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You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia   : Information Clearing House - ICH

You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia   : Information Clearing House - ICH

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.


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