Saudi Sectarianism: A Disease Characterized by Hardening of the Categories

Developing Just Leadership

Abu Dharr

Rajab 14, 1439 2018-04-01


by Abu Dharr (Opinion, Crescent International Vol. 47, No. 2, Rajab, 1439)

Deceptions, dishonesties, defamations, denigrations — these are the words that summarize the attitude of individuals, the media, and institutions that have been and still are contentious toward the trailblazing efforts of a leadership and population who are pioneering a momentous change within the human family. This begins with its Islamic members. Obviously we cannot cover the broad range of cantankerous characters and grumpy governments that have displayed their combination of ignorance and malice toward an Iran that is Islamic and a leadership that is free from foreign exploitation and domestic manipulation. What concerns us is a particular type of Islamic literati who perceive of “Iran” as an existential threat — so much so that Israel has become their political pal and strategic supporter.

These “Islamic pundits” are in high demand by the corporate mass media to convince their particular audience that Iran is pursuing an agenda of control, manipulation, domination, and hegemony! These pundits are located in an assortment of countries — some of them Muslim and others foreign. Briefly, their probe and breakdown of Islamic Iran relies on two canards. The first is that Iran is in reality a sectarian nation-state. The second is that Iran is a “Majusi” (Magian/Zoroastrian) country. They never refer to the Iranian people or the Iranian government with the word Islamic. The people in Iran, according to their descriptions, are either Persian, Safawis, Shi‘is or some other description that sounds like it is incompatible with Islam.

One of the falsehoods, which can only be peddled to the naive, is the conflation, by some of these commentators, of Iran’s Safawi past with its Islamic present. The sectarian bug has circulated so profoundly in the bloodstream of these analysts that they no longer are able to realize that Islamic Iran has broken away from its past Safawi sectarianism as surely as it broke away from its contemporary Pahlavi interventionism. It should be noted here that even though there is a strong Islamic current in today’s Turkey, that current carries within it a deep-seated affinity with its Ottoman past and wants to compel a Pax ‘Uthmania (Ottomanica) wherever it can extend its Islamic influence. There is no doubt that both histories (Persian and Turkic) had elements of a sectarian trend in them, as there is no doubt that both countries still have sectarian trends within them today. The difference is that the Islamic inclination in Turkey with all its secular foils has not been able to make a clean break from the mistakes of the past (without disparaging the accomplishments of that same past) and join hands with Islamic Iran on a post-sectarian strategy that has the very real potential of reviving the Muslim Ummah.

With the prudent guidance of its historically experienced ‘ulama and decision makers, Islamic Iran has been, with Allah’s helping hand, able to tame the sectarian beast within its own ranks, and therefore muzzle the voices of its schismatic Shi‘is. This was most recently demonstrated by the vocal objection of the committed ‘ulama in Islamic Iran to the Shirazi schismatic and divisive Shi‘is whose client relationship with not-so-great Britain was presented to the public without any “Shi‘i”-first bias. Compare the frank and brave drawing of a red line between the conviction of the “Shi‘i” Imams and “Shi‘is” of Isma‘il Safawi’s conviction. And here you may even go a step further and ask yourself: will the time come when members of the “Sunni” Islamic movements have the candor and courage to draw their red line between the conviction of the “Sunni” khulafa’ and the “Sunnis” of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s conviction? The Safawi dynasty produced generations of “Shi‘i” fanatics. Likewise, the Wahhabi dynasty is responsible for generations of “Sunni” fanatics. The difference is the Safawi dynasty is long gone and dead, even though there are still pockets of their fanaticism — as subtle and substantial as it is in its own enclaves — that linger on here and there, especially in scattered communities from its starting point in Tabriz (hundreds of years ago) to its headquarters (nowadays) in London.

But the Wahhabi dynasty is still alive. And there are more than just pockets of Wahhabis and their vicious fanatics located throughout the world. Their influence, unlike the subtlety of their Safawi sectarian counterparts, is barefaced and brazen. Their notorious call to arms via their takfiri creed should be a wakeup call for the “Sunni” Islamic movements, and especially for Turkey. Their crimes against Muslims resulted in smoldering countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and perhaps more yet to come.

The analysts and authorities who are peddling an anti-Islamic oratory when they do express themselves against Islamic self-governance in Iran never explain to us why the Saudi-Wahhabi strategy of political sectarianism (they claim to represent the Sunnis of the world) and its officials are entering into a political marriage with the Zionist bandits who stole Palestine and dispossessed millions of “Sunni” Palestinians! Can these analysts explain and tell us whether it is a coincidence that Saudi-Wahhabi spokespersons happen to be bad-mouthing Islamic Iran and sweet-talking Zionist Israel at the same time?!

The malicious minds of the debased British diplomats and spies did very well in recruiting the Saudi-Wahhabi dynasty to the colonialist, imperialist, and Zionist causes. The degree of their success can be gauged by the fact that hundreds of thousands of otherwise sincere Muslims were conscripted into imperialist and Zionist wars against the teachings of Islam. The wars in Syria and Yemen would have been impossible to execute without a “religious” justification. The Wahhabi-Salafi underlings of the Saudi ruling family were turned into convenient recruiters for the wars that are raging in and around the Holy Land. And if there are Wahhabi-Salafi ‘ulama who object or may object to this abuse of Islam by the Saudi functionaries of Tel Aviv and Washington, well then, lock them up. And that is where many of them are today: in Saudi prisons. They are left to hang there — high and dry. No one seems to care for them. Barely anyone mentions them. When Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) apprehended and imprisoned hundreds of millionaires and billionaires the mainstream media was a cacophony of news about their most celebrated one: al-Walid ibn Talal… along with a few others. But no one in the mainstream media mentions Hasan Farhan al-Maliki, or Salman al-‘Awdah, or the hundreds of other scholars who are languishing behind bars.

The “intellectual poison” that has injured our understanding of Islam and corrupted the character of certain scholars is in need of an antidote. And that type of cure is not going to come from an article in a magazine or a book in the library — as important as they are. The medicine for this sectarian sickness is the grand jihad beginning with Islamic Iran 39 years ago that has outwitted the Zionist minds, thwarted the imperialist militaries, and stopped the Zionists dead in their tracks.

The “intellectual poison” trying to take effect within the Muslim public mind would have us believe that Iran is anti-Islam and Israel and the US are pro-Islam. No amount of misquoting ayat and misrepresenting hadiths will be able to obscure the slow but sure uncloaking of the Saudi schemers,

And there are people who say, “We affirm and commit to Allah and the Final Day” — but, in fact, they are not committed. They make an effort to deceive Allah and the committed Muslims and in reality they deceive no one but themselves, and they do not sense [what they are doing] (2:8–9).

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