolt,” displays the brutality of the monarchy in excruciating detail.

If the Saudi kingdom were an enemy of the U.S. government, we’d be shown these images and facts every day on the mainstream media,” Martin observes.

The internal repression and human rights abuses inside Saudi Arabia is one thing. Perhaps even more troubling, however, is the monarchy’s support for violent religious extremism. It is here that Chomsky’s advice on stopping terrorism becomes so important. By continually aligning itself with the Saudi regime, the U.S. is fueling the very fire it is fighting in the so-called War on Terror.

(Credit: AP/Reuters/Mian Kursheed)

(Credit: AP/Reuters/Mian Kursheed) AP/Reuters/Mian Kursheed

Saudi support for extremism

Saudi Arabia is a theocratic absolute monarchy that governs based on an extreme interpretation of Sharia (Islamic law). It is so extreme, it has been widely compared to ISIS. Algerian journalist Kamel Daoud characterized Saudi Arabia in an op-ed in The New York Times as an ISIS that has made it.”

Black Daesh, white Daesh,” Daoud wrote, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia.”

In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other,” Daoud continued. This is a mechanism of denial, and denial has a price: preserving the famous strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia at the risk of forgetting that the kingdom also relies on an alliance with a religious clergy that produces, legitimizes, spreads, preaches and defends Wahhabism, the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on.”

Since the November Paris attacks, in which 130 people were massacred in a series of bombings and shootings for which ISIS claimed responsibility, the West has constantly spoken of the importance of fighting extremism. At the same time, however, the U.S., U.K., France, and other Western nations have continued supporting the Saudi regime that fuels such extremism.

Saudi political dissidents like Turki al-Hamad have constantly argued this point. In a TV interview, al-Hamad insisted the religious extremism propagated by the Saudi monarchy serves as fuel for ISIS.” You can see [in ISIS videos] the volunteers in Syria ripping up their Saudi passports,” al-Hamad said.

In order to stop ISIS, you must first dry up this ideology at the source. Otherwise you are cutting the grass, but leaving the roots. You have to take out the roots,” he added.

In the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks, scholar Yousaf Butt stressed that the fountainhead of Islamic extremism that promotes and legitimizes such violence lies with the fanatical ‘Wahhabi’ strain of Islam centered in Saudi Arabia.”

If the world wants to tamp down and eliminate such violent extremism, it must confront this primary host and facilitator,” Butt warned.

In the past few decades, the Saudi regime has spent an estimated $100 billion exporting its extremist interpretation of Islam worldwide. It infuses its fundamentalist ideology in the ostensible charity work it performs, often targeting poor Muslim communities in countries like Pakistan or places like refugee camps, where uneducated, indigent, oppressed people are more susceptible to it.

Whether elements within Saudi Arabia support ISIS is contested. Even if Saudi Arabia does not directly support or fund ISIS, however, Saudi Arabia gives legitimacy to the extremist ideology ISIS preaches.

What is not contested, on the other hand, is that Saudi elites in the business community and even segments of the royal family support extremist groups like al-Qaida. U.S. government cables leaked by WikiLeaks admit donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

It has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority,” wrote former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a leaked 2009 cable.

Supporters of the Saudi monarchy resist comparisons to ISIS. The regime itself threatened to sue social media users who compared it to ISIS. Apologists point out that ISIS and Saudi Arabia are enemies. This is indeed true. But this is not necessarily because they are ideologically different (they are similar) but rather because they threaten each other’s power.

There can only be one autocrat in an autocratic system; ISIS’ self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi refuses to kowtow to present Saudi King Salman, and vice-versa. After all, the Saudi absolute monarch partially justifies his rule through claiming that it has been blessed and ordained by God, and if ISIS’ caliph insists the same, they can’t both be right.

Some American politicians have criticized the U.S.-Saudi relationship for these very reasons. Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham has been perhaps the most outspoken critic. Graham has called extremist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda a product of Saudi ideals, Saudi money and Saudi organizational support.”

Sen. Graham served on the Senate Intelligence Committee for a decade, and chaired the committee during and after the 9/11 attacks. He condemned the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq, which he deemed a distraction” from the U.S.’s real problems, and has warned that Saudi Arabia may have played a role in the 9/11 attacks that left almost 3,000 Americans dead.

This is not in any way to suggest that there was a conspiracy, and that the U.S. government was involved in the attacks; such a notion is preposterous, and can be refuted with even rudimentary knowledge about the Middle East and a basic understanding of history. There was no inside job”; the conspiracy theory is absurd. Rather, critics like Sen. Graham have suggested that the U.S. government sees its close relationship to Saudi Arabia as so critical that it may have downplayed potential Saudi involvement in the attacks.

Of the 19 Sept. 11 attackers, 15 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. Zacarias Moussaoui, a convicted 9/11 plotter, confessed in sworn testimony to U.S. authorities that members of the Saudi royal family funded al-Qaeda before the attacks. The Saudi government strongly denies this.

The 2002 joint House-Senate report on the Sept. 11 attacks has 28 pages on al-Qaeda’s specific sources of foreign support,” but this section is classified, leading Graham and others to suggest it may contain information about potential Saudi involvement. The 9/11 Commission insisted in its 2004 report, however, that it found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” al-Qaeda.

Sen. Graham has nevertheless insisted that the possibility that elements of the Saudi royal family supported the 9/11 attackers should not be ruled out. In his 2004 book Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America’s War on Terror,” Graham further argued these points, from his background within the U.S. government.

The independent, non-partisan Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has detailed the allegations and possible evidence — or lack thereof — of Saudi ties to the 9/11 attacks on its website FactCheck.org.

Whatever its role, what is clear is that Saudi Arabia’s support for violent extremist groups is well documented. Such support continues to this very day. In Syria, the Saudi monarchy has backed al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate. The U.S. government has bombed al-Nusra, but its ally Saudi Arabia is funding it.

Yet despite its brutality and support for extremism, the U.S. considers the Saudi monarchy a close ally.” The State Department calls Saudi Arabia a strong partner in regional security and counterterrorism efforts, providing military, diplomatic, and financial cooperation.” It stated in September 2015 it welcomed” the appointment of Saudi Arabia to the head of a U.N. human rights panel. We’re close allies,” the State Department remarked.

In order to understand where this intimate relationship came from, and why it is so important to the U.S., it is important to look back at history.

FDR meeting with King Ibn Saud on Feb. 14, 1945 (Credit: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons)

FDR meeting with King Ibn Saud on Feb. 14, 1945 (Credit: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons)

A history of precious jewels”

The U.S.-Saudi relationship has its origins in the early 20th century. It was at this time that Saudi Arabia was discovered to have what were believed to be the world’s largest oil reserves. The largest oil reserves are now known to actually be in Venezuela, but Saudi Arabia has the second-largest. And when Saudi Arabia is combined with neighboring Gulf states Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, it is by far the most oil-dense region of the planet.

This abundance in natural resources has led to a kind of special relationship, if you will, like the one between the U.S. and the U.K. or the U.S. and Israel.

In 1945, just before he died, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met with Ibn Saud, the first king and founder of modern Saudi Arabia. Roosevelt promised the regent the U.S. would support his kingdom in return for oil. This relationship has continued to this day.

Still now, American politicians openly cite these oil reserves as an important reason for U.S. support. In October 2015, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Bahrain, where he declared, Our engagement today is grounded by our deep and enduring commitment to the Middle East and to its people. This region is home to some of our oldest and closest friends and allies.”

The region’s oil supplies have powered industries and economies for generations since the Gulf prospectors first struck oil in Bahrain in 1931,” Sec. Blinken continued. And while we are now more energy sufficient, Middle East oil continues to drive the global market, and we remain determined to secure its supply.”

Every U.S. president since Roosevelt has worked with the Saudi monarchy — from Truman to Carter to Obama.

Eisenhower’s administration emphasized the close cooperation” between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia on economic and military grounds. Saudi Arabia, by virtue of its spiritual, geographical, and economic position, is of vital importance in the Middle East,” his administration insisted. It is in the interests of world peace that this Kingdom be strengthened for the maintenance of its own stability and the safeguarding and progressive development of its institutions.”

The Nixon administration created a Twin Pillars” Middle East policy, in which the U.S.-backed monarchies in Saudi Arabia and Iran were considered pillars of stability. In 1953, the CIA backed a coup that overthrew Iran’s first and only democratically elected head of state, Mohammad Mosaddegh. The U.S. subsequently propped up the Iranian monarch, known as the shah, until the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which permanently changed the U.S. relationship with Iran, moving the U.S. even closer to Saudi Arabia and Israel.

In September 2015, President Obama commended the longstanding friendship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.” President Obama’s administration has in fact moved the U.S. even closer to the Saudi regime, particularly in the realm of military coordination. In the past five years, the U.S. has done more than $100 billion in arms deals with the Saudi monarchy.

Some analysts have downplayed the significance of oil in this special relationship, but it is hard to overstate the importance of oil to the modern industrial economy. To put it simply, things would simply collapse were it not for oil. Petroleum is in practically everything. It’s in our cars, airplanes, roads, buildings, and even products like toothpaste. The entire modern global economy is based on oil. This is why even a relatively small fluctuation in the price of oil can have enormous global economic effects.

A recent television program by National Geographic tried to envision what exactly would happen if the modern world ran out of oil. Its depiction is bleak and dystopian —it is a world in which life truly is nasty, brutish and short.

But critics do have a point; it is not just about oil — although petroleum is at the center of the U.S.-Saudi special relationship. Saudi Arabia, along with Israel, has also been an important political and military ally in the Middle East, that ensures U.S. dominance in the region.

Of all past U.S. presidents, President Reagan’s relationship with the Saudi monarchy is particularly relevant in these regards.

The friendship and cooperation between our governments and people are precious jewels whose value we should never underestimate,” Reagan declared at the 1985 welcoming ceremony for then Saudi King Fahd.

Reagan told the monarch you rightfully exert a strong moral influence in the world of Islam, and the people of the United States are proud of their leadership role among the democratic nations.” The U.S. president dubbed his country the regent of the West, and Saudi Arabia the regent of the Middle East.

I firmly believe that in the years ahead, there should be and will be a more powerful recognition of the common interests shared by these two significant world forces. Already, the bonds of commerce are strong, especially between our two countries,” Reagan continued, adding, Petroleum from Saudi wells helps drive the engines of progress in the United States.”

Reagan characterized the Saudi regime as a crucial ally in the fight against Marxist tyranny.” The U.S. president warned that communists would impose dictatorship on all of mankind” — at the very same moment that he was propping up the most authoritarian and fundamentalist monarchy on the planet.

At the time, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, through Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, were funding extremist groups in Afghanistan, including those that would later become the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Reagan infamously characterized Islamic extremist mujahideen militants as freedom fighters.

During the Soviet War in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the U.S. knowingly funneled millions of dollars to fanatics like Afghan militant leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who told his followers to throw acid in the faces of women who did not cover their heads. With CIA backing through the ISI, Hekmatyar also massacred Kabul schools because communists let women get educated alongside men.

Rumors circulated in mid-2015 that Hekmatyar and his Salafi militant group Hezb-e-Islami had proclaimed support for ISIS. He later denied it, but his militant group has already aligned with al-Qaeda, and is hardly very different.

During the Cold War — and particularly during the Soviet war in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s — the U.S., hand-in-hand with Saudi Arabia, actively encouraged religious extremism. They stressed that socialist and communist movements were often atheistic, and pitted far-right religious fundamentalists against the secular leftists. The remnants of this policy are the extremist movements we see throughout the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia today.

In order to decimate the left in the Cold War, the U.S. emboldened, armed and trained the extreme-right. The Frankenstein’s monsters it created in the pursuit of this policy are the al-Qaedas and ISISes of the world.

Ash Carter, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz

(Credit: Reuters/Carolyn Kaster) Reuters/Carolyn Kaster

21st-century feudalism

Saudi Arabia is truly a country that was created through Western imperialism. Before Roosevelt met with King Ibn Saud, Saudi Arabia was a relatively weak country with little global political influence. It was Western, and principally U.S., patronage that turned Saudi Arabia into what it is today.

The Saudi monarchy presents itself as modernized, yet it is still feudal in essence. There is almost no developed civil society in Saudi Arabia, because the regime has made all independent institutionalized forms of dissent illegal.

Women are essentially second-class citizens in Saudi Arabia. They are given nowhere near equal rights with men — who basically own their wives and daughters — and cannot travel without men accompanying them. Unemployment rates are skyrocketing among women, even though many are educated, and they were only just granted the right to vote in December 2015 — although they do not have any actual effectual politicians to vote for under an absolute monarchy.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia only abolished slavery in 1962, at the behest of President Kennedy. Even now, however, the Saudi regime still relies heavily on slave labor — like other neighboring Gulf monarchies.

The Saudi regime is essentially a form of modern feudalism, one that has only continued into the 21st century because it has been preserved by Western patronage.

Feudalism was overthrown or rendered effectively powerless in much of the West in the 18th and 19th centuries. The monarchy in Egypt was overthrown by the Free Officers Movement in 1953, after the first Egyptian Revolution, under the leadership of Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser. It is likely that the Gulf monarchies would have been toppled too, were it not for Western imperial policies.

The places in which governing, non-symbolic monarchies still remain — not just Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations, but also Jordan — are preponderantly Western-allied nations. A longstanding policy pursued by Western colonial and imperial powers was to prop up monarchies that were friendly to their interests. These repressive feudal regimes were invariably unpopular to their citizens, who were in turn also antagonistic to the foreign colonial powers occupying and controlling their nations in order to exploit labor, extract resources, and forcibly open up new foreign markets. Imperial powers, hence, understood that it would be much easier to control a nation by aligning with its tiny autocratic power base than to try to win the hearts and minds of the masses of people.

Saudi Arabia is a product of precisely this imperial legacy. Were it not for Western support, the Saudi monarchy would likely have fallen, or rather have been toppled, many decades ago — just as it was in Egypt.

In the past few decades, Saudi Arabia’s influence and role in the Middle East has increased, with steady U.S. backing. After the catastrophic U.S. war in Iraq, Iran emerged as a new regional super power. Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. have worked to weaken Iranian influence in the region. Just in the past few years, in particular, the Saudi monarchy has begun acting more aggressively against Iran, violently asserting its influence, leading a relentless war on Yemen and funding rebel groups in Syria.

Today, in the 21st century, violent religious extremism has taken control of much of the Middle East. The U.S. has ended millions of lives and invested billions upon billions of tax dollars in its putative fight against such extremism. But the increasing prominence of Saudi Arabia, and the U.S.’s increasing support for the absolute monarchy, has only perpetuated this fight.

The reasons behind the surge in violent extremism in the past decade are of course multitudinous. None of this is to say Saudi Arabia is the only factor. There is also the catastrophic and bloody U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya; along with the illegal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, which has carried on now since 1967; and the brutal repression of the al-Assad dictatorship in Syria.

Saudi Arabia is not the sole reason for the extremism in the world today, but it is one of the primary sources of it. More crucially, the fanatical Wahhabi ideology the Saudi monarchy exports is one of the main reasons many rebel groups resisting these forms of injustice and oppression become Salafi Islamists, and not secular leftists, as most resistance groups were in the mid-20th century.

In the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, the West has again asked itself what it can do to stop Islamic extremism — while it is actively supporting Saudi Arabia, the world’s principal proselytizer of Islamic extremism.

If it is truly interested in stopping terrorism, then, the U.S. and the rest of the West will heed Chomsky’s advice. The U.S. will realize that there really is an easy way to stop terrorism: It will stop participating in it, and end its alliance with Saudi Arabia.

Iranians Burn Saudi Embassy

Ben Norton is a politics reporter and staff writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @BenjaminNorton.

3 Responses to “Saudi Arabia funds and exports Islamic extremism: The truth behind the toxic U.S. relationship with the theocratic monarchy”

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    This is the problem with the mussies. They go to a country, uninvited. Then multiply and multiply at an alarming
    rate. After some time they want their own country or they want to change the host country. Then start murdering
    unbelievers, as instructed in the so called religion of violence’s hand book.

    The absurdity of all this is incomprehensible.
    Mussies are not happy in saudi, iraq, pakesthan, iran, syria, turkey, libya etc.

    They are happy in uk, us, australia, canada etc. etc since they have freedom to what they want.
    Then they start their ghettos in those countries and want to make them like the ones they came from. Can you belive
    these mussies. When you are following a religion which advocate murder of non-believers, anything is possible.
    Mussies made old iran, afganisthan, pakesthan, bangladesh, maldives, malaysia, indonesia etc. etc. from Buddhist
    to mussie with a few hundred years of their arrival in those countries. How did they do it? (Google Buddhist heritage in those
    countries and see if you don’t believe me).
    They used BMWs (Baby
    Machine Wives) churned out 100s of 1000s of mussie babies in double quick time. So the natives had to either
    convert or flee. Surprise surprise all became mussie countries. They are repeating the dirty trick in Sri Lanka,
    Thailand and Mynmar ably funded by the middle east. With fast multiplying comes the votes which they use to
    appoint mps, mayors, ministers etc. etc. who in turn change everything to mussie slowly without much trouble
    since they have these massive voter bases! Dirty trick worked in the olden days. It is working in the modern
    world as well. Nobody says a word about the BMWs. xxxxlam is not just the religion of violence it is also the
    fastest breeding religion.

  2. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Warlord Abdulaziz raided many places in Najd to feed his family. On the night of January 15, 1902, 26 years old warlord Abdulaziz led 40 men climbed over the walls of the city of Riyadh on tilted palm trees and took the city of Riyadh. The Rashidi governor of the city of Riyadh, Ajlan, was killed in front of his own fortress – Masmak fort. Beginning with the conquest city of Riyadh in 1902, Warlord Abdulaziz consolidated his control over the Najd in 1922, and then conquered the Hijaz in 1925. The Wahhabis and UK supported warlord Abdulaziz and legitimized warlord Abdulaziz and his fight against the Ottoman Empire. Having conquered almost all of central Arabia, UK supported warlord Abdulaziz united his dominions into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932 and changed his name as King Saud bin Abdulaziz. Since then the House of Saud always supports UK and its allies including USA. Warlord Abdulaziz married more than twenty women and fathered over sixty eight children including all of the subsequent kings of Saudi Arabia.Today more than 7,000 princes in the House of Saud, the result of multiple wives and lots of progeny.
    In 1863 the Illuminati Ashkenazi Khazar Rothschilds used one of their agents in USA, John D. Rockefeller to form an oil business called Standard Oil which eventually took over all of its competition in USA. Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938 by US geologists working for Standard Oil. Standard Oil obtained a 50 year concession granted by Abdulaziz for an immediate payment of 30,000 gold sovereigns, veritably one of the greatest bargains in history. When the extent of breathtakingly large oil reserves became evident in Saudi Arabia, Exxon, Texaco Mobil and others joined in to form the mighty Aramco consortium.
    In exchange for security of the House of Saud dynasty by USA, the Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth and revenues have been handed over for exploitation and benefit of the Zionists and their Wall Street Corporations. The House of Saud regime controls “the largest family business” in the world without any popular mandate or accountability.
    When Warlord Abdulaziz took control of the Holy Places in Arabia from the Ottoman Empire with British support, he destroyed 15 centuries of Islamic heritage, including the desecration of the tombs of the wives and companions of the Holy Prophet, in the iconoclastic imposition of Wahhabism. The iconoclastic Wahhabi House of Saud gradually destroyed several holy shrines, including historical places of Islam from the Prophet’s house in Mecca and companion Ayoob Ansari’s house in Medina and turned them into apartment buildings and hotels. They also turned the site of the Prophet’s wives’ houses into a parking lot. Art, Music, dancing, laughing and weeping (including at funerals) have been forbidden by the Wahhabis. For a Wahhabi listening to music or dancing is haram but detonating explosive and killing innocent human beings is permissible.
    To enforce Wahhabism morals enforcers known as mutawwiin have been integral to the Wahhabi movement since its inception. Mutawwiin serve as missionaries, as enforcers of public morals, and as “public ministers of the religion” who preach in the Friday mosque. In addition to enforcing male attendance at public prayer, the mutawwiin also have been responsible for supervising the closing of shops at prayer time, for looking out for infractions of public morality such as playing music, dancing, smoking, drinking alcohol, men having hair that is too long or women who are not fully covered and dressing immodestly.
    The Wahhabi-backed warlord Abdulaziz took full control of the Hijaz, Mecca and Medina, in 1924 and established the modern state of Saudi Arabia, with Wahhabism as its official religion. Since then the House of Saud has promoted Wahhabism as normative Islam throughout the Islamic world. The House of Saud was consolidated on massive oil wealth and has spent huge sums of money building Wahhabi mosques, publishing Wahhabi literature and funding Wahhabi organizations world-wide. Today, with Wahhabi control of the Holy Places intact, virtually every aspect and corner of modern Islam has been penetrated by Wahhabi influence through the agency of the House of Saud.
    Through the control of the Hajj – the beating heart of Islam – and through their vigorous publication and propaganda means, almost all the Muslims are infected with Wahhabism to some extent.
    In Saudi Arabia there is no Church, Synagogue, Buddhist nor Hindu Temple is allowed. Wahhabism (pseudo Salafism) is NOT a religion of tolerance. Wahhabism provides the fundamental base for Jihadism which causes unending strife and misery. It is not Iran that should be bombed. In Iran there are still Jews living there and praying in their Synagogues. Muammar al-Gaddafi respected Christian and Jewish religions and their Churches, Synagogues in Libya but American, English, French, Saudi and Qatari financed terrorists destroyed Churches, Synagogues recently. Buddhist Temples including Bamiyan Buddha statues have survived in Islamic countries for centuries, but they could not survive under the Wahhabism.
    Washington and London are protecting Wahhabi extremists. In Syria Christians and their Churches were safe before the Westerners began sending their Wahhabi fanatics to kill innocent Syrian civilians.
    In Bosnia and Kosovo, under the guise of “reconstruction aid”, Saudi Arabia, Kuwaiti, and other Wahhabi organizations have demolished and removed major Islamic monuments (survived attacks by Serbian and Croatian militias) which were created by Muslims with an Islamic culture and tradition stretching back to 14th century long before Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab made his 1744 alliance with the warlord Muhammad Ibn Saud who founded the Saudi dynasty – House of Saud.
    In post- Muammar al-Gaddafi Libya,Wahhabi Jihadists bulldozed several Libyan Sufi mosques (including the Tripoli’s Al-Shaab Al-Dahman mosque) and Sufi graves (including the tombs of Libyan Sufi scholars Abdullah al-Sha’ab, Abdel Salam al-Asmar and of soldiers who fought Spanish colonialists). Wahhabi Jihadists also burned down several historic Sufi libraries in Libya recently.
    Since the start of the Arab Spring uprising by Wahhabi Jihadists, many Sufi sites have been attacked in Egypt, Mali and Libya by armed Wahhabi Jihadists.
    Because control of the world’s oil reserves also meant control of the world economy, Middle East was a vital prize for any power interested in world influence or domination. Because of the stupendous source of strategic power of Middle East oil and the immense wealth from this unparalleled material prize UK and France reached a secret agreement in 1916 known as Asia Minor and divided the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East with UK cleverly keeping oil producing countries and even creating an artificial country like Kuwait. The 1945 signed memo between USA and UK says “US petroleum policy towards UK is predicated on a mutual recognition of a very extensive joint interest and upon control, at least for the moment, of the great bulk of the free petroleum resources of the world”. After the decline of UK and France, USA stepped in as the dominant neo-colonial power in the Middle East and elsewhere. Zionist policy is to keep the sources of oil in the Middle East under Zionist control. Zionist energy corporations have flourished with profits beyond the dreams of avarice with the Middle East their leading cash cow.
    The Sunnis- Shiites divide is too deep rooted and plays out daily in most Islamic countries. Shiites form the underclass in most Sunni ruled countries, but after 1979 have felt inspired and aided by Iran, have become empowered in Lebanon and elsewhere. The Sunnis-Shiites conflict which can be seen in daily blood bath in Iraq and in the Muslim world throughout its history cannot be stopped by “Fatwas”.
    Wahhabism is the only social structure in Saudi Arabia. There are no political parties, unions, or social organizations in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabi Saudi Arabia can not stay at peace with the Shia Islamic Republic of Iran.
    Wahhabism is a desert cruelty used as a Muslim-Arab ideology to keep the House of Saud in power. The king of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Aziz bin Saud, is 88 years old and the throne passes not from father to son but from brother to brother. Next in line to the throne Crown Prince Salman is already 77. While Saudi Arabia crumbles, massive oil revenues, which have long been used to buy public support, are being squeezed by sharply increased domestic demand and the Wahhabi Islamic establishment that supported the House of Saud is increasingly fractious and is losing credibility. High unemployment, corrupt bureaucracy, crippled economy, weak education system, and millions of frustrated youth are now battering Wahhabi Saudi Arabia.
    Pakistan President Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq was a pariah till 1979 for having ousted Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and hanged him. But suddenly Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq became the darling of the Western countries when he offered space, facilities and soul for the Jihad in Afghanistan. The great Jihad in Afghanistan was a big opportunity for Wahhabis. Taliban was created with help and open recognition by Saudi Arabia and encouraged by USA to pacify Afghanistan after the chaos in the wake of withdrawal of Soviet troops. USA was interested in Zionists owned Union Oil using Afghanistan for petroleum pipe lines to transport central Asian energy to the Arabian Sea coast and beyond and to energy hungry fast developing India .Across Pakistan, the religious tenor has been correspondingly radicalised, the tolerant, Sufi-minded Barelvi form of Islam is now overtaken by the rise of the more hardliner and politicized Wahhabism. Remember Sri Lankan cricketers were ambushed in Lahore by armed Wahhabi Jihadists.
    Wahhabi cadres trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan on return to their countries in Middle East spread that culture, which now threatens most of them and has seeped even into Europe , which hosts tens of millions of Muslims .
    Present Zionist and Wahhabi doctrines foresee the fall of Iran, Belarus, and, ultimately Russia and China, after the fall of Damascus, to the combined forces of NATO and the Saudi- and Qatari-backed Wahhabis, who make up a large portion of the anti Syrian movement. Like Saudi Arabia, Qatar is also funds Wahhabi Jihadist movements world-wide. Saudi Arabia directly supported terrorist activities in several countries including Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Chechnya and Bosnia
    Sufism which is vigorously present throughout South Asia including Sri Lanka for several centuries, ia an entirely indigenous Islamic resistance movement to fundamentalism. Oil rich Saudi Arabia greatly began to penetrate Sri Lanka’s adherents to Islam in 70′s. With the increased funding by the Saudi Arabia with their petro dollars, Wahhabi followers have increased and are now responsible for the sectarian clashes that are slowly increasing among peace loving Sri Lankan Muslims especially in the Eastern Province. It is sadly true but there is a rising trend of Wahhabi Jihadism in Sri Lanka. Wahhabis are trying to take the peaceful Islamic community in Sri Lanka down the path of extremism and violence.Wahhabi fundamentalism has advanced so quickly in Sri Lanka partly because the House of Saud has financed the building of so many madrasas. The Wahhabis have already created deep divisions in among Sri Lankan Muslims and have formed gangs that intimidate moderate Muslims who speak out against Wahhabi fanatics. Like the Christian fundamentalist groups using NGOs to convert innocent poor families to Christianity, Wahhabis help poor Muslim families by providing cash and other material benefits to convert the innocent poor Muslim families into their cult. By building churches and madrasas all over the world to harvest the poor souls is truely very clever idea. Wahhabis even use Sri Lankan Government Cultural and Religious Affairs Departments to continue their nefarious activities.
    Wahhabis claim that moderate Sri Lankan Muslims do not know anything of Islam and only themselves are the real scholars of Islam. But Wahhabis preach only “dawah” of hatred, terror and murder. To understand the deranged mentality of Wahhabis look at the “fitna” the Wahhabis have caused in Pakistan. The Government authorities must investigate every Wahhabi school and propagandist in the Eastern Province to make sure they are not preaching things that are inimical to Sri Lanka. Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other Wahhabi terrorist groups. Saudi Arabia spends 87 billion US dollar per year to spread Wahhabism world-wide. Scholarships are offered to our Muslims youths to go to Wahhabi institutions in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. But those who completed their Wahhabi studies returned to Sri Lanka and propagate Wahhabism.
    Wahhabis have infiltrated Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC). Almost all the participants and staffers in the Muslim section of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation are Wahabis and use the State radio to propagate Wahhabism. Not only Wahhabis run private unlicensed radio stations in the Eastern Province, also armed Wahhabis often attack mosques and leaders of the Sufi sect.
    Wahhabism in Srilanka is headquartered in Kattankudi is a new politico-religious movement that is sweeping the Eastern province of Sri Lanka with more than sixty Muslim Wahhabi organizations helping in propagating the movement throughout Sri Lanka and has raced ahead and taken control of the Jihadist and Al Fatah groups in Sri Lanka under their wings. Wahhabism is imported and planted in the midst of peace-loving Muslims in Sri Lanka, mostly through the lavish inflow of Saudi money pumped into Sri Lanka has overtaken other Islamic organizations by threats, intimidation and coercion.
    Remember Colonel Lateef was gun down by the prominent Wahhabi militant `Police` Faiz in Oddamavadi. CIA introduced Wahhabism in Sri Lanka through Saudi Arabia as a means of countering the growing support for Iran and Sufism among the Sri Lankan Muslims since CIA had calculated that Wahhabism would be an effective rival theology to prevent the spread of Iranian influence in Sri Lanka.
    Clashes between Sufis and Wahhabi Muslims in Kattankudi and Oddamavadi are regular occurrence . More than 200 homes of Sufi followers were burnt down by Wahhabi Jihadists in Kattankudi during similar clashes occurred in October 2004.
    One of the Sufi leaders Abdul Payilvan died in Colombo was buried at in Kattankudi the next day. Wahhabi Muslims observed a hartal and demanded the removal of the body from the burial grounds. Wahhabi Muslims claim Kattankudy soil is sacred and bodies belonging to those who preach views contradictory to Wahhabism should not be buried there. Wahhabis demanded that the body of Abdul Payilvan, who is from Maruthamunai in the Ampara district, should be exhumed and buried elsewhere.
    Wahhabis had dug up the buried body of another Sufi Muslim from Mosque burial grounds and dumped the body on a local road as an act of protest. Kattankudi Police recovered the body, re-buried it in the original burial ground and guarded burial ground for few days.
    In Kattankudi, the hatred between Wahhabis and Sufis has widened in the last few years and has grown in intensity, left many injured, and caused damage to several houses and vehicles.
    Though residing in Sri Lanka illegally, P Jainul Abedin – a powerful Wahhabi preacher from Tamil Nadu – is now leading the Wahhabi Jihadism in Kattankudi.
    A more recent 2009 clash in the south-western Muslim coastal town of Beruwala reflects similar religious tensions between a popular Sufi sheikh and a nearby Wahhabi congregation.
    Saudi agents have successfully penetrated Sri Lankan Muslims social fabric and have managed to defeat the Sufism in their game. Due to the training afforded by the House of Saud now the Wahhabis have prevailed over the Sufis. The Muslims in Sri Lanka have been subdued due to the Wahhabi influence while Buddhists have been agitating for the release of Rizana Naffek – teenage housemaid from Muthur who was sentenced to death by a Wahhabi Sharia Court in Saudi Arabia.
    The House of Saud pretending to be the leaders of the Islam promote their Wahhabi ideology world-wide. The result has been the birth of al-Qaida, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other Wahhabi terrorist groups which are killing Sunni and Shia Muslims alike in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    Wahhabism has been taking roots in Maldives from the days of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Abandoning its tolerant, syncretic brand of Islam, Maldives now moves towards an intolerant Wahhabi society. Recently two Maldives MPs – Dr Afrasheem Ali & Aishath Velezinee – were killed by Wahhabi Jihadists.
    Al-Qaida, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba are overseen by the CIA and Mossad who want to destabilise countries that are not friendly to them. Because the House of Saud depends on the Americans for its security it always obeys American orders. The constant demonization of Iran and now the war against Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad confirms a perception that Western Countries have joined with the Wahhabis in the Wahhabis’ war on the Shiites. Wahhabi Jihadism remains a long-term security risk to the civilized world. In particular, through the spread of Wahhabi education in tens of thousands of religious schools world-wide, the practitioners of Wahhabism are breeding tens of millions of youth who are certain to remain outside the productive economy, and as a consequence, seethe with resentment and anger against the rest of society.
    Even the forced exodus of the Hindu Pandit community from the Kashmir Valley in India during the early 1990s, and the destruction of several Hindu and Sikh temples by the Wahhabi Jihadists in Kashmir, failed to slow down the volume of laudatory coverage of what were portrayed Wahhabi Jihadists as freedom fighters battling cruel Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir State by the Western media. The “Kashmir Model” of using the language of democracy and human rights to win Western support, even while adhering to a contrary policy in practice was widely used to topple Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. Wahhabis hated Muammar al-Gaddafi for the fact that he ruled Libya, with no quarter given to Wahhabi demands as the imposition of Sharia law or the banning of women’s dress other than the abaya. After Muammar al-Gaddafi was defeated and killed, Wahhabi Jihadists who took over Libya as a result of huge help from Nicholas Sarkozy and David Cameron have lost no time in imposing a Wahhabi version of Sharia law in Libya and in killing and jailing those who disagree with their extremist world-view. Fortunately for them, Western media channels that were once filled with news about Libya under Muammar al-Gaddafi are now silent about the immense human rights violations taking place in Libya after its “liberation” in 2011.
    Western governments and their media commentators now claim that the Wahhabi Jihadist “Muslim Brotherhood” is “moderate” and that the so-called “Wahhabi Salafis” in Egypt are merely “conservative.” Peace loving Muslims from the Balkans to Bengal have expressed their disagreement with this benign view.
    Seeing the success of such a pitch in Libya, Wahhabi Jihadists against the Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad, have begun cultivating the Western media and public opinion, the way the Wahhabi Jihadists in Kashmir used to do in the 1990s.
    So extreme has the identification with such elements become, that even the largest Western media outlets accept without question such “facts” as that Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad bombed his own troops and facilities in order “to blame it on the insurgents.” Since the armed uprising by Wahhabi Jihadists began in Syria several thousand members of the Syrian security forces and their family members have been killed by the Wahhabi insurgents, who themselves have lost thousands of their own.
    However, those relying on Western media are told that every such death has been caused by the Syrian security forces, ignoring the deadly violence that is being unleashed in Syria by groups of armed Wahhabi mobs.
    Today in Syria, women can dress as they please. Were the Wahhabi Jihadists to take control, this freedom might soon be replaced with the obligation to wear the full veil. Already in Egypt and in Tunisia, the secular ethos of the country is rapidly giving way to Wahhabism.
    While Western countries are opposed to Wahhabi Jihadism and Sharia law in their own countries, in the Arab countries they favor Wahhabi Jihadism over those who are secular. The result is a galloping Wahhabism and its Sharia law across the Arab countries.
    Since the Western countries subterfuge to destabilise Sri Lanka, by surreptitiously supporting the LTTE failed, now the Western countries will promote Wahhabi Jihadism to cause strife and trouble to destabilize Sri Lanka. Wahhabi followers – al-Qaida, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other Wahhabi terrorist groups – have caused untold misery in several countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Sri Lanka appears to be their next target. The Sri Lankan government must take immediate strict measures to control Wahhabi organizations and ban them. Wahhabis have already built several illegal Mosques in Sri lanka using Saudi Arabia’s petro dollar. The overwhelming peace loving, tolerant and intensely patriotic Muslims of Sri Lanka will extend their support to the government in this matter. As the Wahhabis are even capable of starting ethnic riots between the peaceful Sinhalese and the Muslims, the Sri Lankan government must not be lethargic on this matter.
    Significant obstruction to Wahhabi aggression now appears in the peripheral Muslim communities, including the Balkans no less than Sri Lanka and India. Calling itself “the world’s largest democracy” and possessing the third largest Muslim population in the world, India has produced a stiffer resistance to Wahhabism than any of the lands of the “Arab Spring.” If Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar are bulwarks of extremism and tyranny, peace loving, tolerant and intensely patriotic Indian Muslims may provide a barrier to Wahhabi Jihadist ambitions. With their widely-respected intellectual heritage, their close link with spiritual Sufism, and their demonstrated loyalty to their mother land, the Indian Muslims have shown the world that Western governments are wrong to accommodate fanatic Wahhabism.

  3. RohanJay Says:

    Pretty much sums it up Nalliah Thayabharan. Good post.

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