This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, April 01, 2016

The Choice, Intolerant Islam or Intolerable Islamism

"Saudi Arabia funds the global propagation of Wahhabism, a brand of Islam that, in some instances, supports militancy by encouraging divisiveness and violent acts against Muslims and non-Muslims."
U.S. Council on Foreign Relations
While the minority Shiite Alawite regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues to bomb Syrian Sunnis -- a majority in the country which had rebelled against their inferior status under the regime, and who initiated protests six years ago to persuade President Assad to alter his administration of the country -- in the process killing over a third of a million of his own people, and causing an unstoppable rush of refugees to smother Europe, Saudi Arabia has failed to practise that tenet of Islam that urges believers to have compassion for one another.

There are no refugee camps in Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia, although it is Sunni Muslims who are being horrendously slaughtered, millions left homeless and desperate for haven from the killing machine of their tyrannical president. Far lesser endowed Middle East countries have gone to lengths to offer respite to Syrians fleeing the violence of their government. Millions are in refugee camps in Jordan, in Lebanon, Iraq, and in Turkey. Millions more remain displaced within Syria.

UNRWA Syrian RefugeesUNRWA, via AP    Residents of the refugee camp of Yarmouk queuing to receive food supplies from the United Nations in Damascus, Syria.

Saudi Arabia and the Shiite-majority Islamic Republic of Iran are regional rivals; each considers themselves the unquestioned leader of the Muslim world of the Middle East. Ancient Persia enjoyed that status, but Saudi Arabia has the responsibility of acting as custodian of Islam's two most holy sites; Mecca and Medina. Iran is not an Arab country, and all other Middle East countries save Israel are, and in a sectarian conflict of primacy it is the Sunni brand that represents the greatest proportion of global Islam.

While Iran funds and trains proxy militias from among the region's Shiite tribes, Saudi Arabia uses its oil wealth to fund Wahhabist madrasses around the world, from Africa to Europe to North America. These are seminaries where the Koran and the Hadiths are studied in Arabic, a language unknown for practical purposes to most outside the Middle East, so the passages are learned by rote. But what is also inculcated into the minds of the students is the theological propaganda of jihad.

From Wahhabist madrasses have arisen the present-day terrorist groups that have fascinated and terrorized the world at large, from al-Qaeda, to Boko Haram and al-Shabaab, to the Taliban, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant -- not to mention the Muslim Brotherhood which predated them all and gave birth to Hamas. Saudi Arabia, in other words, has infiltrated its brand of fundamentalist Islam worldwide. Out of its indoctrination has arisen the virulent strain of violent jihad.

But it has created its own monster, unappreciative of the role that the Saudis have played in their creation, determined to destroy the Royal House of Saud as a traitorous regime complicit with the West in its disrespect of Islam, selling its resources to the forces of the West to retain itself in power and wealth. Saudi Arabia had little option then but to cast in its lot with NATO and the United States in attempts to destroy the killing machines that typify jihadist Islamist militias.

The Saudi distrust of and loathing of the West is certainly reciprocated. There are no countries in the democratic West which routinely behead, hang, and crucify large numbers of political prisoners as does the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as does the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nowhere else does the crime of insulting the state, of committing adultery, of being gay, of becoming an apostate, or drug trafficking, merit public capital punishment.

Yet as long as Arab Muslims agree by their lack of real effort to commit to mounting a concerted and effective revolution to change the totalitarian system under which they live, there is no foreign power capable of transforming these states be they kingdoms, theocracies or sheikdoms into anything approximating democracies dedicated to upholding human rights. On the other hand, these rigid dictatorships have succeeded in infiltrating Western democracies, with their former citizens migrating to the West and bringing with them all the unwholesome tribal and sectarian dysfunction along with their hatreds.

For the Western nations, attempting to cope with Syria's, Iraq's, Afghanistan's, Libya's, Eritrea's, migrating hopefuls has created chaos and concern and a backlash from those who had initially felt they were responsible to take in those fleeing endemic poverty and oppression, political repression, tribal and sectarian conflict. Previous more orderly emigration from countries of Islamic majority rule had already impacted Europe with demands for Sharia law.

Now, the European cohesion that exemplified the success of the European Union is being strained to its limits. Europe is in a turmoil of existential agony, unwilling to further imperil its values, cultures and traditions by the presence of foreign elements whose religion, culture and traditions are often at loggerheads with European law and custom. It is not entirely inaccurate to view Saudi Arabia's export of Wahhabism as the fount of all that has roiled the Middle East, North Africa and the wider world.

We can ask ourselves what could we manage to live with? A Saudi Arabia that permits of no foreign presence or religion to destabilize the sanctity of Islamic majesty, where minority groups must be silent and accommodating to the Kingdom's strict rules outlawing public displays of any religion other than Islam, of modes of dress offensive to Muslim sensibilities, while at the same time encouraging Muslims to take with them all that identifies them as Muslim wherever they go.

Or an Islamist doctrine even more forthrightly inimical to the concept and practise and values intertwined with human rights and pluralistic tolerance, one whose goal is to commit ongoing acts of persistent bloody atrocities on a mass scale in honour of a religion that brooks no dissent, that controls every aspect of a believer's existence, that has as an end goal, complete and utter global domination. Some choice that is.

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