Monday, May 29, 2017

Saudi Arabian Folly

I don’t understand why the leaders of the powerful G7 nations committed themselves to fighting terrorism, yet continue to cosy up to Saudi Arabia.

Donald Trump travelled to Saudi Arabia to offer a $110 billion arms deal.

In recent months, British Prime Minister Teresa May has signed special deals with Saudi Arabia to sell weapons and provide training for their military and security forces that keep the ruling family in power.

Why do these leaders support this autocratic nation that is the sponsor for terrorism all round the world. The Wahhabi sect of Islam that inspires terrorism first emerged in Saudi Arabia. From there, it has been exported all over the world.

The wave of terrorism that has engulfed the region when it ultimately emanates from one small but immensely influential Sunni sect. One of the great cultural changes in the world over the last 50 years is the way in which Wahhabism, once an isolated splinter group, has become an increasingly dominant influence over mainstream Sunni Islam, thanks to Saudi financial support. (Patrick Cockburn in the Indedpendent)
Mark Curtis explains that Wahhabism is an ideology promoted by the ruling family in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi role in exporting Wahhabism is surely well-known by now. In the past few decades, the Saudi regime has spent billions spreading its extremist interpretation of Islam worldwide, funding mosques and free madrassas – religious schools – supplying them with imams and textbooks.
Curtis explains that the is activity is well understood by UK and US leaders.
The British elite is perfectly aware of the insidious role that Saudi Arabia plays in fomenting terrorism. In October 2014, General Jonathan Shaw, a former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, told the Telegraph that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were primarily responsible for the rise of the extremist Islam that inspires IS terrorists. He said:
“This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education, Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really. And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money and that must stop.”
He noted that UK/US bombing of IS would not “stop the support of people in Qatar and Saudi Arabia for this kind of activity” because:
“It’s not addressing the fundamental problem of Wahhabi Salafism as a culture and a creed, which has got out of control and is still the ideological basis of Isil – and which will continue to exist even if we stop their advance in Iraq.”
Curtis warns,
All the while the Saudis have been exporting Wahhabism and backing Islamist groups and terrorists, they have enjoyed a special relationship with London and Washington. The history is so long and deep it is hard to summarise: basically the relationship is characterised by extreme sycophancy, total military support, constant apologias and carefully-controlled media lines that serve to keep the public in the dark about the true extent of relations and the nature of the Saudi regime. It is hard to pinpoint whether Saudi Arabia is a client of the UK or the other way round: probably both, since both set of elites have been happily joined at the hip.

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