1 October, 2020

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What Should Sri Lankan Muslims Now Do To Safeguard Their Legitimate Interests?

By Izeth Hussain –

Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Sri Lankan Muslims at the cross roads – XXIV; Conclusions (continued)

I have sought an explanation for the anti-Muslim campaign, and I will now conclude this series of articles with some observations on the corrective action that might be taken over it. But first I must make a clarification of my metaphor of the cross roads. Traditionally our Muslims played a marginal role in politics, focusing on their religious and business interests, and their strategy was one of political quietism. That was appropriate in a period when the center of gravity of their interests was in religion and business. That situation changed radically with mass education of the Muslims leading to aspirations to upward mobility outside as well as within the field of business. The Muslim response to that change led to the formation of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress in the ‘eighties. It was a frank and realistic avowal of the importance that identitarian politics had come to assume in Sri Lanka.

I believe that we are coming to a new stage in our politics with the anti-Muslim campaign of the BBS and other Islamophobic groups. The crucial fact about this campaign is that it has had Government backing. Whatever the government may say to the contrary there are two facts that cannot be blinked away: one is that the State, incarnated by the Police and the STF as at Aluthgama, has usually played the role of passive spectator even when the BBS demonstration turned violent; and the other is that the BBS leadership has enjoyed blatant impunity from the law. It must seem to many Sri Lankans that the drive towards division and hierarchy that has been a characteristic of the Sri Lankan State since 1948 is now taking Sri Lanka to a self-destructive extreme, and it must seem to them also that we need a desperate counter-thrust towards unity. It might seem that this requires as a pre-condition the abandonment of identitarian politics. But the ground realities won’t permit that and besides, as I hope to show, identitarian politics could be consistent with moves towards national unity. At this cross roads the Sri Lankan Muslims must in their own interest choose the road going away from their self-marginalization in politics, and their tendency to withdraw into an Islamic ghetto that has been a marked proclivity of Islamic civilization in its phases of decadence. They, and others, must see their struggle to be allowed to live in peace and dignity as part of a process of nation-building in Sri Lanka.

What should the Muslims now do to safeguard and promote their legitimate interests? I would suggest three-dimensional action, at the level of the political realm, the civil society, and the international community. In the political realm the main actor is of course the Government. It knows after the Uva Provincial Council elections that it has lost Muslim support, and it knows also that the minority votes could prove to be decisive at the forthcoming Presidential and parliamentary elections. Common sense suggests that the Government could be prepared for a reversal of policy towards the Muslims in order to recoup the lost votes. The motivation of trying to gather Muslim votes would apply to the Opposition political parties also. All of them should be requested to declare their positions on the following: a) Powerful and absolutely convincing arguments can be adduced to show that the two supposed problems posing an existential threat to the Sinhalese – namely Muslim extremism and Muslim population increase – are really non-problems. Would the political parties be prepared to acknowledge that fact and proclaim their positions in public? b) The other issues which have been bedeviling Sinhalese-Muslim relations, such as cattle slaughter, are really irritants, not major almost intractable problems, and as such are susceptible without much difficulty to corrective action by the Government, if necessary through legislative measures and punitive action.  Would the political parties commit themselves to addressing those issues and taking corrective action where necessary? C) The Police and when necessary the STF must play an active role in dealing with anti-Muslim demonstrations instead of being passive spectators, and legal action must be taken against hate speech and other transgressions of the law, including against the BBS leaders. Will the political parties make commitments about taking such action?

Action along the lines suggested above would demolish the ground for the anti-Muslim campaign, and set the stage for harmonious Sinhalese-Muslim relations. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that is contrary to the national interest in what I have suggested. Furthermore, action along those lines would show that identitarian politics can be fully consistent with a drive towards national unity. But of course, particularly in pre-election periods, politicians can be expected to make promises which will be quickly forgotten after the elections. The only corrective for that would be a really active civil society. The Sri Lankan civil society collapsed after 1977 and for many years was not much more animate than a door mat. It is now reasonably active again and could possibly play a very useful role in promoting Sinhalese-Muslim harmony. On the Muslim side, two civil society institutions, namely the Muslim Council and the National Shoora Council, can now claim to represent a broad spectrum of Muslim opinion. Furthermore, they have been courageously outspoken, even to the extent of provoking the ire of the BBS. I would like to see the Muslim civil society institutions build bridges with the non-Muslim ones so that the Muslim struggle to be allowed to live in peace and dignity is seen not as a manifestation of divisive identitarian politics but as part of a struggle towards national unity.

I come now to the question of action at the level of the international community to safeguard the legitimate interests of the Muslims.  Obviously this is something about which the Muslims have to be wary and circumspect for at least two reasons. One is that the intrusion of the foreign into our internal affairs can complicate problems to a serious extent. The other is that our Muslims turning to the wider Islamic world might be seen as having anti-national implications. But there are certain things that must always be borne in mind. One is that in the contemporary world the internationalization of serious internal problems can hardly be avoided. Today the Muslim ethnic problem figures in the UNHRC agenda in Geneva, the Organization of Islamic countries is concerned about it, and foreign leaders invariably refer to it in their pronouncements. This is the consequence of modern electronics and a world that is in the process of becoming a global village. It is not the consequence of the wishes and will of our Muslims. To those who demur, I will point out that the Dalai Lama has expressed serious concern about our Muslims. As far as I know they have no traction with the Dalai Lama.

The other thing to be borne in mind is that BBS charges against the Muslims have, at their very core, genocidal implications. The charges of Muslim extremism and exponential population increase must prompt the thought that the Sinhalese might have only the alternatives of becoming a minority or of somehow reducing the Muslim population. It is arguable that if not for the economic importance of the Middle East for Sri Lanka the fate of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar would already have befallen the Sri Lanka Muslims. The crucial point is this: the international community will never blame any beleaguered minority for resorting to any practical measure to avoid being subjected to mass massacre. But if the Muslims have to turn to the wider Islamic world to save themselves, they have to be prudent about it and also open about it, first establishing beyond doubt that they simply have no alternative whatever.

(Concluded)

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    No.

    The right thing for SL Muslims to do is leave the country and go to an Islamic country.

    Peaceful confrontation only leads to war.

    • 3
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      Sensible Thinking

      “The right thing for SL Muslims to do is leave the country and go to an Islamic country.”

      Lanka is the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, People. All the others are Paras, Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamils, Para-Muslims, Para-Portuguese (Parangios), Para-Dutch, Para-English, Para-Malay and Para-Chinese.

      Besides, most Paras came from South and East India.

      They all should go back to their Native Land , India, Maha Bharatya. Check their DNA.

      Paras, please leave Lanka to the original inhabitants,Native Veddah Aethho.

      The Vedda Tribe

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

      Tamil-speaking Veddas of Vaharai await war recovery support

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeFCuZwexRw

      • 2
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        Srilanka was NEVER an Islamic country. It has NO historical Islamic things. Srilankans worshiped the Devil (Yaksha) well before anyone else arrived here. Muslims hate Devil worship. Real Srilankans are devil worshippers.

        For peace and safety it is best if Muslims go to a Muslim country. Otherwise the problems will only increase.

        • 3
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          Sensible Thinking

          Sri Lanka was brainwashed by the Paras to accept the various religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam,Christianity etc.

          So, Lanka religion is nor exclusive to one religion.

          South Korea had some other religion, then Buddhism now Christianity.

          However, the Koreans are just the same and still have their high I.Q. of 105, compared to 79 for Sri Lanka that is 70% Buddhist.

          http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

          • 2
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            Amarasiri, go to Pakistan.

            • 2
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              Thalaivar

              Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka all have I.Qs in the 79-82 Range. Too much inbreeding. Pakistan-60$%, India, 25% and Sri Lanka 20%.

              The Sri Lankans should go to the West, North America, China, Japan, or Mongolia, to improve their I.Qs ans stop inbreeding and become healthy.

              Following the traditions of Buddha marrying first cousin Yasodara, or the tradition of Muslims of Prophets Mohamed’s Cousin Ali marrying Prophet Mohamed’s daughter Fatima, is not good for healthy offspring and their I.Qs.

              National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

              http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

              RANK COUNTRY I.Q. % Inbreeding

              1 Singapore 108 5.5
              2 South Korea 106 ?
              3 Japan 105 4.8
              4. Italy 102 1.8
              5. Mongolia 101 0.5
              6. Italy 102 0.5

              23 Pakistan 84 61.2
              24. Saudi Arabia 84 39.7
              23 Bangla Desh 82 10.5
              25 India 82 24.7
              28 Sri Lanka 79 21.5
              29 Qatar 78 44.5

              http://europenews.dk/en/node/34368

              Muslim and others Inbreeding: Impacts on intelligence, sanity, health and society

              Inbreeding depression and IQ in a study of 72 countries

              http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289608001608

              Abstract

              In this ecological study, a robust negative correlation of r = − .62 (P < .01) is reported between national IQs and consanguinity as measured by the log10 transformed percentage of consanguineous marriages for 72 countries. This correlation is reduced in magnitude, when IQ is controlled for GDP per capita (r = − .41, P < .01); education index (r = − .40, P < .01); and democracy index (r = − .42, P .05) whereas GDP per capita had the highest (β = .35, P > .01). This result is interpreted in light of cultural feedback theory, whereby it is suggested that consanguinity could subtly influence IQ at larger scales as a result of small IQ handicaps bought about through inbreeding being amplified into much larger differences through their effect on factors that maximize IQ such as access to education and adequate nutrition. Finally, consideration is given to future potential research directions.

              • 0
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                Obviously when mother’s name is Fathima, sister’s name is Fathima, wife’s name is Fathima and daughter’s name is also Fathima, what do you expect.

        • 3
          1

          Sensible
          What if Srilankans Stop worshiping Devils(YAKSHAS)
          instead of insensibly thinking that peace lovers
          pack off? You think Devil worshipers won’t learn
          anything else?

      • 7
        1

        IH

        While agreeing with your three-prong approach for resolution, in my view what is more important is engaging with the ‘enemy’ in constant “cool-headed” dialogue however frustrating and insurmountable the exercise may appear to be.

        This is because it is absolutely evident that the so-called “Muslim Issue” is predicated fundamentally on political dynamics. The alluded social aspects (like Halaal, Hijaab and population explosion) are merely smoke and mirror props.

        Furthermore, you have to recognise that any reasonable resolution has been confounded and the issues exacerbated, by both the SLMC (which is only guided by political leverage), and also by a handful of extremist Muslim elements consumed by misguided interpretations of Islam a`la ISIL.

        Unfortunately, more than 99% of Sri Lankan Muslims who are peace-loving innocent citizens, have become the proverbial “cheese in the sandwich”!

        • 1
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          MNZ – thanks for your comment I considered carefully the question of dialogue with the BBS.It can be tried out. But I believe that it will serve no purpose and could well aggravate matters.Its record shows that it is impervious to reason.The reason is that it is not a home-grown product but is the expression of a massive international Islamophobic campaign the purpose of which is to keep the Muslims down.The best strategy would be to isolate it.
          I didn’t want to go into all that because I wanted to make my recommendations stark and clear. – Regards – Izeth

          • 0
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            Izeth Hussain

            You should initiate a dialogue with the Muslims and let them be aware of in-breeding, I Q and Health. Read this.

            September 18, 2014
            Arab Muslims suffer mentally and economically

            By Alan Caruba

            http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/caruba/140918

            Westerners are perplexed by the rise of fanatical Islam, but the answer comes down to a lack of entrepreneurism in Middle Eastern and other Muslim nations, combined with the problems resulting from generations of inbreeding.

            “For years there has been a rising tide of Islamic radicalism, starting in the Middle East, providing a hospitable environment in which terrorism grew naturally,” wrote former Ambassador John Bolton, in a May edition of The Washington Times.

            The eruption of the Islamic State (ISIS) has demonstrated how swiftly it has been able to recruit thousands of jihadists to its ranks. The millions it is earning from selling oil on the black market enables it to provide salaries to those recruits. And weapons.

            “This radical wave has been spreading throughout northern Africa, into Asia, and now around the world,” warned Bolton.

            There is a reason why there is such a supply of recruits to the self-proclaimed caliphate that controls a large swath of northern Syria and Iraq. Jim Clifton, CEO of the Gallup polling organization, says. “The Middle East has collapsed into a state of chaos, conflict, and suffering that was unimaginable and unforeseen just four years ago.”

            Clifton took note of the incident that triggered the “Arab Spring” in which dictators were deposed in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. “Food vendor Mohammed Bouazis set himself on fire. Bouazizi didn’t hell ‘Death to America’ or ‘U.S. out of Iraq’ or ‘Allahu Akbar.’ He cried out, ‘I just want to work!'”

            No Customers

            Clifton said, “Here’s an explanation you don’t hear very often that is likely the root cause of the entire meltdown in the Middle East: no customers.”

            He noted that “When a society fails to create jobs, as in countries throughout the Middle East, young men get up each morning with zero hope for a great life, zero hope to get married (you usually can’t marry in Middle Eastern society without a real job), zero dream of a family, zero dignity, and zero self-respect.”

            “What millions of young Middle Eastern males wake up to every morning is unimaginable humiliation, indignation, desperation, and a form of dangerous boredom.” Clifton noted that “There are over 100 million young people aged 18 to 29 in the Middle East/North Africa area – meaning there are probably 50 million young males.”

            That is more than enough to recruit a huge army of holy warriors who find meaning in their lives by joining ISIS and other groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria. We are witnessing a war between Sunnis and Shiites, and Clifton warned that “Western leaders prefer to operate through delusional wishful-thinking policies.”

            I received an account by an unidentified Lockheed employee who cited research by a Danish psychologist, Nikolai Sennels as published in 2010. The Lockheed employee had been in Saudi Arabia on three assignments and noted that Saudi pilot trainees often had “dim memories and had to be constantly reminded of things that were told to them the day before.” They also had very limited night vision, “even on the brightest of moonlit nights.”

            The larger problem as noted by Sennels was attributed to 1,400 years of inbreeding, the Muslim practice of marrying first cousins; it has been in effect for fifty generations and is based on the teachings of Muhammad, their revered prophet, and the prohibition on marrying outside of the Muslim faith.

            Sennels noted that “The consequences for offspring of consanguineous marriages are unpleasantly clear: Death, low intelligence or even mental retardation, handicaps and diseases often leading to a slow and painful death.”

            “Other consequences are: Limited social skills and understanding, limited ability to manage education and work procedures and painful treatment procedures. The negative cognitive consequences also influence the executive functions. The impairment of concentration and emotional control most often leads to anti-social behavior.”

            “The economic costs and consequences for society of inbreeding,” said Sennels, “are of course secondary to the reality of human suffering.”

            Sennels concluded that “A lower IQ, together with a religion that denounces critical thinking, surely makes it harder for many Muslims to have success in our high-tech knowledge societies.” In the case of the United States, He noted “One study based on 300,000 Americans shows that the majority of Muslims in the USA have a lower income, are less education, and have worse jobs than the population as a whole.”

            There are many ramifications of the inbreeding that Judeo-Christian faiths prohibited from their inception. It explains in many ways why it is wrong to believe that Muslims in the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere “think” in the same fashion as those in the West.

            It permits them to believe that beheading westerners is a way to impose their will by videotaping this ancient, barbaric practice. It encourages the belief that all non-Muslims are worthy of death.

            The flow of Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa into Europe has created a massive problem for its native population. In Great Britain measures are being taken to crack down on those who go abroad to become jihadists and return.

            According to Wikipedia: “The Muslim population of the U.S. increased dramatically in the 20th century, with much of the growth driven by a comparatively high birth rate and immigrant communities of mainly Arab and South Asian descent. About 72% of American Muslims are immigrants or “second generation.” In 2005, more people from Islamic countries became legal permanent United States residents – nearly 96,000 – than in any year in the previous two decades. In 2009, more than 115,000 Muslims became legal residents of the United States.” The other element of the American Muslim population is African-Americans who have been converting to Islam.

            Westerners are perplexed by the rise of fanatical Islam, but the answer comes down to a lack of entrepreneurism in Middle Eastern and other Muslim nations, combined with the problems resulting from generations of inbreeding.

            It still means war at some point and for some time to come.

    • 3
      1

      What an idiot you should be. As we the sinhalese, Muslims, Burghers, Tamils and everyone who are the citizens of the island have every right equally to fight against people s leader.
      I believe as buddhist, all these minorities should work on one single umbrella to chase away the incumbent ruler – since his hidden agends carried out by BBS has destroyed srilanken buddhist image already. We the buddhists respected game hamuduruwos and they also did a greater service to keep everything peace and harmony, but ballige putha rulers today do every harm going through selfish agendas of power struggle. What have they been NOT doing to stay in power… they do publicly engaged in prostution and casino, while not let alone bringing any strict laws against drug traffficking. Ballige putha in power himself is a drug markertier helping his campaigner Lanza publicly. MR should go out of the sights of people, if not, CURSE will take care him well soon. Premadasa s fate is NOT forgotten to the nation yet.

    • 2
      0

      Hour of need is to recognize that we are srilankens, but balligeputhas hidden and underground agendas promoted by his executionist brother Gotabaya being galvanised to BBS will never pave the way for a peace and harmony leading nation.
      Ballige putha -Rajapakshes should go – ENOUGH is Enough.

    • 1
      1

      Non-sensible Thinker, We too have to pack our bags and move to India from where from where Prince Vijaya came here as a refugee, so let us not take that attitude. We do have problems with the Muslims that needs to be sorted out through dialogue. We do have problems of our own based on caste and other divisions. Should we be packing those who do not belong to our views too?

    • 0
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      If Muslims want to end up like Tamils in Nanthikadal, hang on.

  • 2
    1

    Dear Izeth Hussain –

    1. “I believe that we are coming to a new stage in our politics with the anti-Muslim campaign of the BBS and other Islamophobic groups. The crucial fact about this campaign is that it has had Government backing. The crucial fact about this campaign is that it has had Government backing. Whatever the government may say to the contrary there are two facts that cannot be blinked away: one is that the State, incarnated by the Police and the STF as at Aluthgama, has usually played the role of passive spectator even when the BBS demonstration turned violent; and the other is that the BBS leadership has enjoyed blatant impunity from the law”

    Yes, the Data supports the above assertion, of State Support for Sinhala “Buddhist” Racism and Chauvinism.

    2. “At this cross roads the Sri Lankan Muslims must in their own interest choose the road going away from their self-marginalization in politics, and their tendency to withdraw into an Islamic ghetto that has been a marked proclivity of Islamic civilization in its phases of decadence. They, and others, must see their struggle to be allowed to live in peace and dignity as part of a process of nation-building in Sri Lanka.”

    2. Remember, it takes at least two persons for a deal.

    a) The problem Sri Lanka Always had was the Sinhala “Buddhist” Hegemony , racism and chauvinism. Even with the National Parties UNP and SLFP, this Sinhala “Buddhist” Hegemony , racism and chauvinism. was there for various degrees.

    b) However, there is another element that should not be discounted. The self-isolation of Muslims for various reasons. Islamic Culture and practices, whether correct or not are accepted by Muslims, claiming religions tradition and Prophets Sunnah or Habbits. Did God, Allah want Muslims to follow the prophets Sunnah or Habbits?

    3. “What should the Muslims now do to safeguard and promote their legitimate interests? I would suggest three-dimensional action, at the level of the political realm, the civil society, and the international community. In the political realm the main actor is of course the Government. It knows after the Uva Provincial Council elections that it has lost Muslim support, and it knows also that the minority votes could prove to be decisive at the forthcoming Presidential and parliamentary elections. Common sense suggests that the Government could be prepared for a reversal of policy towards the Muslims in order to recoup the lost votes. The motivation of trying to gather Muslim votes would apply to the Opposition political parties also. All of them should be requested to declare their positions on the following: “

    Expose expose and Expose. Write, Print and distribute the Common Sense Pamphlet, but focus on National Issues, like Thomas Paine did in 1776,

    The Corruption and Thuggery exposes all citizens. However the The State supported Sinhala “Buddhist” Racist and Chauvinists only target Muslims and Christians. Christian targeting has been put aside due to funding from Norway and the Christian West.

    4. “I come now to the question of action at the level of the international community to safeguard the legitimate interests of the Muslims. Obviously this is something about which the Muslims have to be wary and circumspect for at least two reasons.”

    Do not count on the international community much, but do expose. Do work it out locally, because not ALL Sinhala “Buddhists” are racist and chauvinistic.

    Same with Muslims, not all Muslims are Wahhabi Isblis followers and ISIS Iblis followers. They are there, but they need to be marginalized for a just society.

    Mr. Isath Hussein, can you send the Following Message to Muslims worldwide and to Sri Lankans. Inbreeding makes people less intelligent and lowers I Q. and makes them sick.

    1. Tel, them that the Low I.Q. of 79 for Sri Lankans and 82 for Arabs may have something to do with the inbreeding, marrying the cousins. Ask them to marry only those who are at least two or three cousins removed.

    Did you ever wonder why the Arabs have Low I Q compared to the Europeans and East Asians? With I.Qs lower than 85?

    To much inbreeding close 20 to 60% for Muslims. For Sri Lanka and India it is 20 to 25%
    .
    If the Arabs did not do inbreeding for the past 1400 years, their I.Q’s would have been close to that of Europeans, 100. To what extent was inbreeding responsible for the decline of Islamic Science and Civilization?

    Europe and China, less than 3% inbreeding, I.Q’s over 100

    http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

    http://www.alsumaria.tv/news/86956/international-study-iraqis-are-the-smart/en

    • 1
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      Dear Izeth Hussain –

      Sri Lankan Muslims need to understand Wahhabism and Salfism.as representing Iblis, Satan. more than Allah.

      You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia, that hads infected Sri Lanka.

      Posted: 08/27/2014 11:56 am EDT Updated: 10/27/2014 5:59 am EDT

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-wahhabism-saudi-arabia_b_5717157.html

      BEIRUT — The dramatic arrival of Da’ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed — and horrified — by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia’s ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, “Don’t the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?”

      It appears — even now — that Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite “fire” with Sunni “fire”; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da’ish’s strict Salafist ideology.

      Other Saudis are more fearful, and recall the history of the revolt against Abd-al Aziz by the Wahhabist Ikhwan (Disclaimer: this Ikhwan has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan — please note, all further references hereafter are to the Wahhabist Ikhwan, and not to the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan), but which nearly imploded Wahhabism and the al-Saud in the late 1920s.

      Many Saudis are deeply disturbed by the radical doctrines of Da’ish (ISIS) — and are beginning to question some aspects of Saudi Arabia’s direction and discourse.

      THE SAUDI DUALITY

      Saudi Arabia’s internal discord and tensions over ISIS can only be understood by grasping the inherent (and persisting) duality that lies at the core of the Kingdom’s doctrinal makeup and its historical origins.

      One dominant strand to the Saudi identity pertains directly to Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism), and the use to which his radical, exclusionist puritanism was put by Ibn Saud. (The latter was then no more than a minor leader — amongst many — of continually sparring and raiding Bedouin tribes in the baking and desperately poor deserts of the Nejd.)

      The second strand to this perplexing duality, relates precisely to King Abd-al Aziz’s subsequent shift towards statehood in the 1920s: his curbing of Ikhwani violence (in order to have diplomatic standing as a nation-state with Britain and America); his institutionalization of the original Wahhabist impulse — and the subsequent seizing of the opportunely surging petrodollar spigot in the 1970s, to channel the volatile Ikhwani current away from home towards export — by diffusing a cultural revolution, rather than violent revolution throughout the Muslim world.

      But this “cultural revolution” was no docile reformism. It was a revolution based on Abd al-Wahhab’s Jacobin-like hatred for the putrescence and deviationism that he perceived all about him — hence his call to purge Islam of all its heresies and idolatries.

      MUSLIM IMPOSTORS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      BRIEF HISTORY 1741- 1818

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      HISTORY RETURNS WITH ISIS

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

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

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

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

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

      OIL WEALTH SPREAD WAHHABISM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Or, perhaps, we never imagined.

      This article is Part I of Alastair Crooke’s historical analysis of the roots of ISIS and its impact on the future of the Middle East. Read Part II here

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-aim-saudi-arabia_b_5748744.html

      Alastair Crooke Become a fan
      Fmr. MI-6 agent; Author, ‘Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution’
      Email
      Middle East Time Bomb: The Real Aim of ISIS Is to Replace the Saud Family as the New Emirs of Arabia
      Posted: 09/02/2014 8:43 pm EDT Updated: 11/02/2014 5:59 am EST

      This article is Part II of Alastair Crooke’s historical analysis of the roots of ISIS and its impact on the future of the Middle East. Read Part I here.

      BEIRUT — ISIS is indeed a veritable time bomb inserted into the heart of the Middle East. But its destructive power is not as commonly understood. It is not with the “March of the Beheaders”; it is not with the killings; the seizure of towns and villages; the harshest of “justice” — terrible though they are — that its true explosive power lies. It is yet more potent than its exponential pull on young Muslims, its huge arsenal of weapons and its hundreds of millions of dollars.

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

      Its real potential for destruction lies elsewhere — in the implosion of Saudi Arabia as a foundation stone of the modern Middle East. We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.

      The clue to its truly explosive potential, as Saudi scholar Fouad Ibrahim has pointed out (but which has passed, almost wholly overlooked, or its significance has gone unnoticed), is ISIS’ deliberate and intentional use in its doctrine — of the language of Abd-al Wahhab, the 18th century founder, together with Ibn Saud, of Wahhabism and the Saudi project:

      Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the first “prince of the faithful” in the Islamic State of Iraq, in 2006 formulated, for instance, the principles of his prospective state … Among its goals is disseminating monotheism “which is the purpose [for which humans were created] and [for which purpose they must be called] to Islam…” This language replicates exactly Abd-al Wahhab’s formulation. And, not surprisingly, the latter’s writings and Wahhabi commentaries on his works are widely distributed in the areas under ISIS’ control and are made the subject of study sessions. Baghdadi subsequently was to note approvingly, “a generation of young men [have been] trained based on the forgotten doctrine of loyalty and disavowal.”
      And what is this “forgotten” tradition of “loyalty and disavowal?” It is Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine that belief in a sole (for him an anthropomorphic) God — who was alone worthy of worship — was in itself insufficient to render man or woman a Muslim?

      He or she could be no true believer, unless additionally, he or she actively denied (and destroyed) any other subject of worship. The list of such potential subjects of idolatrous worship, which al-Wahhab condemned as idolatry, was so extensive that almost all Muslims were at risk of falling under his definition of “unbelievers.” They therefore faced a choice: Either they convert to al-Wahhab’s vision of Islam — or be killed, and their wives, their children and physical property taken as the spoils of jihad. Even to express doubts about this doctrine, al-Wahhab said, should occasion execution.

      “Through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.”

      The point Fuad Ibrahim is making, I believe, is not merely to reemphasize the extreme reductionism of al-Wahhab’s vision, but to hint at something entirely different: That through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.

      For it was precisely this idealistic, puritan, proselytizing formulation by al-Wahhab that was “father” to the entire Saudi “project” (one that was violently suppressed by the Ottomans in 1818, but spectacularly resurrected in the 1920s, to become the Saudi Kingdom that we know today). But since its renaissance in the 1920s, the Saudi project has always carried within it, the “gene” of its own self-destruction.

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

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

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

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

      BRITISH GODFATHER OF SAUDI ARABIA

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

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

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

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

      Winning western endorsement (and continued western endorsement), however, required a change of mode: the “project” had to change from being an armed, proselytizing Islamic vanguard movement into something resembling statecraft. This was never going to be easy because of the inherent contradictions involved (puritan morality versus realpolitik and money) — and as time has progressed, the problems of accommodating the “modernity” that statehood requires, has caused “the gene” to become more active, rather than become more inert.
      Even Abd al-Aziz himself faced an allergic reaction: in the form of a serious rebellion from his own Wahhabi militia, the Saudi Ikhwan. When the expansion of control by the Ikhwan reached the border of territories controlled by Britain, Abd al-Aziz tried to restrain his militia (Philby was urging him to seek British patronage), but the Ikwhan, already critical of his use of modern technology (the telephone, telegraph and the machine gun), “were outraged by the abandonment of jihad for reasons of worldly realpolitik … They refused to lay down their weapons; and instead rebelled against their king … After a series of bloody clashes, they were crushed in 1929. Ikhwan members who had remained loyal, were later absorbed into the [Saudi] National Guard.”

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

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

      SEIZING THE GRAND MOSQUE IN 1979

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

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

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

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

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

      ISIS VS. WESTERNIZED SAUDIS

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

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

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

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

      There are angry youths with a skewed mentality and understanding of life and sharia, and they are canceling a heritage of centuries and the supposed gains of a modernization that hasn’t been completed. They turned into rebels, emirs and a caliph invading a vast area of our land. They are hijacking our children’s minds and canceling borders. They reject all rules and legislations, throwing it [a]way … for their vision of politics, governance, life, society and economy. [For] the citizens of the self-declared “commander of the faithful,” or Caliph, you have no other choice … They don’t care if you stand out among your people and if you are an educated man, or a lecturer, or a tribe leader, or a religious leader, or an active politician or even a judge … You must obey the commander of the faithful and pledge the oath of allegiance to him. When their policies are questioned, Abu Obedia al-Jazrawi yells, saying: “Shut up. Our reference is the book and the Sunnah and that’s it.”
      “What did we do wrong?” Khashoggi asks. With 3,000-4,000 Saudi fighters in the Islamic State today, he advises of the need to “look inward to explain ISIS’ rise”. Maybe it is time, he says, to admit “our political mistakes,” to “correct the mistakes of our predecessors.”

      MODERNIZING KING THE MOST VULNERABLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Izzath Hussein,

      What Should Sri Lankan Muslims Now Do To Safeguard Their Legitimate Interests?

      To begin with most Sri Lankan Muslims do not have a good grasp of Islam. They are misled buy the Ulema and Mullah. There are many cases. This is called Arab Racism.Many Arabs think that non-Arab Muslims are second-class Muslims, even though it is not stated in the Quran. Have you heard about Sinhala Buddhism and Pali/

      They, the Muslims, forget that a Language is a medium of communication.

      I will one example. Arabic Language and the Quran.

      IS ARABIC A HOLY OR SUPERIOR LANGUAGE? many Muslims says so. They say you can only understand the Quran in the 7th Century Arabic.

      Many Muslims hold the opinion/belief that by virtue of the final scripture being revealed in Arabic that there is in some way a marked preferment for it, or that it is the best of all languages and in some circles, it is believed that it is the language of the Heavens

      http://quransmessage.com/pdfs/Arabic%20Superior%20Language%20or%20Not.pdf

      FINAL THOUGHTS

      All languages belong to God and the variances in them are signs from God, but how many Muslims sadly put away the Quran because of the tacit belief that the Quranic message can never be truly grasped without erudite knowledge of the classical Arabic in the Quran. How many Muslims also hold the unsupported belief that in some way the Arabic language is far superior to any other?

      Despite the lack of objective criteria required to validate such a position due to all languages possessing unique variances and richness of structure, the Quran itself negates such a concept. Why not Aramaic, Hebrew, Thamudic, or any other language from the Semitic stock? Why are they not superior or holier or why not the first language given to Adam? (pbuh) After all, many great Prophets
      spoke to their audience with the same message in them.

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    ‘What Should Sri Lankan Muslims Now Do To Safeguard Their Legitimate Interests?’

    Good question. How about wearing ball guards at all times?

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      Paul

      “Good question. How about wearing ball guards at all times?”

      Why? It appear you don’t trust your own women? What a shame. Do try Sinhala/Buddhist aphrodisiac.

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    When deciding the demography of a nation, religion of the inhabitants should not be a criteria. Because, when religion is considered, there will always be differences, and unscrupulous mischief mongers, will pick on these differences and create conflict. For example, Ireland, depicted as a wholly Christian nation found differences between the Catholics and the Protestants and caused a bloody senseless war that lasted 30 years and scores of deaths. In Sri Lanka, the BBS and the Rajapaksa regime is doing exactly that – by proclaiming Sri Lanka a Sinhala-Buddhist nation, the inevitable differences emerge between the Sinhala non-Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and so on. They have taken a leaf out of President Bush who strengthened his resolve by instilling terrorist fears out to get them coming out of every corner, and only his regime could save the American people. So vote for them and the minions did.

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      Sylvia Haik

      “They have taken a leaf out of President Bush who strengthened his resolve by instilling terrorist fears out to get them coming out of every corner, and only his regime could save the American people. So vote for them and the minions did.”

      The Average I Q. of Americans is 98.

      The Average I.Q. of Sri Lankans is 79.

      So, of President Bush was anble to fool Americans, the job is much easier for President Rajapaksa to fool the Sti Lankans..

      http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

      National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

      1 Singapore 108

      9 United States 98

      28 Sri Lanka 79

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        On this form, the Rajapakses might become the first in history to “Fool all of the people all of the time”. There may be thinkers hidden here and there and I was flummoxed after the Uva elections, Mahinda Rajapakse in a speech promising the Muslims in his audience, government help for them to visit their Mecca. This man cannot be that naive to believe this could ever be government policy.

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          Sylvia Haik

          “Mahinda Rajapakse in a speech promising the Muslims in his audience, government help for them to visit their Mecca. “

          Many Muslim Believers have been taught that by going to Mecca, their sins are expunged and they have a better chance of going to heaven. Afterwards, Mahinda Rajapaksa can claim that I helped you to get to heaven, and the fools among the Muslims will believe that, after all they also have an I. Q. close to 79 like the rest of the populace.

          Mr. Mahinda rSylvia Haik Rajapaksa should sent Buddhists to Bodhi Gaya and promise Nirvanna as well…after all they also have an I. Q. close to 79 like the rest of the populace.

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    If the Sinhalese do not learn from the Muslim dominated Pakistan which is in a utter mess, soon Sri Lanka will be on its path to self destruction. The prevention depends on how soon that we can throw this murderous Govt. out. Please listen to Tariq Ali.
    http://youtu.be/SYZYjhY3MTw

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