by Our Own Correspondent (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 45, No. 12, Jumada' al-Ula', 1438)
For decades the Saudis have peddled their narrow-minded nonsense as ideology by disbursing petrodollars. Given its disastrous consequences for the Ummah, this no longer works even with its own agents.
Attending one of the most mentally challenging and spiritually uplifting Islamic lectures held in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada), led by a Sunni Muslim scholar, one could not help but think about the inevitable collapse of the Bani Saud-led regime in the Arabian Peninsula and their literalist cult masquerading as Islam. Every insightful Islamic lecture, person, masjid, book, or magazine the author of this article has dealt with in the past five years, reflected direct or indirect disassociation with the Saudi regime.
The autocratic regime and its palace pseudo-scholars have created an intense disdain among all segments of the Muslim population worldwide for that regime and anything associated with it.
Over the past several decades, pseudo-scholars bankrolled by Bani Saud and politically backed by many NATO regimes, have brought nothing but regress, shame, and bloodshed to the Muslim world. Islamic movements and organizations attached to the Saudi pseudo-Islamic scholarship have produced no tangible or non-tangible strategic benefit for the Muslim Ummah, or for the world at large.
Sure, the Saudis send some slaughtered meat to Gaza, but also make sure that the Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon says that “…to transfer the responsibility for the islands [Sanafir and Tiran] on the condition the Saudis fill in the Egyptian shoes in the military appendix of the peace agreement.”
From the Taliban in Afghanistan to the pro-independence movement in Chechnya to the organ-eating militias in Syria, these organizations, funded and schooled by the pseudo-scholars emanating from Riyadh, have ended up killing each other and declaring one another kafirs, once the external threat was reduced, instead of focusing on building a progressive Islamic society and state.
The moment the Soviets were booted out of Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance warlords and the Hizb-e Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar began slaughtering each other. Once the Russian forces were defeated in Chechnya in 1996, instead of aiding Chechnya’s then elected president, Aslan Maskhadov, the Wahhabi-influenced field commanders based mainly in Vedeno and Argun, began undermining his rule under literalist pretexts and thus paving the way for the second Russian aggression in 1999. In Tajikistan, the Saudi schooled preachers have played a crucial secondary role in undermining the social credibility of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), the only politically recognized Islamic organization in Central Asia up until 2015.
In Syria, the children-beheading militias obsessed with mundane fiqhi matters were more focused on declaring others as kafirs than improving the lives of ordinary Syrians in the “liberated” areas they occupied by force.
The Syrian, Afghan, and Chechen experiences show beyond reasonable doubt that the Saudi directed vision has no future. The Saudi soft-power emanating from the occupation of Makkah and Madinah has lost its appeal and cannot be revived without collapse of the Saudi monarchy. The Saudi brand no longer appeals even to scholastic Wahhabis. Observation of online activities of Wahhabi “scholars” and organizations reveals that the ones possessing “legitimacy” are those who at least partially distance themselves from the Saudi monarchy, and the ones who are not, simply view them as cash cows.
Riyadh’s narrative has lost its currency within its own constituency, namely, the average Sunni Muslim in the Arab world. Of course the sophisticated Western political and security power centers realize that erosion of the Saudi brand will also harm their soft-power appeal. It will make it more difficult to present Islam as a “barbaric” alternative to the current world order, therefore they have made preparations.
The unelected Qatari regime and the Turkish ruling elite are being projected by Western regimes as the new alternatives for the average Sunni Muslim to look up to. Turning Qatar and Turkey into role models for Sunni Muslims will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. The economic, social, and political policies and visions of the current regimes in Ankara and Doha are too closely associated with NATO and the Saudi regime to appeal to a reasonably informed Muslim anywhere. Also, unlike the Saudi regime, Qatar and Turkey do not exercise any control over Makkah and Madinah, which Bani Saud have so successfully exploited to furbish their jaded image. There is light at the end of the tunnel.