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Friday, December 18, 2015

Islamic State roots are in 'Jihadi Salafism,' Princeton University Professor-BBC

12/18/15, "Is Saudi Arabia to blame for Islamic State?" BBC

Following are two of five views from BBC article discussing the roots of ISIS:

"Professor Bernard Haykel: IS [ISIS] theology directly linked to Wahhabism"

"Professor Bernard Haykel is director of the Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia at Princeton University."

"The Islamic State's religious genealogy comes from 'Jihadi Salafism', a theological current that is very old in Islam that is quite literalist.

"[Followers are] extremely rigorous, and condemn other Muslims who don't share their theology. That gives them the hard edge when it comes to violence, because they can justify it theologically.

"Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab is in that Salafist tradition. He was a religious reformer in Arabia who was able to create a religious movement that ended up creating a state.

"He saw that Muslims had deviated from the 'true' message of Islam; not praying properly or at all, or engaging in practices that he felt were violations of the faith.

"A lot of scholars of the period started writing treatises against his ideas. They felt that he was not sufficiently educated to teach.

"Eventually he was able to connect with the leader of the al-Saud family in 1744. That alliance had very strong and lasting effects.

"He believed there is a pure version of the faith, and that if one goes back to it, one is guaranteed salvation in the hereafter, but also in life God will give you all the things he promised. 

"The first Saudi State, based on this Wahhabi faith, seemed to confirm his message because of the political and military success it had throughout the 18th Century and 19th Century where it conquered most of Arabia.

"Once a town was conquered he would appoint teachers to educate people in his version of the faith. He wrote a number of short books that were the basis for the teaching, books that are used by ISIS today.

"ISIS claims that the Saudi state has deviated from the true beliefs of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, and that they are the true representatives of the Salafi or Wahhabi message."


"Wahhabism benefitted from the arrival of the Muslim brotherhood"...

"Professor Madawi al-Rashid: Wahhabism led to Islamic awakening"

"Saudi-born Professor Madawi al-Rashid is visiting professor at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics."

"The Wahhabis were given full control of the religious, social and cultural life of the kingdom. As long as the Wahhabi preachers preached that Saudis should obey their rulers, the al-Saud family were happy.

"In the 1960s and 1970s the Arab world was full of revolutionary ideas. The Saudi government thought the Wahhabis were a good antidote, because they provide an alternative narrative about how to obey rulers and not interfere in politics.

"In the 1980s, King Fahd established a printing press to publish Korans, sent for free to different parts of the world. They established Al-Madinah University to teach religion to students from around the world. 

"Wahhabism is definitely an intolerant form of Islam. It is a local religious tradition that has gone global prematurely. We're seeing that it can be a revolutionary language that would inspire someone to commit atrocities in the name of Islam.

"When Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Union, Wahhabism was instrumentalised by the Saudi regime. It inspired young Muslim men to go to Afghanistan to fight a jihad against the Russian infidels.

"Wahhabism benefitted from the arrival of the Muslim brotherhood, who were exiled from places like Egypt, Syria and Iraq in the 1950s and 1960s. Saudi Arabia welcomed them.

"A lot of them became religious teachers so the fusion between this Wahhabi tradition, and the organisational skills of other Islamists, led to the emergence of a new trend in Saudi Arabia; the Islamist trend, what is referred to as the Islamic awakening.""...

"The Inquiry: Is Saudi Arabia to blame for IS? was broadcast on the BBC World Service. Listen online or download the podcast."


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