Posts Tagged ‘Wahhabism’


At the end of my last post on Aleppo, Syria, and the battle to retake the country, I wrote that the chemical attacks were just the start: and that ‘extreme actions are likely, as well as a desperate escalation of propaganda’.




The death, at the beginning of the year, of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, after a nine-and-a-half year reign and the accession to the throne of his half-brother, Salman bin Abdulaziz, seems to have marked no turning point in Saudi policy either at home or abroad.
With the change of rulers, things in fact seemed to have escalated to a worse state of affairs.



The plight of blogger Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia has garnered international attention, particularly in the context of the freedom of expression theme that became especially prevalent in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo  cartoon.
Badawi is facing a 10-year jail sentence (and I can hardly believe I’m having to say this in the 21st century, but 1,000 lashes in public) for the offense of expressing liberal, progressive ideas on his blog and therefore challenging the status quo within the oppressive kingdom.



I recently posted at great length about the origins of Wahhabism (and Zionism) and its influence on today’s bleak and bloody Middle Eastern crisis; and about the Hashemite Arabs that were sidelined from Arabia after the First World War in favour of the Wahhabist Saudis.
As a brief add-on to that post, it is worth turning our attention to the alternate reality that might have come to pass had the relatively moderate Hashemites and not the Wahhabi-spreading Saudis won the prize of Arabia after the war. It is an interesting ‘what if’ of history to wonder how Middle Eastern affairs might have unfolded differently these passed hundred years had the Wahhabits’ jilted elder brothers the Hashemites, beginning with Faisal bin Hussein, been the central Arab royal family and not the Wahhabi-inspired Saudis that we have today.



It is a fascinating, though rather grim, story, spanning the First World War, the creation of the states of Israel, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia, and taking in Lawrence of Arabia, all the way to the fall of Gadaffi in Libya, the Syria Civil War and Rise of the so-called Islamic State, among other things. It’s a story of long-term manipulation, insidious indoctrination, and secret, almost ‘mythical’ works of literature.
These two ideologies – Wahhabism in Islam and Zionism which is linked primarily to the Jewish religion – may seem like unrelated  entities on the surface of it…