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Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

Post by Revelations » 04 Dec 2019, 14:41



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Re: Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

Post by Abe Abraham » 04 Dec 2019, 17:08

meforum.org

Is Al-Azhar University a Global Security Threat?

Cynthia Farahat

______________________________________________________________________________



Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the world's largest and most prestigious center of Islamic learning, is also the most linked to terrorism.

Al-Azhar University, the world's largest Sunni Islamic educational institution, is where many of the world's most brutal terrorists received their formal religious training. This is to be expected, given the nature of the material taught there. Al-Azhar has thousands of affiliated mosques, schools, learning centers, and universities around the world, such as the Islamic American University in Michigan. The institution has also been unofficially controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood for decades.

According to the most recent data released by the Egyptian government, there were 297,000 students studying at al-Azhar University in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, there were 39,000 foreign students studying at al-Azhar. These students are taught the theological legitimacy of cannibalizing infidels, gruesome ways to torture non-Muslims to death, and the importance of raping and humiliating non-Muslim women. This explains why numerous Egyptian public figures and intellectuals have called for a terrorism investigation of al-Azhar University. For example, Egyptian historian Sayyid Al-Qemany called upon the Egyptian government to designate al-Azhar University as terrorist organization.


In 2015, El-Youm el-Sabi, an Egyptian newspaper, published an investigative report about the curriculum at al-Azhar University. According to the report, one of the books, called al-Iqn'a fi Hal Alfaz ibn Abi Shoga'a (Convincing arguments according to Abi Shoga'a), taught to al-Azhar's high school students states, "Any Muslim can kill an apostate and eat him, as well kill infidel warriors even if they are young or female and they can also be eaten, because they are not granted any protection." On the treatment of non-Muslims, the report quotes the same book as saying, "To preserve one's self from the evil of an infidel, any Muslim can gouge their eyes out, or mutilate their hands and legs, or sever one arm and one leg."



Al-Azhar prepares its graduates to enter the modern world with knowledge of such things as the theological legitimacy of cannibalism and rape.

Even Muslims aren't safe from al-Azhar's teachings. According to the same the report, another book states, "Any Muslim is allowed to kill a fornicator, a warrior, or a [Muslim] who misses prayer, even without permission of the [ruling] Imam."

This is expected given the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood dominates the organization. Not only does the Muslim Brotherhood use the university to recruit hundreds of thousands of students to adopt ISIS-style beliefs, the Brotherhood has used the organization to train young people for combat. For example, a 2006 video leaked from inside al-Azhar showed 50 masked young members of the Brotherhood in black uniforms, performing a military exercises in front of the head of al-Azhar University, resulting in a government investigation and arrests in what later became known as, "the case of al-Azhar militia."

Thus, it shouldn't come as a surprise that many of the world's most brutal Islamists either worked for al-Azhar or graduated from it. For example, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is a graduate from al-Azhar.



Brutal terrorists who received religious training at Al-Azhar include (clockwise from top left) Al-Qaeda founder Abdullah Azzam, 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind Omar Abdel Rahman; the Nazi-aligned mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini; and Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.

Also, the first leader of al-Qaeda, Abdullah Azzam (1941 –1989), studied at al-Azhar. The spiritual mentor of Osama Bin Laden and a leader of the international arm of al-Qaeda, Omar Abdel Rahman (1938 – 2017), known as "the Blind Sheikh," was a scholar at al-Azhar. The Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini (1897-1974), studied at al-Azhar University, as did Abu Osama al-Masri, the mastermind of the Russian plane crash over Sinai in 2015

Not only is al-Azhar involved in the spreading of the violent Sunni Wahhabi sect, the government-funded institution uses Egyptian blasphemy law to imprison critics of its radical teachings, halting any hope for Islamic reformation. For example, the President of al-Azhar University recently declared Muslim scholar Islam el-Behery, who was previously imprisoned in Egypt for blasphemy, to be "an apostate of Islam." According to al-Azhar's Sunni theology, apostasy is punishable by death.

Al-Azhar is also responsible for the apostasy fatwa that resulted in the murder of Egyptian secular figure Farag Fouda (1945-1992). After uproar in Egypt against the university for essentially placing a hit on Mr. Behery by calling him an apostate of Islam, its president was forced to resign, but the militant teachings remain untouched.

Al-Azhar was also responsible for the imprisonment of another very popular Muslim scholar, Sheikh Mohammed Abdallah Nasr, for adopting a non-theocratic modern interpretation of Islam, landing him an unprecedented 13-year prison sentence for blasphemy with hard labor. Incredibly, one of the formal charges in al-Azhar's court case against Mr. Nasr, is that he criticized Khalid ibn el-Waleed (585 –642), a Muslim warrior and sacred Sunni figure for being a rapist and a cannibal. During a televised debate with radical al-Azhar University scholars, Mr. Nasr scrutinized el-Waleed for decapitating a Muslim poet, Malik ibn Nuwayrah, cooking his head, and eating from it, before raping Nuwayrah's wife. Mr. Nasr's criticism of the Muslim warrior and cannibal was among the official reasons for his conviction. Speaking to al-Azhar scholars Mr. Nasr said, "you wonder where terrorism is coming from? It's from your religious heritage."

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi must immediately halt government funding of Al-Azhar.

Last month, China demanded from Egypt that it deport its students studying at al-Azhar. While neither Egypt nor China gave a reason for the unusual procedure, the obvious reason could be that China is proactively attempting to protect itself from possible terrorist recruitment at the al-Azhar.

Al-Azhar University is a global security threat. Western governments and their Egyptian counterpart should investigate al-Azhar University and its affiliated institutions for possible ties to terrorism. If President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is serious about combating Islamic militancy, his government must immediately halt its funding of the university and stop al-Azhar's daily terror indoctrination of future potential Rahmans, Azzams, and Shekaus.

Cynthia Farahat is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and a columnist for the Egyptian daily Al-Maqal.
Shaikh Abdallah Nasr during the Egyptian revolution.


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Re: Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

Post by sun » 04 Dec 2019, 19:14

Revelations wrote:
04 Dec 2019, 14:41
Really? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Fake news, fake news being manufactured by the fake news factory Judas master liar. Non stop b!tching is your endless preaching!
:lol:

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Re: Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

Post by Revelations » 04 Dec 2019, 20:01

Fears That Saudi-Exported Extremism is Spreading Throughout Africa

Ethiopia has been shaken by attacks on Christian churches, and some fear that Wahhabism may be to blame.






December 4, 2019 | James Jeffrey

After remaining under the international media’s radar for more than a year, attacks against churches in one of the world’s oldest Christian civilizations have prompted Pope Francis to speak out.

“I am saddened by the violence of which Christians of the Tewahedo Orthodox Church of Ethiopia are victims,” the pope said in his November 3 Angelus address. He was speaking of those caught up in ethnic clashes that had broken out across Ethiopia at the end of October and left about 80 dead. “I express my closeness to this beloved church and her patriarch, dear brother Abune Mathias, and I ask you to pray for all the victims of violence in that land.”

The burnings of churches belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC)—the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which reject the 451 A.D. Council of Chalcedon and believe that Christ has only one nature—have proven even more shocking in a country where about 98 percent of the population claim a religious affiliation.

Until recent years, Ethiopia had been both a Christian oasis in the volatile Horn of Africa and a bulwark against Islamic extremism. The country had come to represent a remarkable success story in religious tolerance compared to most of the world.

Celebrated for its 7th-century Christian king who provided sanctuary to persecuted Muslims, Ethiopia today is home to about 35 million Muslims (some argue the figure may be considerably higher). They live cheek-to-jowl with about 45 million Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, and members of other Christian denominations, in relative harmony. Intermarriage is common, and both sides recognize and celebrate each other’s religious holidays.

Christians have suffered before in Ethiopia, enduring a spate of attacks by Muslim mobs in 2011. But that violence flared and subsided within about a week. The most recent attacks—during unrest sparked by an altercation between political activist Jawar Mohammed and the Ethiopian government—continue a worrying trend that since July 2018 has seen more than 30 churches attacked, more than half of them burned to the ground, sometimes with priests still inside, according to the Amhara Professional Union, a U.S.-based diaspora organization that has attempted to track events.

In August 2018, an estimated 10 churches were burned in Ethiopia’s eastern Somali region, resulting in 29 deaths, including eight priests. This March and April, another two were attacked in the Somali region’s capital, Jijiga, resulting in 12 deaths. Then in July, five churches were attacked in the southern Sidama zone with further burnings and deaths.

The ongoing ethnic-based tumult in Ethiopia and the accompanying witch’s brew of identity politics, territorial claims, and historical grievances make it hard to parse the motivations behind the church attacks and gauge whether religion was the main driver. Some argue that religious buildings are being targeted to incite tension and instability to further political plots.

At the same time, the attacks are occurring amid concerns over increased Islamic extremism in the Horn of Africa, including in Ethiopia.

“Islamic extremism has been growing in Ethiopia and has been a concern for many analysts in the region,” says Tewodrose Tirfe, chairman of the Amhara Association of America, another U.S.-based diaspora group. “Money from the Gulf region has been pouring into the country, building mosques, [Islamic] schools, and introducing the Wahhabi form of Islam to Ethiopian Muslims since the early 2000s.”

Wahhabism is a strict, fundamentalist Islamic doctrine and religious movement, backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Both countries have shown an increased interest in Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa region over the past few years.

While Tewodrose says he doesn’t believe Saudi Arabia or the UAE are directly involved in fomenting religious tensions in Ethiopia, he does note that, over the centuries, Ethiopians of all ethnic groups have long respected diverse religious institutions. Hence the burning of churches is a “foreign” idea that must have been “exported to the country.”

Fears are thus mounting that any hint of religious conflict could make an already highly volatile situation even worse.

“Ethiopia cannot afford a religious conflict at a time when its very survival is [already in] question,” says Tewodrose. He notes that historically the Amhara, the country’s second-largest ethnic group, have been closely identified with the EOTC, and that most of those targeted in the church burnings were Amhara. “This will inflame ethnic tensions already present in the country,” he warns. “If the church burnings continue and Christians retaliate, this will be a huge setback to the peace that has co-existed between the two faiths and can potentially result in a new conflict leading to millions more Ethiopians being displaced.”

During the first half of 2018, due to ethnic clashes, Ethiopia’s rate of 1.4 million new internally displaced people (IDP) actually exceeded Syria’s. By the end of that year, after further ethnic strife, the IDP population had mushroomed to nearly 2.4 million, and remains close to that figure today.

Ethiopia is one of the earliest cradles of Christianity. It was the second nation after Armenia to adopt Christianity as a state religion around the 4th century. As a result, the EOTC rules supreme both culturally and psychologically. The Ethiopian Orthodox faith is intrinsically interwoven with the idea of Ethiopian-ness, evolving over the centuries into “a religion that embraces culture, politics, flag, identity and nationalism, all put in one package,” as religious studies professor and author Tibebe Eshete puts it.

But the flurry of reforms in 2018 that drew so much praise for Ethiopia’s prime minister—and now Nobel Laureate—Abiy Ahmed have also had unintended consequences, to the point that even the idea of what it is to be Ethiopian could now be under threat.

Increasing numbers of ethnic parties have emerged in the political space that Abiy opened up, many with an openly bigoted message. These play on historic grievances between different ethnic groups and have reignited territorial border disputes.

The July burning of churches in Sidama occurred during ongoing unrest over a movement for the area to secede from the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) to become its own independent federal state.

The complexities and scale of what is happening across Ethiopia mean that it’s important to remember, says William Davison, International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Ethiopia, that during broader incidents of unrest, Orthodox Christian churches were not the only properties targeted, and nor were Orthodox Christians the only groups that suffered.

The corresponding difficulties in discerning between whether church attacks were driven more by religious differences, ethnic differences, or an admixture of both, perhaps explain why the attacks haven’t garnered much mainstream media attention. Though that appears to be changing, as the pope’s comments indicate.

This is not the first time the pope has spoken out over Ethiopian Christians. Pope Francis met with Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch Abune Mathias in February 2016 to express his condolences over the Ethiopian Christians executed by Islamic State militants in Libya in April 2015. Now, once again, the EOTC is in mourning.

“There is a feeling of siege among many followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church,” says Elias Gebreselassie, a journalist based in Addis Ababa. “The burning of churches could lead to wider distrust within society and could be a time bomb.”

James Jeffrey is a freelance journalist who splits his time between the U.S., the UK, and further afield, and writes for various international media. Follow him on Twitter @jrfjeffrey.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com ... hristians/

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Re: Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

Post by Sadacha Macca » 04 Dec 2019, 20:09

sounds like the white man, or some white men, want to see religious wars in ethiopia and the amhara extremists would love to so that they can beg for the white man's military aid. they never won a war on their own, so i get it.

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Re: Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

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Re: Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

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Re: Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

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Re: Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

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Re: Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

Post by Ethoash » 05 Dec 2019, 14:37

Re: Saudi-Exported Extremism is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

Realbull,

i dont mind making all kind of comment about the Saudi as the people as whole .. all i dont want to hear is when the Saudi revenge dont cry ... we have over 550,000 poor Ethiopians working and living in Saudi u r sabotaging their security by making blanket statement ... if The American Conservative want to go after Saudi- Extremism then it should be between two of them why r u dolling poor Ethiopia in this elephant fight...


More than 23,000 Ethiopian workers have surrendered to Saudi authorities. It follows a crackdown on illegal immigrants in the kingdom.

Thousands more migrant workers are waiting to be deported while others have taken to the streets in anger. Three people, including a Saudi national, were killed in clashes on Saturday.

As Al Jazeera's Osama Bin Javaid explains, violence continues in many areas as frustration grows.




Saudi deports 'up to 150,000' Ethiopians


when this happened dont cry for heaven u r the one who started it

there r many Chistean Ethiopia working and living in Saudi and they building Church inside Saudi


it is like 1,2,3 easy if u dont want the Saudi extremist to come to Ethiopia then take away all your immigrant out of Saudi ...

now u will say Saudi is welcome but not their religion fine as an Amhara government they can say no Mosque... in Amhara region but if the oromia want Mosque in Oromia what is the Amhara business to tell the oromo not to accept Mosque from Saudi ... in fact if the Amhara doesnt want the Saudi investment they can say no to Saudi what i dont understand is why would the amhara have veto power what the oromo government do or not do.. if the oromia government want the Saudi to come that is their business they should leave the Saudi alone .....

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Re: Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

Post by Zmeselo » 05 Dec 2019, 15:41



Analysis: Britain helped create Saudi Arabia - the Establishment won't give up their influence without a fight



13th November 2018

David Jamieson @David_Jamieson7

https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/1 ... -influence

The UK Government is under increasing pressure over relations with one of its closest allies

REPORTS that the killers of Jamal Khashoggi, the murdered Saudi journalist, told handlers to “tell your boss” about the assassination provide the closest indication yet that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the ambitious leader of Saudi Arabia, was behind the incident.

The brutal affair has put major pressure on the UK Government's close allegiance with the Gulf power. But it's an old relationship, stretching back to the founding of the state in imperial intrigue.

CommonSpace looks at the history and future of the Saudi-British alliance.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire

Britain had historically backed the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East before the first world war. The tottering Empire, which claimed to be the Caliphate, extending its authority over the entire Muslim world, had reached its peak in the 17th century and was in a state of decomposition by the 20th century. Yet it still controlled much of the Muslim Arab world, including Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.

This interest in the maintenance of Ottoman influence spanned Britain's high imperial era, when the Empire used its alliance to fend off rivals like Russia, and maintain an Iron grip on India, its most prized possession.

The first world war terminated this relationship when the Ottomans, for their own reasons, sided with Germany and the axis forces. Britain's direct military confrontation with the Ottoman Empire proved an unexpected humiliation in the early part of the war.

The UK sought to undermine the Ottoman's in some of their most important territories by inciting Arab revolt.

Arab Revolt

The British Empire made extravagant promises to Arab leaders, including that a new Caliphate could be established in the Holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the original centres of the Islamic world, and that the new Caliph could be an Arab.

But behind the scenes the British Empire discussed its real intentions. It's leaders believed that the Arabs would never cohere as an entity, and could therefore be controlled by the British. In the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the British and French foreign minister carved up the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape of the Middle East.

A power struggle ensued within Arab factions and the wartime leadership of the revolt was toppled by Ibn Saud. Saud was in allegiance with an Islamic movement, later called Wahhabism, that demanded a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, and saw its role as reviving the Muslim world.

The British Empire endorsed Saud as he established his new state with extreme violence. The British state not only funded the creation of the new state, but sent advisers to guide its development.

When the fundamentalist movement turned against Saud in the late twenties, the British rushed in to protect their new ally, crushing the rebellion. But the ethos of Wahabbism was integrated into the state, and in the decades to come its ideas would proliferate around the region.

This allegiance created in blood solidified in the 30s, when Britain helped establish the unified Saudi Arabia. By this time, the British had created a network of states across the region under its own influence.

The impact on the modern region

Much of the chaos of the Middle East today flows from the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and the cynical interests which drove it.

Arbitrary borders drawn up by the Europeans remain a source of tension to this day. European involvement in the region undermined its economic and social development for imperial extraction. The colonial-settler state in Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians was one of its signature achievements.

And the relationship at the heart of the new Middle East remains of vital importance to the UK and the new global hegemon, the United States.

Especially after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the West has relied on Saudi Arabia both as a source of oil and as a regional policeman, which acts to re-enforce western interests and crush forces threatening to upset the imperial architecture of the region, as it did with the invasion of Bahrain during the Arab spring, and as it is now doing in Yemen.

But that does not mean the Saudi Arabia is a mere puppet. Prince bin Salman and the new state leadership recognise that the Kingdom's future stability means internal reform and an extension of regional influence, even if this must be achieved with brutality. The state cannot continue to rely forever on its oil economy, on which it is grossly over-dependent.

The US is also much less reliant on Saudi oil now than it was during the 1970’s oil crisis, when the Saudi’s led OPEC – a coalition of smaill oil producing countries – combined to hike up global prices. Bin Salman’s global geopolitical leverage is restricted by this fact, even if it remains a very important country for the US in the context of the chaotic politics of the MIddle East.

Both Britain and the US encouraged Saudi Arabia and the UAE to take the lead when it comes to war with Yemen, after being burnt by the experience of Iraq and Afghanistan when it comes to direct intervention in the Middle East. But after three years, and a brutal strategy of starving the civilian population in the country, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are now trying to rein the Crown Prince in, without detering him from continuing to spend billions on arms purchases from both countries.

The British state and Western axis are therefore in a bind; in an increasingly chaotic Middle East, they need a strong Saudi Arabia as much as ever. But their ally is changing in unpredictable new ways.

Picture courtesy of: Alisdare Hickson

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Re: Saudi-Exported Extremsim is Slaughtering Ethiopian Christians [The American Conservative]

Post by Zmeselo » 05 Dec 2019, 16:14




King Salman of Saudi Arabia

13 April 2016

Saudi Arabia: Britain’s Hand in the Making of a “Terror State”

By Johnny Gaunt

https://www.globalresearch.ca/saudi-ara ... te/5519995

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has managed to nose itself into a unique global position. Despite the persistent reports of human rights abuses from within the kingdom, it continues to stand as an ally and ‘friend’ to both the UK and the US. Public beheadings in Chop Chop Square are commonplace, http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/rare- ... -318277846 which along with stoning, flogging and cross amputation (usually one hand and one foot on the opposite side), make up some of the state punishments for such appalling crimes as witchcraft and sorcery. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18503550

But it is not only within the Kingdom that extreme human rights abuses are taking place. Since the Saudi-led air campaign over Yemen began in March 2015, there has been consistent accusations of human rights abuses http://https//www.amnesty.org/en/press- ... -conflict/ from NGOs and other humanitarian groups on the ground. This was confirmed in January this year, when a leaked report from a UN panel of experts disclosed “widespread and systematic” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/j ... er-uk-role attacks on Yemeni civilians, a gross violation of international law.

Yemen was an impoverished country before this devastating conflict, where “some 6,400 people have been killed in the past year, half of them civilians, and more than 30,000 are injured, with 2.5 million people displaced”[1] according to the UN.

Meanwhile, the long history http://https//www.caat.org.uk/resources ... 23section2 of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been been going through the roof since 2010. David Cameron’s government has licensed almost £7billion http://https//www.caat.org.uk/media/pre ... 2016-03-25 of arms to the Kingdom, with nearly £3bn coming since the Saudi bombing campaign over Yemen began. This completely flies in the face of UK, EU and international law. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... egal-yemen

In a recent television interview http://https//www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2Q7qKKjI9M for ITN news, Malcolm Rifkind, the former chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee for Parliament, http://isc.independent.gov.uk/ said:
Over the years Saudi Arabia has been a strong ally of the United Kingdom, of the West. Apart from Yemen, Saudi Arabia has not had a reputation of using its military in other countries.
[2]

The reason Rifkind can get away with such a plainly false statement is because the Saudi’s internal reputation has for a long time overshadowed its (overt) external operations. However, the last 20 years have seen the regime increase its military muscle http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comme ... -a-reality in the region. At present, Saudi Arabia is simultaneously bombarding Yemen in the south, whilst adding to the high levels of military http://https//www.washingtonpost.com/wo ... story.html build up around Syria, and taking part in huge military exercises in the north of the peninsula.

The kind of relationship which exists between the UK and Saudi Arabia was highlighted last September. The two nations conspired prior http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015 ... ncil-place to a UN ballot, by secretly making arrangements to exchange votes and promote their positions within the UN Human Rights Council. Along with an obvious display of contempt towards the UN and democratic processes as a whole, this also carries with it a sick irony in that Saudi Arabia now chairs http://www.globalresearch.ca/united-nat ... il/5477833 an influential UN panel to discuss human rights abuses, while simultaneously committing so many of its own.

So in light of all of this, why does the UK have such a cosy arrangement with an infamously brutal regime? Yes, the obvious lure of oil is a major factor, but if you really want to understand how this friendship developed, you’ll need to know a little bit about its history.

The Origins of Wahhabism



In the 1740s, the geographical area now known as Saudi Arabia was more or less a plateau for warring Bedouin tribes. Ibn Saud, ancestor of the modern Saudi family, was just one of many desert leaders, raiding other tribes and vying for supremacy. But an encounter http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... saud/cron/ with exiled cleric Adl al-Wahhab (right), forged a partnership that would alter the fate of the whole Middle East.

Adl al-Wahhab was just another in a very long line of religious fanatics, but Ibn Saud saw something more in his extreme preaching. He realised al-Wahhab could lend him an edge over his tribal enemies and potentially offer him the opportunity to seize the peninsula.

Wahhab saw Islam’s religious development from around 950-1000 AD as a false path http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair- ... 17157.html that needed to be reversed and its doctrines abolished. His interpretation warned that anyone resisting his teachings, or who failed to follow them precisely, would be seen as ‘non-Muslim’. This logic formed a simple choice for people: abide by Wahhabism or be slaughtered as a heretic.

The traditional raids of neighbouring tribal villages was, until the partnership of Wahhabism and the House of Saud, done for wealth and conquest. But now, with Wahhabism embedded into Saudi thought, the raids became Islamic crusades, leading to thousands of violent executions http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affai ... -terrorism in neighbouring territory.

Word of the bloody raids soon spread and before long Ibn Saud and al-Wahhab’s brutal reputation was striking fear into villages and cities throughout Arabia.

They soon acquired much of the peninsula. Reports of the massacres of thousands, such as at Karbala in 1801, http://https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wah ... of_Karbala instilled yet more fear into surrounding settlements, including the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, both of which capitulated under the panic and fear created by Ibn Saud, with little or no resistance.

These were the salad days of Wahhabism. The glory days that are taught as such in Saudi primary schools today.

They didn’t last long. The first quarter of the 19th century saw the Saud-Wahhab forces annihilated; first by the Egyptians, and then again by the Turks. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair- ... 17157.html Their people, however, held out together in the desert, and importantly, so did their Wahhabi culture.

Britain Authenticates Extremism

For the next 100 years the Ottoman Empire hung over the peninsula, whilst the Sauds fought battle after battle with neighbouring tribes, once again vying for dominance. The years of persistent battle eventually caught up with them, when in 1891 they were finally defeated, with the Saud family escaping to exile in Kuwait. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14703523

A decade or so later, Abd-al Aziz, the then Saud leader, returned from exile determined to reclaim the family’s former power. In doing so he used much the same tactics as his ancestor, Ibn Saud, namely emplying fear under the banner of jihad. But there were two other http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair- ... 17157.html important aspects to Aziz’s strategy that can’t be overlooked: the Ikhwan project, and the support from the British.

A major part of Abd-al Aziz’s strategy for reclaiming the peninsula was to extend Wahhabism through radical teaching into the surrounding Bedouin tribes. The traditional tribesmen were considered theological ‘blank slates’ by the House of Saud. Primitive and unenlightened, the Jahiliyyah were opened up to Wahhabi conversion by Saudi clerics with great enthusiasm.

The British Government began courting Abd-al Aziz when it became clear he would emerge as ruler of a vast portion of Arabia. The British rulers had much Empire to protect in the region, with the Sykes-Picot Agreement http://https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syk ... _Agreement being discussed at the same time. Aziz knew he needed the British in order to authenticate the nation, and therefore to embed Wahhabism into the Kingdom.

In 1915, with the eyes of the world on the Dardanelles, France and Belgium, Ibn Saud signed the Darin Treaty, where he agreed to become part of the British Protectorate.

From Protection to Oil Addiction

One of the main problems with having a huge army of religious fanatics, is they can be hard to bring to heel.

It had been positively encouraged to raid any non-Wahhabi settlements prior to the Darin Treaty. But now with the British involvement, any attacks on other nations (especially those also under British protectorate) were outlawed. Even before the treaty was signed, a movement within the Ikwhan had formed, deeply unhappy with Abd-al Aziz due to his personal neglect of Wahhabi customs. They were angered by his sudden affiliation with foreign imperialists. The signing of the Darin Treaty and Abd-al Aziz’s growing acceptance of Western modernity (cars, telephones and machine guns were being introduced) was felt to be in direct conflict with the Wahhabi doctrine, which rejected non-traditional ways of life as incompatible with its teachings.

By the late 1920s, and after gaining both Hejaz and Nedj, Abd-al Aziz was finding the rift within the Ikwhan a concern that could no longer be ignored. The splinter movement had grown far beyond a splinter, and had intensified their jihadi attacks on Transjordan, Iraq and Kuwait. The self proclaimed King of Hejaz and Nedj knew that something had to be done.

The Battle of Sabilla http://https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sabilla in 1930 allowed Abd-al Aziz to seize his opportunity. The Ikwhan rejected modern weapons, and were helplessly decimated by the machine gun fire http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/06/12/the ... r-on-iran/ (supplied by the British) of Abd-al Aziz’ loyalist army.

What remained of the Ikwhan was reabsorbed into the army, soon to become The Royal Saudi Landforce. In 1932 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was born, and just six years later prospectors struck major reserves of oil within the kingdom.

The Rise of the Islamic State



The contempary incarnation of the Ikwhan needs no introduction. IS (or ISIS) are extremists whose clever use of social media, cold-blooded brutality and military proficiency has catapulted them into the centre of global affairs.

The conditions created by the West’s war-sanctions-war policy in Iraq since 1991, left the country utterly broken, and a fertile breeding ground for extremism. John Pilger recently wrote, “like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS are the mutations of a western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great remove in distance and culture.” [3] I’d like to add another aspect to distance and culture: time.

The British were well aware of the Wahhabi culture within Saudi Arabia throughout their early relationship. Indeed, one of their officials even converted. http://https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_John_Philby Yet, seemingly, at no time did it ever occur to anyone to be concerned about supporting the oppressive and violent culture of Wahhabism. Even a rudimentary sociological examination would have shown the self-destructive seed lying at the heart of the new Saudi society. But instead it has been allowed to grow unchecked by international concern, in favour of protecting part of an empire which has since become the private property of Western oil corporations. http://www.salon.com/2016/03/30/worlds_ ... ddle_east/

Unintelligent Intelligence

In an interview last year, David Cameron was pressed into giving his opinion on why the UK is so willing to maintain a friendly relationship with one of the worst regimes on the planet:

http://www.channel4.com/news/david-came ... n-teenager

The Saudi Intelligence argument, used here by Cameron to hard-brake an interview he was rapidly losing control of, is echoed time and again by other politicians intent on keeping the relationship unchanged. Later, in the same ITN report http://www.itv.com/news/update/2016-03- ... -position/ as quoted earlier, Rifkin uses it too:

The intelligence relationship is crucial, and that’s not just a general statement. I can make one hard example which is in the public domain. There are a lot of other examples I couldn’t give. But the hard one is the intelligence the Saudis gave to the United Kingdom, which led to a terrorist attempt to blow up a transatlantic air liner going to the United States. That failed.
[4]

But the reality is not so straightforward. It isn’t the pleasant back and forth of information you might be led to think. Unlike Rifkin’s claim, the intelligence was actually given to the US/CIA, not to the United Kingdom. Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz “personally made the call to the [then] White House counter-terrorism chief, John Brennan, to warn him about the Yemeni bombs.”[5]

A leading Saudi political opponent also told me that UK intelligence is permanently barraged with information, but the vast majority of it is aimed at opponents of the regime living in Britain, in an attempt to undermine and hurt their credibility, making it difficult to filter for genuine threats. Other Middle Eastern commentators have described the “Saudi intelligence structure [as] sloppy, unsophisticated, and badly trained.”[6]

If we add all this to the Serious Fraud Office being forced to drop the case of major corruption and slush funds surrounding BAE and Saudi arms deals, we begin to see the fickle nature of our intelligence sharing relationship. The SFO were told to retract because “the Saudis threatened to stop sharing intelligence with the UK.”[7]

Conclusion

History has seen a covert British hand forever present in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is a hand that rarely restricts, but often encourages Saudi ambition. But the British presence has become more apparent in recent years, as tensions in the Middle East have intensified after US military involvement from the 1990s onwards.

Despite corrupt arms deals, allegations of sponsoring terrorism, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/com ... 02312.html the murderous war in Yemen where internationally outlawed cluster munitions are being used, http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/03/26/o ... ar-crimes/ and their own incredibly bad human rights record, Saudi Arabia now sees itself as unaccountable http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la ... story.html to international law; much like the UK and the US, allies it once followed but now stands shoulder to shoulder with.

Is it finally time for the British public to reconsider the real value of such a relationship? And, to weigh that value against the bloody violence that inevitably comes with it?

Johnny Gaunt lives in Wales, where he is an active member of Stop the War Coalition. His other articles can be found on antenna.org, his website.

Notes:

[1] “‘Terrible Year’ in war-torn Yemen leaves majority of country’s people in need of aid – UN,” UN News Centre, 22 March, 2016, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?N ... wqxsD9fut8

[2] “Yemen’s Forgotten War,” ITN News, 30 March, 2016, http://www.itv.com/news/update/2016-03- ... -position/

[3] “From Pol Pot to ISIS: “Anything that flies on everything that moves”,” johnpilger.com, 8 October, 2014, http://johnpilger.com/articles/from-pol ... that-moves

[4] “Yemen’s Forgotten War.”

[5] “Cargo plane bomb plot: Saudi double agent ‘gave crucial alert’,” The Guardian, 1 November,2010, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/n ... gave-alert

[6] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, “The Ridiculous Nature of Saudi Intelligence: What the Saudi Cables Released by WikiLeaks Say and Don’t Say,” Global Research, 32 June 2015, http://www.globalresearch.ca/what-the-s ... ay/5457713

[7] Richard Norton-Taylor, “The Saudi tip-off and the cargo bomb plot,” The Guardian, 1 November, 2010, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... -bomb-plot

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