SHAFAQNA – One stands in disbelief when Saudi Arabia speaks of radicalism and extremism.
With Iran set to elect its next president in only a new short weeks – May 19, 2017 to be precise, ink has flowed from writers’ pen, speaking of the cruel reality that is Iran’s Islamic Republic and of course the pending doom that awaits the world, should Iran’s very own system of governance permeate through the Islamic world at large.
Regardless of what anyone may think of Iran, we ought to remember that as an independent sovereign nation, Iran is entitled to its political future – such principles cannot and should never be open to debate. Interestingly enough it is those very nations for whom democracy rings most threatening that have screamed in outrage most loudly.
Should any power, however mighty and “exceptional,” lay claim to institutional and political oversight, that particular power would, in fact, stand in direct negation of democracy itself … never mind those articles laid out in international law. It was Jack Goldsmith, I believe, who, in his book: Sovereignty, International Relations Theory and International Law outlined the following:
“Two pieces of conventional wisdom dominate the international legal community’s views about national sovereignty. The first is that national sovereignty is an important legal principle. It defines nationhood. It underlies international law’s requirement of state consent to treaties and customary international law.”
To put it simply any challenge to national sovereignty anywhere, would equate to an attack on national sovereignty as the bedrock of our democratic system. And yet … we allow those foreign to such principles to be most virulent in their attempt to erode its very standing.
If the western world could let go of its irrational hatred of communism – or rather that communism embodied by Soviet Russia until the 1980s; why not consider that Iran cannot possibly be as devilish and sinister as its many detractors would like us to believe? I would personally raise you one, and ask of you, readers, to consider the agenda such hatred serves, and more importantly, look upon which parties such political ostracisation serves.
Saudi Arabia as it were, also known as the grand Wahhabist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for those who do understand the reality of the exclusion its theocracy speaks, has played every card its hands could grab hold of, that it could demonise its arch nemesis: Iran, and in the process deflect from its own faults.
And what faults indeed … One stands in disbelief when Saudi Arabia speaks of radicalism and extremism, laying blame at others’ feet when its clergy still argues apostasy and heresy against whoever speaks another faith and another tradition. Before such cognitive dissonance, one can only assume a psychosis tainted by a pathological propensity to lie.
Have we forgotten that it is Wahhabism, and Wahhabism alone that has inspired, motivated and altogether sustained the likes of al-Qaida, ISIL, and the Taliban? Have we forgotten whose very lips have rationalized Wahhabism and the poison it spews?
As Kamel Daoud puts it in an op-ed for the New York Times: “The West’s denial regarding Saudi Arabia is striking: It salutes the theocracy as its ally but pretends not to notice that it is the world’s chief ideological sponsor of Islamist culture.”
Can the West afford its distaste of Iran if it means supporting Wahhabism main ideologues: Saudi Arabia’s ruling clergy – especially now that it sits foaming at the mouth with arguments reminiscent of the Crusades?
Speaking to the press in an interview against Iran, Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, son to King Salman, noted: “How do you have a dialogue with a regime built on an extremist ideology … which [says] they must control the land of Muslims and spread their Twelver Jaafari sect in the Muslim world?”
If Iran’s system of governance, Wilayat al-Faqih, may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it nevertheless remains a sovereign choice Iranians chose to exercise when they opposed the tyranny of the Shah, and thus rose democracy from under the feet of imperialism.
Who better than America to understand a nation’s yearning for popular representation while still sitting a nation under God?
Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on Yemen and radical movements. She is the Director of Programs for the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies in the UK, and serves as Special Adviser for the Middle East for Prince Ali Seraj of Afghanistan. She also sits as the Executive Director of PASI (Prince Ali Seraj of Afghanistan Institute for Peace and Reconstruction). Her writings have appeared on RT, Press TV, Mehr News, The Foreign Policy Journal, The Duran, MintPress, the American Herald Tribune, Open Democracy, the Age of Reflection and many others.