CITIZEN TRUTH – When will Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism be called to account for its zealotry and human rights abuses?
Addressing the nation during his State of the Union speech, President Donald Trump further affirmed his determination to address terrorism and terrorism’s ideologues by pointing a damning and politically charged finger at Iran, and yet it is Saudi Arabia that is systematically pushing the envelope of all things perverse.
If America wishes to hate Iran by virtue of its political and institutional choices, I would argue that it is indeed America’s prerogative to do so, but then let us be honest about where contention lies.
Saudi Arabia’s Methodical Exportation of Terrorism
Iran did not write the handbook on Islamic terrorism, Saudi Arabia did, quite literally actually if we consider that since the mid-Seventies the kingdom has spent billions of dollars per year in promoting its dogmatic Islamic view, aka Wahhabism, by vomiting pages of sectarianism and grand calls for genocide across our academic institutions and various other platforms: mosques, Islamic centers, charitable organizations, etc.
A report by the Henry Jackson Society in 2017 established that “Saudi Arabia has, since the 1960s, sponsored a multi-million dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the west…. In the UK this funding has primarily taken the form of endowments to mosques and Islamic educational institutions, which have in turn played host to extremist preachers and the distribution of extremist literature.”
And: “Influence has also been exerted through the training of British Muslim religious leaders in Saudi Arabia, as well as the use of Saudi textbooks in a number of the UK’s independent Islamic schools.”
As Hasan Minhaj, the now famous stand-up comedian so eloquently put it during his show, Patriot Act, “Saudi Arabia is basically the boy band manager of 9/11. They didn’t write the songs, but they helped get the group together.”
I would argue that by virtue of its faith, Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia most definitely helped compose the symphonies terrorism’s militants are so fervently playing out against their designated enemies; that would be all of us, by the way.
Wahhabism exists in the rejection of the proverbial ‘“others,” those infidels it feels it must annihilate to better profess its devotion to the Almighty.
If I’d dare, I would say, and this is to put it mildly, Wahhabism serves as proof that evolution missed a few bad genetic mutations along the way. Wahhabism belongs to the darkest pages of our history, alongside the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades.
Our collective silence and our state officials’ unwillingness to clearly articulate the dangers Saudi Arabia’s theo-fascist worldview poses has emboldened its zealots to the extent they now feel compelled to commit acts of religious genocide in plain sight.
Wahhabism’s Brutal Murder of a 7-Year-Old Child
A seven-year-old child was brutally beheaded in Medina the week of January 27 because he was a Shia Muslim, a school of thought within Islam that Saudi Arabia has labeled an act of apostasy, a crime worthy of death.
In the streets of the kingdom, a cab driver identified the boy Zakaryia Bader Al Jabir and his mother as infidels under Wahhabism and mutilated and killed the boy. Witnesses to the crimes recalled how the man broke the window of his car before grabbing the boy by the back of his shirt to then drive shards of glass through his neck in an attempted beheading.
If not for the cries of outrage of rights activists across social media, demanding for media silence to be broken, it is unlikely any of us would have ever heard of such an abominable crime.
An apologist for the Saudi media labeled the cab driver a madman, but the issue is not one of mental illness but rather one of hyper and unfettered Wahhabist radicalization. Saudi Arabia has bred itself into a religious frenzy and its loyal subjects are demanding that blood be shed to assuage their thirst for divine justice.
Zakaryia is but one victim among many. Truth be told, Saudi Arabia has been at war with its religious minorities for decades if not centuries.
Saudi Arabia’s education system encourages children to hate all non-Wahhabis, most of all Shia Muslims.
Wahhabism’s Disdain, Denigration and Rejection of Others
In a study published by the Institute for Gulf Affairs, Bayan Perazzo writes, “The general contempt of Shias in the kingdom is by no means a hidden phenomenon. Religious publications under the government, school materials, and many of the Saudi government clerics are very outspoken about their disdain for Shias.”
In a damning report against the kingdom in 2017, Human Rights Watch slammed Riyadh for its systematic denigration of Shia Islam by its clergy and ruling elite, stressing that such actions were not only discriminatory but hateful. It noted: “Government religious clerics often refer to Shia using derogatory terms such as rafidha or rawafidh, meaning “rejectionists,” and stigmatize their beliefs and practices.
They have also condemned mixing between Sunnis and Shia as well as intermarriage. One current member of Saudi Arabia’s Council of Senior Religious Scholars, the country’s highest religious body, responded in a public meeting to a question about Shia Muslims by stating that “they are not our brothers…rather they are brothers of Satan….”
How much more are we willing to tolerate from our so-called strategic ally? A child lies dead!
For him there will be no widespread outrage and no words of comfort will be offered to his grieving family for in the kingdom to hail of another faith is to forfeit one’s right to breathe freely. On those truths our officials have seldom commented. And indeed, how does one justify the brutal murder of the innocent, or is it what we call strategic thinking these days?