The ‘Kingdom of Sands’: Wahhabi Thought on which Extremists Feed

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SHAFAQNA –  Out of the ‘Kingdom of Sands’ came to life Frankenstein breeding monsters that behead, crucify and even eat human organs. Frankenstein had fell ill in his own desires that turned out to be a heinous nightmare rather than the beautiful dream of ‘supremacy’ he sought to realize, and instead of trying to break the spell, he seems to further go downhill.

Four years ago, extremists of the so-called “Islamic State” that are well-nursed with Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi thought started to sweep across the region beginning their blowout in Syria, with Saudi Arabia being its major source of financing and backing. This support is not new; in fact, it dates back to the 1970s, with tremendous amounts of money spent by the Saudi regime to spread and enroot the Wahhabi puritan of Islam first developed by Mohamad Abdul Wahhab in the 18th century.

The oil-rich country spends unbelievable sums of money in its quest for hegemony in the region, at a time in which most Saudi people suffer poverty. Young Saudis live in ‘third-world’ status in a country that has more than $400 billion in foreign reserves and annual oil revenue in excess of $200 billion. Yet, the government fails to provide basic services like good education, health care, or even proper sewage to protect from floods. Poverty is not the sole problem in the country; concern has been the state of human rights in the country, highlighted by a spate of public executions, violence against women, and abuse of foreign workers. Meanwhile, it easily adds a significant extra burden to the budget, allocating $81 billion for what it claims is defense and security needs in 2014.

Through its oil bonanza, [which is not at the service of the people nor allocated to improve the infrastructure of the country or the life conditions of the Saudis], the Saudi monarchy tries to spread its extremist thought throughout the Muslim world- this time launching a bloody war which it led in support of the United States and ten Arab countries. For nearly three weeks, Saudi Arabia has been pounding Yemen to allegedly protect a legitimate government, killing dozens of civilians including women and children.

Images of intolerance and brutality vary in the ‘Kingdom of Sands’, where it has always shown bigotry towards Shia Muslims, with human rights groups saying that the Shiites face discrimination based on their faith in the country. In another ominous image of extremism, a Saudi cleric had called for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula in March. One year earlier, around 28 Christians, including children, were arrested by Saudi police as they were attending prayers at a home in the eastern city of Khafji.

In 2013, the US State Department listed the reports of the “worst” human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, which included: “citizens’ lack of the right and legal means to change their government; pervasive restrictions on universal rights such as freedom of expression, including on the Internet, and freedom of assembly, association, movement, and religion; and a lack of equal rights for women, children, and noncitizen workers.”

The victims of rape in the ‘Kingdom of Rights Abuse’ receive punishment, with a recent instance of a Saudi woman who had fallen victim to a violent gang-rape. According to sources, she has been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail after being found guilty of speaking to the media about the crime and indecency.
Also, in a fresh attack that springs from the same bigotry, Saudi airport officials reportedly separated two Iranian teenagers from other members of their group who were returning from their pilgrimage, and sexually assaulted them. The Iranian head consul in Jedda said that the two teenagers were asked by two Saudi police officers for more body inspections when they were leaving a Saudi airport.
Bearing all that in mind, it is no shock that Saudi Arabia leads a war on a peoples that are demanding the least human rights and freedom.

The unorthodox experiment of Saudi Arabia reflects its own nature, with the tides of extremism diffusing through the Arabian Peninsula. It is no longer a surprise that Saudi Arabia is tolerant only towards its own ideology, trying to instill fear in the hearts with one goal: seizing power.

By: Nour Rida

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