by Nauman Sadiq
If we look at the evolution of Islamic religion and culture throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, it hasn’t been natural. Some deleterious mutations have occurred somewhere which have negatively impacted the Islamic societies all over the world. Social selection (or social conditioning) plays the same role in the social sciences which the natural selection plays in the biological sciences: that is, it selects the traits, norms and values which are most beneficial to the host culture. Seen from this angle, social diversity is a desirable quality for social progress; because when diverse customs and value-systems compete with each other, the culture retains the beneficial customs and values and discards the deleterious traditions and habits.
A decentralized and unorganized religion, like Sufi Islam, engenders diverse strains of beliefs and thoughts which compete with one another for gaining social acceptance and currency. A highly centralized and tightly organized religion, on the other hand, depends more on authority and dogma rather than value and utility. A centralized religion is also more ossified and less adaptive to change compared to a decentralized religion.
When we look at the phenomena of religious extremism and the consequent militancy and terrorism in the Af-Pak region in particular and the Islamic world in general, it is not a natural evolution of religion, some deleterious mutations have occurred somewhere which have negatively affected the whole of Islamic world. Most Pakistani political commentators blame the Pakistani security establishment for deliberate promotion of religious extremism and militancy throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s in order to create a Jihadi narrative which suited the institutional interests and strategic objectives of the Pakistani military.
There is no denying of this evident fact that the Pakistani security establishment had wantonly nurtured Islamic radicalism and militancy in the Af-Pak region but the Pakistani military’s support for Islamic jihadism during the Cold War is only one factor in an array of factors in order to reach a comprehensive understanding of the phenomena of Islamic radicalism and the agents that are responsible for it; because the phenomena of Islamic extremism is not limited to the Af-Pak region, the whole of Islamic world from Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria to Indonesia, Malaysia and even the Muslim minorities of Thailand, China and Philippines have also become the victims of this phenomena and obviously the region-specific security establishments do not have any influence over all the geographically separate and remote regions of the Islamic world.
In my opinion, the real culprit behind the rise of Islamic extremism and jihadism in the Islamic world is Saudi Arabia. The “Aal-e-Saud” (the descendants of Saud) have no hereditary claim to “the Throne of Mecca” since they are not the descendants of the prophet, nor even from the tribe of Quresh (there is a throne of Mecca which I will explain later.) They were the most primitive and marauding nomadic tribesmen of Najd who defeated the Sharifs of Mecca violently after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War. Their title to the throne of Saudi Arabia is only de facto and not de jure, since neither do they have a hereditary claim to the Saudi monarchy nor do they hold elections to ascertain the will of the Saudi people. Thus, they are the illegitimate rulers of Saudi Arabia and they feel insecure because of their illegitimacy, a fact which explains their heavy-handed and brutal tactics in dealing with any kind of dissent, opposition or movement for reform in Saudi Arabia.
The phenomena of religious extremism and jihadism all over the Islamic world is directly linked to the Wahhabi-Salafi madrassahs which are generously funded by the Saudi and Gulf’s petro-dollars. These madrassahs attract children from the most impoverished backgrounds in the Third World Islamic countries because they offer the kind of incentives and facilities which even the government-sponsored public schools cannot provide: such as, free boarding and lodging, no tuition fee at all, and free of cost books and stationery.
Apart from madrassahs, another factor that promotes the Wahhabi-Salafi ideology in the Islamic world is the ritual of Hajj and Umrah (the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.) Every year millions of Muslim men and women travel from all over the Islamic world to perform the pilgrimage in order to wash their sins. When they return home to their native countries after spending a month or two in Saudi Arabia, along with clean hearts and souls, dates and “zamzam,” they also bring along the tales of Saudi hospitality and their “true” and puritanical version of Islam, which some Muslims, especially the rural-tribal folk, find attractive and worth-emulating.
Authority plays an important role in any thought system; the educated people accept the authority of the specialists in their respective field of specialty; similarly, the lay folk accept the authority of the theologians and clerics in the interpretation of religion and scriptures. Aside from authority, certain other factors also play a part in an individuals’ psychology: like, purity or the concept of sacred, and originality and authenticity, as in the concept of being closely corresponding to an ideal or authentic model. Just like the modern naturalists who prefer organic food and natural habits and lifestyles, because of their supposed belief in “the essential goodness of nature” (naturalistic fallacy,) or due to their disillusionment from the man-made fiascoes, the religious folks also prefer a true version of Islam which is closer to the putative authentic Islam as practiced in Mecca and Medina: “the Gold Standard of Petro-Islam.”
Yet another factor which contributes to the rise of Wahhabi-Salafi ideology throughout the Islamic world is the immigrant factor. Millions of Muslim men, women and families from all over the Third World Islamic countries live and work in the energy-rich Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait and Oman. Some of them permanently reside there but mostly they work on temporary work permits. Just like the pilgrims, when they come back to their native villages and towns, they also bring along the tales of Arab hospitality and their version of “authentic Islam.” Spending time in Arab countries entitles one to pass authoritative judgments on religious matters, and having a cursory understanding of Arabic, the language of Quran, makes one equivalent of a Qazi (a learned jurist) among the illiterate village folk; and they simply reproduce the customs and attitudes of the Arabs as an authentic version of Islam to their communities.
The Shi’a Muslims have their Imams and Marjahs (religious authorities) but it is generally assumed about Sunni Islam that it discourages the authority of the clergy. In this sense, Sunni Islam is closer to Protestantism, at least theoretically, because it prefers an individual and personal interpretation of scriptures and religion. It might be true for the educated Sunni Muslims but on a popular level of the masses of the Third World Islamic countries “the House of Saud” plays the same role in Sunni Islam that the Pope plays in Catholicism. By virtue of their physical possession of the holy places of Islam – Mecca and Medina – they are the ex officio “Caliphs of Islam.” The title of the Saudi King: “Khadim-ul-Haramain-al-Shareefain” (Servant of the House of God), makes him a vice-regent of God on Earth; and the title of “the Caliph of Islam” is not limited to a single nation state, he wields enormous influence throughout “the Commonwealth of Islam: the Muslim Ummah.”
Now, when we hear slogans like “no democracy, just Islam” on the streets of the Third World Islamic countries, one wonders that what kind of an imbecile would forgo his right to choose one’s government through a democratic and electoral process? This confusion about democracy is partly due to the fact that the masses often conflate democracy with liberalism without realizing that democracy is only a political process of choosing one’s representatives and legislators through an electoral process, while liberalism is a cultural mindset which may or may not be suitable for a backward Third World society depending on its existing level of social evolution. From an evolutionary perspective a bottom-up, gradual and incremental social change is more conducive and easily adoptable compared to a top-down, sudden and radical approach.
One feels dumbfounded, however, when even some educated Muslims argue that democracy is un-Islamic and that an ideal Islamic system of governance is Caliphate. Such an ideal Caliphate could be some Umayyad or Abbasid model that they conjure up in their minds, but in practice the only beneficiaries of such an anti-democratic approach are the illegitimate tyrants of the Arab World who claim to be the Caliphs of Islam albeit indirectly and in a nuanced manner: that is, the Servants of the House of God and the Keepers of the Holy places of Islam.
The illegitimate, and hence insecure, tyrants adopt different strategies to maintain and prolong their hold on power. They readily adopt the pragmatic advice of Machiavelli to his patrons: “Invent enemies and then slay them in order to control your subjects.” The virulently anti-Shi’a rhetoric of the Gulf-based Wahhabi-Salafi preachers, who are on the payroll of the Gulf’s petro-monarchies, appears to be a cunning divide-and-rule strategy on the lines of Machiavelli. The Arab petro-sheikhs cannot construct a positive narrative that can delineate their achievements, that’s why they espouse a negative narrative that casts the “evil Other” in a bad light.
The Sunni-Shi’a conflict is essentially a political and economic conflict which is presented to the lay Muslims in a veneer of religiosity. Saudi Arabia has the world’s largest “proven” petroleum reserves, 265 billion barrels, and its daily crude oil production is 10 million barrels (equivalent to 15% of the global crude oil production.) However, 90 % of the Saudi petroleum reserves and infrastructure is situated along the Persian Gulf, but this sparsely populated region comprises the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia which has a significant and politically active Shi’a minority. Any separatist tendency in this Achilles heel of Saudi Arabia is met with sternest possible reaction. Saudi Arabia sent thousands of its own troops to help the Bahraini regime quell the Shi’a rebellion in the wake of “the Arab Spring” uprisings in the Shi’a-majority Bahrain, which is also geographically very close to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
Al-Qaeda inspired terrorism is a threat to the Western countries but the Islamic countries are encountering a much bigger threat of inter-sectarian conflict. For centuries the Sunni and Shi’a Muslims have coexisted in relative peace throughout the Islamic World but now certain vested interests are deliberately stoking the fire of inter-sectarian strife to distract attention away from the Home Front: that is, the popular movements for democracy and enfranchisement in the Arab World.
Islam is regarded as the fastest growing religion of the 20th and 21st centuries. There are two factors that are primarily responsible for this atavistic phenomena of Islamic resurgence: firstly, unlike Christianity which is more idealistic, Islam is a more practical religion, it does not demands from its followers to give up worldly pleasures but only aims to regulate them; and secondly, Islam as a religion and political ideology has the world’s richest financiers. After the 1973 collective Arab oil embargo against the West in the wake of the Arab-Israeli war, the price of oil quadrupled; the Arab petro-sheikhs now have so much money that they don’t know where to spend it? This is the reason why we are witnessing an exponential growth of Islamic charities and madrassas all over the world and especially in the Islamic World.
Although the Arab sheikhs of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and some emirates of UAE, excluding the comparatively liberal Dubai, generally sponsor the Wahhabi-Salafi brand of Islam but the differences between numerous sects of Sunni Islam are more nominal than substantive. The Islamic charities and madrassas belonging to all the Sunni denominations get generous funding from the Gulf Arab states as well as private donors. Therefore, the genie of petro-Islamic extremism cannot be contained until and unless that financial pipeline is cut off. And to do that we need to promote the moderate democratic forces in the Arab world even if they are moderately Islamic.
The moderate and democratic Islamism is different from the monarcho-theocratic Islamism of the Gulf variety, because the latter is an illegitimate and hence an insecure regime; to maintain its hold on power it needs subterfuges and external rivals to keep the oppositional internal threats to its survival under check. Takfirism (labelling others as infidels) and jihadism are a manifestation of this Machiavellian trend. In the nutshell, Islam is only a religion, just like any other cosmopolitan religion, be it Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism; we don’t have to find any ‘exceptionalist’ justifications to explain the phenomena of Islamic resurgence; it’s the petro-Islamic extremism and the consequent phenomena of Takfirism and jihadism, which is like a collision of the continental tectonic plates that has engulfed the whole of Islamic world from the Middle East and North Africa region to Af-Pak and Southeast Asia.
Some people are under the impression that democracy and Islam are inconsistent. But I don’t see any contradiction between democracy and Islam, as such. Though, I admit that there is some friction between Islam and liberalism. When we say that there is a contradiction between Islam and democracy, we make “a category mistake” which is a very serious logical fallacy. There is a big difference between democracy and liberalism. Democracy falls under the category of politics while liberalism falls in the category of culture. We must be precise about the definitions of the terms that we employ.
Democracy is simply a representative political system that ensures representation, accountability, the right of the electorate to vote governments in and to vote governments out. In this sense when we use the term democracy we simply mean a multi-party representative political system that confers legitimacy upon a government which comes to power through an election process which is a contest between more than one political parties in order to ensure that it is voluntary. Thus democracy is nothing more than a multi-party representative political system.
Democracy is not the best of systems because it is the most efficient political system. Top-down authoritarian dictatorships are more efficient than democracies. But democracy is a representative political system that brings about grass roots social change. Enfranchisement, representation, transparency, accountability, checks and balances, rule of law and the consequent institution-building, nation-building and consistent long-term policies are the hallmarks of a representative and democratic political system.
Immanuel Kant had famously said that moral autonomy produces moral responsibility and maturity. In my opinion this axiom also applies to politics and governance. Political autonomy, democracy and self-governance leads to political responsibility and social maturity. A top-down political system is dependent on the artificial, external force that keeps it going. The moment you remove that force, the society reverts back to its old state and the system collapses. But a grass roots, bottom-up political system evolves naturally and intrinsically. We must not expect from the movements for democracy and enfranchisement in the Arab World to produce results immediately. The evolution of the Western culture took place over a course of many centuries; the movements for political reform in the Arab World are only the beginning of a long and arduous journey.
In order to explain this phenomena by way of an allegory, democracy is like a school and people are like children. We only have two choices: one, to keep the people under paternalistic dictatorships; two, to enroll them in the school of representative democracy and let them experience democracy as a lived reality rather than some stale and sterile theory. The first option will only produce half-witted retards, but the second option will give birth to an educated human resource that doesn’t just consume resources but also creates new resources. We are on a historic juncture in the Arab World in particular and the Islamic World in general. This is the beginning of a new era; this is the beginning of the Islamic Renaissance and Enlightenment.
About the author:
Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, blogger and geopolitical analyst who has a particular interest in the politics of Af-Pak and MENA regions, energy wars and Petro-imperialism.
Democracy as rule by the people never existed. The in many counties existing system of representation is certainly much better than dictatorship and can even be a step in the direction of real democracy but is still far from the real thing. Because the real thing does not exist it still has to be developed. This is a matter of civilisation. In a real democracy everybody is heard and represented even those who are too stupid to vote.
What is ‘real democracy’, Ben? It cannot mean mass democracy in states under capitalism, because there we know that the real rulers are the owners of the economy, and politics is a sham, and politicians invariably stooges of the oligarchs. In a benign dictatorship, the despot could govern according to the recommendations of a true meritocracy, and, if the populace was left alone, save if they plotted revolt, and were protected from exploitation, poverty and want, their day to day existence would surely be superior to that of a serf or wage slave in the Free Market capitalist ‘paradises’.
“What is ‘real democracy’?” That is indeed the question. By definition it is the rule by the people and certainly not representing the people. The latter is an abuse of the word democracy. By the way many key words are abused. Freedom is probably the most abused word.
So if you mean to talk about a representative system then use other words, otherwise your discussion looses quickly any real meaning.
An important lesson of say the past century is that the representative system that we have in many countries is easily abused by the ruling elite. I think that even it can be concluded that capitalism excludes real democracy. Capitalism is always exploitation. Whatever you do to improve the system will be limited by its internal contradictions.
Next comes then the question: What is real democracy? In my opinion the main boundary condition is a higher level of civilisation. Are for instance China and Cuba going in the right direction and especially how will it be organised? Again: is what China is doing now sufficient or not? How can we assure that even the idiots are listened to so that can have a really human worthy life? And I use the word idiot here because this immediately shows that representation, voting and the rest of the current comedy are a farce.
What is needed in not representative democracy but delegatory democracy (hat tip to Robert Pranger, http://www.amazon.com/The-eclipse-citizenship-participation-contemporary/dp/B0006BV9Q2) That is, real and timely power in the hands of the citizens, as well as the ability to engage in direct participatory democracy when wanted. This also entails a fair degree of anarchy — ‘no chiefs’ (although citizens can employ experts and specialists).
But it also depends on people being educated, aware, informed, and responsible, and respect for the golden rule wherein the majority does not impose it’s will on minorities or individuals in ways they would object to if someone else’s will was imposed on them, limiting personal freedom unjustly (live and let live).
Notice that requirements are not generally found in the US or the empire, but are positively discouraged there. That’s why western democracy is not democracy at all.
“Democracy as rule by the people never existed”
Actually, Ben’s verdict is slightly incorrect. Sure, if stated as a general rule, then of course the accuracy of it becomes indisputable. But still, there are a few exceptions of very high significance, given the West’s self-congratulating, ahistorical accounts of moral superiority.
On the basis of Western ‘Judeo-Christian’ infallibility and ditto supremacy, Israel would qualify as today’s only democracy in the sense of “rule by the people”. You see, that’s the lovely beauty proper of settler colonialism, with the squatting invaders standing 100% united in the endeavour of stealing the land and enslaving/murdering/expelling the people living there. Class struggle becomes irrelevant, because the parasitic misappropriation of other peoples’ land and labour raises the social and material status of the settler population immensely. Indeed, the land-thieves in Palestine enjoy their outright Nazi pleasures (with the full approval of what passes for The International Community). Similarly, if Ukraine’s Fascist Revolution were to succeed, Banderastan would also meet the above criterion.
Last but but not least, it’s no accident that the US Settler Reich of the 19th century is considered as a true, shining democracy in the myth-making of the West. Pindo patriotism is a tribute to genocide all along the line.
As Finkelstein said: Israel is a lunatic state and thus complete lacking civilisation and talking about democracy in that context is then irrelevant.
Israel is the highest epitome of Western Civilization all right. As the erstwhile blogger “poiuytr” put it:
“The West is made up by bankrupt hideous baboons for whom the total destruction of humanity and, indeed, life itself is their only capable wetdream”
“sense of “rule by the people”.”
Not if you account for ‘the people’ properly, including everyone. Democracy is not simply majority rule or ‘tyranny of the majority’. Strict utilitarianism is not democratic.
Lovely essay full of highlights.
“Democracy is simply a representative political system that ensures representation, accountability, the right of the electorate to vote governments in and to vote governments out. In this sense when we use the term democracy we simply mean a multi-party representative political system that confers legitimacy upon a government which comes to power through an election process which is a contest between more than one political parties in order to ensure that it is voluntary. Thus democracy is nothing more than a multi-party representative political system.
Democracy is not the best of systems because it is the most efficient political system. Top-down authoritarian dictatorships are more efficient than democracies. But democracy is a representative political system that brings about grass roots social change. Enfranchisement, representation, transparency, accountability, checks and balances, rule of law and the consequent institution-building, nation-building and consistent long-term policies are the hallmarks of a representative and democratic political system.”
I would demur: “Top-down authoritarian dictatorships are more efficient than democracies.” Authoritarian governments may momentarily appear more efficient. Mussolini, they say, made the trains run on time. Dictatorships are specially efficient at starting aggressive wars. However, in the long term, authoritarian governments make the greatest economic and political errors (as they host little corrective, moral or otherwise, ability) as the histories of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and proto-Fascist America, among others, testify.
These day’s it is difficult to advocate a “multi-party representative political system” but you have performed the difficult.
For the Democratic Republics!
The authour need only look at Pakistan to prove that dictatorships are not very efficient.
Or the USA, to prove that tribal dictatorships imposed by tiny minorities (2% to be exact) don’t work too well-save for the ‘Gods Upon the Earth’.
‘Democracies’ under capitalism are dictatorships-dictatorships of the owners of capital, the ruling oligarchs.
“Dictatorships are specially efficient at starting aggressive wars”
That’s an interesting statement as per the splendid Western curriculum. Corollary question: What was the USSR as compared to the US?
I was shocked by that God awful picture of beheadings. I thought why stop at SA and IS when dozens of other agencies are doing much worse under the cover of collateral damage?
I was too upset to give the article its due. I did bristle a bit at the treatment of nature lovers as if they aren’t really real. But I didn’t read carefully so I may have misread.
What a shock on this nature lover’s New Year’s Day, the winter solstice, to be greeted with such war news!
I had just got up after a good night’s sleep under a plastic tarp under a cloud and star tarp. I fired up the wood stove, put on a pan of buckwheat Russian style, put up the first week’s calendar according to nature’s timeline; not the Empire’s Julian and Gregorian one, you know, like August getting thirty-one days because the Emperor Augustus could not stomach being inferior to Julius’ thirty-one.
Then I sat down to read the Love News which for this first week of the year is about Oneness, the Unipolar World Order of Love, not to be confused with the other one of disorder. I read the story, the poetry and commentary. Here’s the first part of the stream of consciousness poem, ending with a reference to vineyard grapes, also not to be confused with grapes of wrath from the year I was born and Hitler reborn.
“It’s all one we say, each connected every way; as above so below, at the end get to go. Everything you do comes right back to you. What goes up must come down; what goes around comes around. As you sow, so you reap; what you give you get to keep. Only one seamless weave, a loop you cannot leave. The tree in seed concealed; the man from child revealed. Breaking all asunder shows only simple wonder. Branches from one vine; grapes made into wine…”
What a world we live in. And we dare to call it real? That picture portrays our end and betrays our beginning. Sometimes I can feel the wrath of love on the horizon, so terrible that even the wrath of God runs for cover. Sometimes I feel my own wrath raise the roof I’ve so carefully constructed to hold it down.
I stumbled into this vineyard and felt the schizophrenic passion and compassion: half lovers’ bower and half war-room tower. Likewise, I wait on the coming year with fear and trembling; and joy and loving.
Every Western war on terror today is a war to generate more terror.
Saudi Arabia is the heart of terror today. But it ostensibly allies itself as an American ally in the war against terror – a finer example of Orwellian doublespeak you will not find.
The free and fair Western media has ignored the 100 plus Saudi attacks on Yemeni hospitals.
While the Guardian publishes the claims of those two odious appendages of the US State Department, ‘Amnesty’ and ‘Human Rights Watch’ that the ‘evil Russians’ are bombing ‘civilians’ (the type who shout Allahu Akbar over and over again)in Syria with cluster bombs. No doubt bought by Qatar from Ukraine’s fascist junta. If they exist at all.
I must say Pakistanis are very good at bsing.
Too much in the article to reply to on touchscreen.
Just remember friend, you can yourself a sadiq but S Hari Singh Nalwa will remind you of your aukaat. :)
One point to make though, some of the biggest tyrants have been sufi. Whether it’s the incest or something else that does it like stripping people of their roots.
Abrahamic ideologies bring out the worst in nations.
Interesting, but the author seems to imply that there are independent countries these days, and that Saudi Arabia might be one of them. There are only a dozen or so independent countries left, and KSA and other Islamist countries, such as Turkey, are not in that list. This is the heart of the problem for Russia, China, and Iran. All the independent countries are targeted for destruction. The radical Islam of Saudi Arabia is merely a tool in that game. The actual game is a global dictatorship of a financial oligarchy based in the West, and they use various tools to achieve their aims.
A most excellent contribution, Paul II. Concise and to the point, and accurate in every way.
Absolutely Paul !!
1. The major and absolutely important point is:
these “tools” of countries are controlled, kept alive and are protected by the West, ever since the fall of the Ottoman Empire and even prior to that.
2. This of course does not ignore the fact that:
a major part of the Arab and Muslim ruling elite and parts of society are corrupt (politically, socially, economically, etc.)
These 2 points make up the problem of the Arabs and Muslims today, whether it is dictatorial regimes, Islamic extremism/radicalism, extreme secularism, etc., etc.
Peace and prosperity cannot return to the Arabs and Muslims, without the Western yoke being removed and without leadership emerging that is moderate, balanced, just and representative.
The yoke will only be removed if the West ceases to be a super power, which inevitably will occur, either due to a complete economic collapse or a thermo-nuclear exchange (e.g. NATO vs. Russia). By that time, only God knows what will happen to the Arabs and Muslims.
Ceasefire never really caused any peace there admitted in news yesterday was broken by unending Saudi air bombings;
Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:5
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army and popular forces targeted Saudi Arabia’s Aramco Oil Company in the Southern province of Jizan with Qaher-I ballistic missiles.
“The (Qaher-I) missile precisely hit Aramco oil company on Monday night,” the Arabic-language media outlets quoted Yemeni Army Spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman as saying on Tuesday.
He reiterated that the Yemeni missile attack came in retaliation to the Saudi-led aggressors’ violation of UN-sponsored ceasefire, but did not give further details about the damages caused on the Aramco Company.
Even if this Qaher has say a 250 kg warhead, it’ll be conventional HE, & unless it scores a direct hit on a bunker, command center, etc, on one of those sprawling bases, the casualties would have to be very low, perhaps only a few since the blast radius is so small, especially if it hits into soft ground.
They either would have good secret stealth drone surveillance? to get them the exact coordinates & timing, then there’s the mystery of this guidance system of the Qaher-1—who makes it and is supplying it.
Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:0
EXCLUSIVE: 207 More Saudi-Led Troops Killed in Yemen Ballistic Missile Attack
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Saudi-led Coalition Forces suffered another devastating blow when two Qaher-I ballistic missiles hit their military bases in the province of Ma’rib and the border region of Tawwal on Tuesday, and killed over 200 troops, including Saudi, UAE, British and US officers.
“A Qaher-I ballistic missile of Yemen struck al-Safer military base in Ma’rib province, killing over 137 Saudi-led aggressors, including a large number of Saudi and Sudanese troops, five UAE officers, head of the operations room (in Safer military base) and foreign military experts who seemed to be American and British,” a Yemeni source told FNA on Tuesday.
Seems Iran’s weapon technology has taken quantum jumps in the last few years.
It remains a great puzzle why authorities and elites in the “West” meaning USA continue an alliance with and support of the Wahhabi-Salafi style or cult in Islam which seems to be the most ferocious rage-driven and nihilistic movement, obsessed with pitting the human genders, men and women, against each other as ultimate enemies, obsessed with a campaign of rage and disgust against social and/or sexual contact with women, obsessed with hatred for women in general, and so totally opposite to the popular hedonistic culture in the USA and Western Europe and the Anglo world.
Why this bizarre alliance?—There exists, however, another tradition in the West, a very anti-hedonistic tradition exemplified probably very well by the thoughts and teachings contained in a short book called “Imitation of Christ” written by some German mystic called Thomas à Kempis. My understanding is that this book was at one time very popular, like in the 1940’s and 1950’s.—It embodies the notion of the virtuous spiritual life according to the Roman Catholic Church which has of course been a major pillar of the “West”. The “imitation of Christ” means life in imitation of Christ crucified, a life of self-denial, self-abasement, self-mortification, voluntary preference for suffering rather than any kind of pleasure,—not at all the way Lord Jesus lived according to the records. In fact, the general lifestyle of Lord Jesus was pretty much “secular” by current standards. But the monastic cadres which took control over the Christian churches in the early centuries devised this path of “school of suffering love” as picking only the moments of Christ’s suffering on the cross as examplars of spiritual virtue. So there may be elite persons in the West who feel that “imitation of Christ suffering on the cross” is the way everyone on the planet deserves to live, whether they like it or not. And the terrorism of fanatical Muslim jihadists with their interpretation of Sharia law still stands as better for the world than the “foul hedonism”
and “decadence” of the so-called popular culture of the West.—On the other hand, much of the “hedonism” in the West is an opposition to the old monastic-generated concept of spirituality which took over the Christian churches.—Neither the unbridled hedonism nor the unbridled asceticism are good and proper alternatives to the kingdom of heaven as functioning essentially through creativity in liberty and in peace within oneself and with others,—what was really the gospel taught by Lord Jesus who lived an essentially secular lifestyle.—Study His words, thoughts
and example, and His sayings about the “kingdom of heaven” or “kingdom of God” in the Gospels.
However, Anon, the Saud Mafia crime and terror ‘family’ are not ascetics. They are depraved, self-indulgent, debauchees who keep the brothel-owners, casinos and drug suppliers of the world very well patronised. In fact their utter depravity is no doubt why the equally sordid US elite find them such compelling ‘allies’.
But that hedonism of the elites underscores the mystery why they would fund and propagate the ferocious ascetical anti-hedonistic movements like Wahhabism, Salafism, and/or Da’esh, where the adherents of those movements would gladly impale and behead all the hedonistic elites if they could get their hands on them.—It does not make sense to be propagating a movement which is on a very fundamental level your mortal enemy.—Maybe someone or something else stands behind those hedonistic elites of Saudi Arabia who are actually only clowns for show and eventually will be disposed of when the time arrives, and this same someone or something is pushing forward the really serious agenda,—perpetual “holy” warfare, endless bloody human sacrifices, all to produce the maximal amount of rage energies and fear energies worldwide, and to turn “humans into superhumans” [actually:—“humans into demons”].
Well, lighten up folks! We do indeed have two highly inspiring people who humbly went bowing down on their knees before Lord the Almighty, seeing the light after many years of quite sinful pleasures: George W Bush (USA) and Osama bin Laden (KSA).
The Lord works in strange and wondrous ways, eh?
” It remains a great puzzle why authorities and elites in the “West” meaning USA continue an alliance with and support of the Wahhabi-Salafi style or cult in Islam which seems to be the most ferocious rage-driven and nihilistic movement”
Wake up, brother, the elites that have taken over the US, are a ‘most ferocious rage-driven and nihilistic movement’ – as you put it – themselves. Only a hundred times more powerful and dangerous.
The above piece is well written and informative save its last paragraphs where the author just “blabs Westish”. And Westish is nothing but preposterous cant with absolutely zero explanatory, scientific power. To get away with this sort of mumbo-jumbo, the plain, simple fact that the oppressed peoples of the arab countries are suffering ultimately under the jackboot of Zionism and Western imperialism a.k.a. Western democracy has to go unnoticed. The vile despots ruling Saudi Arabia and the Gulf statelets are as firmly in the pockets of the Ziofascists as is the Euro-trash.
vot tak raised — or re-phrased — a pertinent question related to Roger Tucker’s blog post Thinking the Unthinkable /…/, submitted on December 20th. That question deserves to be brought up also in this thread concerning Saudi Arabia:
“Where to send those 95% of Israelis who are zionazis? Good question. It’s essentially a question about how to dispose of toxic waste without hurting the environment further.”
And the vast desert of Saudi Arabia seems to me like a highly sensible answer to vot tak’s question. The regime is a staunch ally of Zionism, the area is mostly uninhabited, and there might be undiscovered mineral and oil wealth to exploit. I feel disposed to believe that the Zionists, at bottom, are as indifferent to Jerusalem as they are to Mecca and Medina. And what do they care about parliamentary democracy?
Nussiminem, I always thought that giving them Long Island would be just desserts. They would have to be demilitarised, of course, as they demand, in their cosmic arrogance, of the Palestinians.
Saudi Arabia and its connections to money power can be understood better in context with 1973 agreement.
The most important part of the agreement is that oil is priced in dollars, and those petrodollars recycle into western banks and western financial markets. Profits from oil, priced in dollars, are to buy U.S. securities -meaning TBills, and other financial paper available in Western “dollar zones.”
The other parts of the agreement are more visible, mainly they are military security guarantees where Saudi has front line military equipment and protection of trade routes, via 5’th fleet. Implicit in the agreement is political cover and sanction by the U.S.
U.S sanction “legitimized” Saudi rulers, and further allowed Petro-Monarchies to form monopoly cartels, such as OPEC.
Cartelization and monopoly pricing is the reason for the large “profits” seen by the Kingdom after 1974.
Saudi Arabia is really under thrall to Mammon, not Islam. Money power can be considered as a religion, as people worship money, although they will not admit it themselves.
Money and prices predicate human behavior in stronger ways than do formal religions.
Why did Kissinger, a CFR agent, promulgate the Saudi agreement? Because to price oil in dollars was to create demand for dollars; this was required in the wake of post Bretton Woods action by Nixon, where he went off the then Gold Standard. Imbalance in trade up until 71 was balanced with Gold Flows.
Saudi rulers are in bed with financial capitalism and Zionism via petrodollar money power.
With regards to Islam, I am in deep disagreement with the Author.
Islam is not just another religion. It is a theo-political system. It is an all encompassing way of life, not just a regulator.
The full scope of Islam is four parts: quran, hadith, and sunnah, where Quran is divided into two.
Meccan theology is peaceful “religion” while post Median is Political Islam and Warlord conquest.
If one puts all of the parts in chronological sequence, and then applies the “Law of Abrogation” then one sees that Wahabbis/Salafists are doctrinally correct. Post Meccan theology is political Islam, and it is of the warlord period which in turn leads directly to Sunni Caliphates.
Suffis and Shias CHOOSE not to follow abrogration.
Another important concept is Islamic Saturation. Once a country has a critical mass of Islamic adherents, then it tips over into Islam permanently. Said country becomes part of Dar al Islam.
Dr. Bill Warner in his books and videos lists those countries that have fallen to political Islam:
For Islam to reform it will have to eject law of abrogation. For Islam to reform it will have to also eject Zion’s Mammon.
But Sunnis can also be Sufis, no?
Wasn’t Rumi a Sunni?
Whenever a human being expresses his full potential, his back-ground, conditioning, country of origin, the religion he was born into, become irrelevant.
Like a Saker he raises high above those childish distinctions, that keep the masses enslaved.
Jalaluddin Rumi, the great poet and mystic, was such a man, a Blessed One.
“Democracy is simply a representative political system that ensures representation, accountability, the right of the electorate to vote governments in and to vote governments out.”
well, failed on all counts in USA, Western European countries, and many other more….
I agree, representative democracy doesn’t work because elected representatives are self-serving, liars and subject to corporate corruption. A better system is a Direct Democracy similar to that being used in Switzerland. All laws, agreements, declarations, etc. are subject to a referendum/vote held by the citizens and requires a double majority for approval. A direct democracy takes the power away from corrupt politicians and gives it to the people where it belongs.
Great article, agree for the most part on what the auther says about these gulf arabs aka najdi arabs aka the ones the prophet muhamad himself peace be upon him refused to give his blessings to because the age of satan will emerge from them. But the auther seems to believe that democracy is the answer. A look at the current state of the west and it seems that democracy has failed them and it is gradually moving in a direction that looks like tyranny. Plato himself stated that democracy will lead to tyranny eventually and he seems to be right on the money in this instance.
Another tortuous way to say: Don’t blame Islam! Especially “the moderate and democratic Islamism”, oh so different “from the monarcho-theocratic Islamism of the Gulf variety”! “In the nutshell, Islam is only a religion, just like any other cosmopolitan religion, be it Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism”. “We don’t have to find any ‘exceptionalist’ justifications to explain the phenomena of Islamic resurgence”, oh no, no “it’s just the petro-Islamic extremism and the consequent phenomena of Takfirism and jihadism”. And of course, the whispered suggestions that behind the Wahhabi-Salafi-Takfiri “brand of Islam” is the Machiavellian Zio…
But the “Islamic resurgence” was the act of the Muslim Brotherhood and of Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Islamic revival or Sahwah (Arabic: التجديد الإسلامي aẗ-ẗajdid l-ʾIslāmiyyah, also Arabic: الصحوة الإسلامية aṣ-Ṣaḥwah l-ʾIslāmiyyah, “Islamic awakening”) refers to a return to the fundamentals of the Islamic religion. Hassan al-Banna, Abul Ala Maududi, Ruhollah Khomeini, demand the same thing as Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. And what are those “fundamentals”? Koran, Jihad, Jizya, Sharia Law, Halal food (Kill the pigs), Smash the Crosses….
But is not Islam itself the little bastard brother of Zionism? Are they not the children of Abraham? Was not the Dome of the Rock built on Zion, on the rock where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac?
“The most holy spot [al-quds] on earth is Syria; the most holy spot in Syria is Palestine; the most holy spot in Palestine is Jerusalem [Bayt al-maqdis]; the most holy spot in Jerusalem is the Mountain; the most holy spot in Jerusalem is the place of worship [al-masjid], and the most holy spot in the place of worship is the Dome”. Caliph Omar ibn al Khattab (579–644) was advised by his associate, Ka’ab al-Ahbar, a Jewish rabbi who converted to Islam, that ‘The Night Journey’ (Isra and Mi’raj), which is mentioned in the Qur’an and specified by the hadiths of being located in Jerusalem, took place at the site of the former Jewish Temples”. That’s why the Qiblah originally faced the ‘Noble Sanctuary’ in Jerusalem when no sanctuary (other than the Church of the Resurrection) was standing in Jerusalem.
“But is not Islam itself the little bastard brother of Zionism? ”
Yeah, Islam is as crazy as Christianity, another bastard brother of Zionism, from the primitive, crazy Jews at the start. At least most of the followers of these religions try to be decent humans and not insane, but for those with that inclination the Biblical religions give plenty of justification — the older and more primitive of them the more so. It will be some time yet before most everyone puts these things aside into history to pursue actual knowledge and spiritual methodologies and become truly civilized to any great extent. That will likely have to wait for humans to learn more about ignorance and craziness and how to deal with it, however, which could require many centuries yet, if that much time is left to the species.
A superficial essay on Islam.
Islam has been a Religious-socio-political-Military doctrine – all combined in one. Like other monotheistic Abrahamic religion, it considers its’ followers to be the “chosen one”. They considers others (Kufrs/infidels) as less than a human. However, some suggest that although all Muslims are equal, the Saudi Arabian Muslim, modelled in the image of Prophet H Mohammad, shall be the role model. That’s why we see people trying to keep beard, dressing like that.
Anyway, a typical difference between Sunni and Shia is (as I understand) the leadership. Sunni assume a God-given leadership whereas Shia elects leadership. Hence sunni has more authoritative type of leadership styles. Additionally, the substratum of Persian civilization has made the Shia leadership in Iran more accommodating.
Regarding role of Sufi… many Sufi saints were warriors. Please check the history of Chechnya where Sufi saints fought against Tsarist soldiers and spread Islam thru sword. They had clear understanding with Sunni and took help of Sunni warlords & their swords when spreading Islam.
Why people flock to S Arabian model has two reasons. Islam empire was powerful in 7th Century to 16th Century when it converted many people. India remained an exception where full scale conversion could not take place. It still remains an unfinished agenda. So many Muslim want that glorified period of Islam and they identify that with Wahabi Islam they can get back that glory. The other reason is the Power. Right now S Arabia is one of the most powerful Islamic country. People like to identify themselves with powerful groups.
Most western nation like autocratic Sunni countries. Simply because these countries are ready to provide ‘volunteers / martyrs’ without asking about legality or morality. British took that help during Great Game. USA is doing the same. USA took help of Pakistan for that. Pakistan leadership started the fire which now-a-days also singe them.
However, the bottom line remains same. If anybody thinks that ‘he/she’ is the “chosen people” just because he/she follows a specific religion or offspring of some group and others are much inferior and he/she has the right to kill/enslave others, then this world will never be peaceful. And if the philosophy asks for proselytization of others by force or entice or by deceit, we will always have the religious conflicts, which actually benefits none, except the tiny group.
Always useful to blame a colony…
” Saudi Arabia, the mainspring of Islamic radicalism”
Saudi Arabia, the CIA/Mossad’s trusted proxy, chosen to give Islamic radicalism the required Hollywood mystique.
The kids love it!
The above study is realistic and reflect the truth for me but, regrettably, polititians are often play the game of Saoudi petro-dollars to fill in their pockets and attract the uncultivated populations in muslim countries to win political power in their country.
Important actions must be taken by all governments’ in some peaceful ways to close or reconvert those madrassas and replace those religious trained wahabist masters of the game trainers of jihadism etc.
The author shows a good understanding of the mentality of the common Muslim, but half way in he goes modernist…
First, evolution is a Shaitanic ideology; an idea or set of ideas about society MEANT TO DECEIVE, just like modernity (jahilia) which it belongs to. Evolution instills an idea of staticness compared to revolution, which is the movement of nature – Allah’s creation. Within a circular – revolutionary – movement there is constantly a new “morning”.
Secondly, Michel Foucault is THE authority when it comes to the genealogy of liberalism and capitalism, and thus also the authority of the genalogy of LIBERAL LAW and LIBERAL “democracies”.
Foucault showed that each Athenian was rased not to be a subject of a king but to be unruly – anarchos – just like a king (for a king is socialized to rule himself, as opposed to his siblings and all else). The 6-7 techniques the Athenians used to create themselves as anarchi have equivalents in:
* Hatha yoga – physical excercises (what Westerners understand as yoga)
* Raja yoga – the excercises that makes a king (raja)
* Jnana yoga – the excercises that makes a wise man
* Bhakti yoga – to give full devotion to EVERYTHING you do
* Tantra yoga
* Karma yoga
There was no age when the Athenian became mature – eligible to vote – rather it was his mentor that decided when his pupil was capable of philosophizing independent thoughts out of a subjective position.
This politician – citizen who partakes in the affairs of the city – was the BASE of democracy; A DEMOS OF KINGS (not disinformed slave desendants socialized into subjects).
Demos = the people, and kratin = holding (the power) in THEIR OWN hands. Around 450B.C. (IIRC) Athens had its first representative rule, it was called The Rule of the 300 (a typical number of any national assembly). The Athenians called this REPRESENTATIVE RULE for TYRANNY. Up until the Rule of the Tyrants the Athenian system was a system of anarchy – the only form which can be democratic.
Representation is by definition anti-democratic, for if the citizens don’t have the power over their lives in their own hands they – demos – don’t kratin.
…and guess who among Athenians were advocating this anti-democratic Rule of the 300 (and to whom democracy = “chaos”)…
And mind you, Athens was a (small) city state, not a modernist country, nor a bloody continent over which misslead serf decendants think they have the capacity to rule over.
The author needs to study Foucault and then stydy BAR (and the City of London) to which he has sworn allegience to.
It is very encouraging to see efforts like this to identify a path to progress in the Muslim world.
Some reasons to doubt the suggestion that ‘liberalism’ might not be needed in a democratic Islamist environment are on my web-site. This also points to suggestions about the global implications of identifying a viable path to social, economic and political progress in the Muslim world.
Bismillah al Rahman al Raheem (in the name of God the Most Gracious the Most Merciful).
I understand the approach of the dear author and what he is trying to get across:
how Muslims need to uproot extremism from their own societies…….and I believe no one can doubt the state of the Muslims and the corruption in their leadership and societies.
However, in order to answer or even solve a problem, you need to understand how the problem started and how it formed. You need to formulate the causes.
The Western intervention in the Middle-East pre-dates even the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the West occupied then broke up the Middle-East into nation states.
The West supported dictatorships and monarchs to crush or bribe the people into submission.
The West/Zionists uprooted Palestinians that are now all over the Middle-East.
The West bombed the hell out of Iraq then put 13 year sanctions on Iraq and if that was not enough, they literally occupied Iraq, destroyed its infrastructure and basically created generations of illiterate, angry, ignorant youth raised up in a land of sanctions, poverty, destruction, war and chaos.
It is absolutely impossible to root out extremism, corruption, dictatorialism, etc. in the Middle-East without getting rid of the Western yoke on the necks of the Arabs.
The Western powers are too powerful, have too much influence and interests (Zionistic, strategic, economic), military bases, and control too much of the leaderships in the countries they sliced up.
When you approach a topic like extremism, you have to be logic and understand the causes.
When you write about such a topic, you have to have the approach of a scientist, a scholar.
This is the basic steps and approach even if you lack enough knowledge in the initial stages of your problem solving.
Any type of sincere, honest and successful scientist or scholar will approach a problem using this method, whether he is in the social sciences, earth-and planetary sciences, medical, etc.
As for whether you only adhere to the Western observable/materialist form of science or believe in the unseen (God, prophets you have not witnessed in your time, heaven, hell) in your scientific and scholarly approach, this is another issue.
In my analysis, I conclude that the Arabs and Muslims will stay backwards in all forms until the Western control over them is removed, either in the form of direct occupation/intervention or through proxies, in the form of ruling elites/regimes and gangs, terrorists, etc.
For people who know this information, we are basically eagerly and patiently awaiting for the time when this will occur.
The Treaty of Darin, or the Darin Pact, of 1915 was between the United Kingdom and Abdul-Aziz Al Saud (sometimes called Ibn Saud) ruler of Nejd, who would go on to found the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.
The Treaty was signed on the island of Darin (also known as Tarout Island) in the Persian Gulf, on 26 December 1915 by Abdul-Aziz and Sir Percy Cox on behalf of the British Government.
The Treaty made the lands of the House of Saud a British protectorate and attempted to define its boundaries. The British aim of the treaty was to guarantee the sovereignty of Kuwait, Qatar and the Trucial States. Abdul-Aziz agreed not to attack these British protectorates, but gave no undertaking that he would not attack the Sharif of Mecca.
In my opinion the deep fierce conflict between the Sunni of Gulf Arab states and Shiite Iran is not religious but it is moral and political; as Iran considers them puppets of Zionist origin and illegitimate creations.
Also the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not political but rather economic.
So it could be said that Israel and the Jews in general and the Arabs including the Palestinian Hamas, as well as Turkey, have no real serious hostility towards each other; but they are totally against Shiites and Iran