My Testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary
October 25, 2005
For more than two decades, this witness, as a writer has struggled in his home country in discussing the untouchable side of Muslim tradition in order to reform the religious Muslim life to confirm and to conform to the real Islamic values of peace, justice, tolerance and freedom of speech and belief. This has angered the hardest line of Sunni Muslim sect; known as Wahabi cult, or the fanatic Muslims. Finally, the writer had to escape to the U.S to practice his freedom of speech and belief, and to make his religious knowledge available to benefit those who may be concerned.
Coming to the U.S, and finding the Islamic schools influenced by the Wahabi fanatic culture, has been a great disappointment. The efforts to publicize the writerâ€™s teachings and his articles are generally opposed by the well-trenched Muslim institutions in the US, namely the mosques and other centers. The writer has very similar experience in Egypt, when he tried to reform the religious courses in general education in Egypt through Ibn Khaldoun Center in Cairo. The project was confiscated in Egypt by the pressure of the Wahabi influence. Despite the tremendous differences in the societies of Egypt and the US, the writer sees the same problem here in the Islamic mosques and schools.
Working on one yearâ€™s visiting fellowship at Harvard Law School, Human Rights Program, the writer intends to dedicate his time in research to reform the religious teachings in Islamic schools in the U.S with the original pure teachings of the Quran and Islam which happen to be in conformity with the Western and American values highlighting basic Human Rights.
, The writer has moved to Alexandria VA, to seek needed support in his struggle for theses needed reforms in the religious education and training of Muslims. After moving to VA, the writer helped some brave Americans in Boston in their struggle against the fanatic Wahabists in their mosque
The writer is honored by giving this testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee Judiciary Committee.
To make the respected members of this committee easily understand the gist of my testimony, I will give this testimony in a question and answer format.
The First part:
The Wahabism and the Saudi State
1- Does Wahabism represent Islam officially?
No. No one particular group of Muslims can claim official representation of Islam. The religion of Islam is represented only by the Quran. All Muslims believe in the Quran as the official (and final) word of God for this world.
2- Do Wahabists represent all Muslims?
No, Muslims now are in three traditional sects: The Sunni sect, the Sufi sect and the Shiites. The Sunni sect is the most fanatic sect among them. The Wahabists belong to the fanatic Sunni sect.
3- Do Wahabists represent the entire Sunni Muslim sect?
No, the Sunni sect has four schools. The most fanatic Sunni school is Hanbelah. The Wahabists belong to this Hanbelah Sunni School.
4- Do Wahabists represent the entire Hanbelah School?
No, they belong to the hardest line among the Hanbelah School. This hardest line named Ibn Taymeya groups.
5- Do Wahabists represents the entire Ibn Taymeyah groups?
No, they are the most fanatic group among the followers of Ibn Taymeyah. They are a very minute but most fanatic Sunni cult within the group.
6- If they are such a minute cult, why do they wield so much power?
Because they are backed by one of the most oil-rich monarchies in the world today: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
7- Is there a conflict between the modern intellectual Muslims and the traditional Wahabi sect?
To understand this dilemma in the Muslim world, let us bear in mind that there are now more than one billion Muslims, spread all across the globe. Most of them (>80%) are non-Arab and constitute a silent majority. Nearly half of the present Muslim population (approx. half billion) live in the Indian subcontinent of India, Pakistan and Bangla Desh. Indonesia constitute another big chunk of the Muslims. Egypt is the largest Arab Muslim nation.
Due to the wide spread illiteracy of eth general Muslim population in the Muslim lands, the religious Muslim scholars and sheikhs, numbering not more than just few thousands; wield tremendous power over the masses. These â€śscholarsâ€ť popularly known as Imams, seem to fall under two main categories: 1- the anti- Western (and now more so anti- American) including the fanatic Wahabists, and 2- The Quranic intellectual Muslims who tend to admire the West (and America) for its achievements and for what it stands for society. They believe in Islam as the religion of peace, tolerance, freedom of speech, with core democratic principles for justice and human rights for all subjects.
These two groups are locked in a struggle against each other for the support of the Muslim silent majority. In this fight for survival, the Wahabists have the tremendous advantage of unlimited monetary help and more support from the Saudi Kingdom. On the other hand, the so-called Quranic scholars, who being a minority to begin with, generally find themselves helpless in the entire Muslim World. Even with their small numbers, they are considered a big threat by the majority Wahabi-influences Muslim clerics and their backers. The leaders of the Quranic groups were persecuted and all of them are under the pressure of these terrorists and the dictators in Muslim lands. For their very survival they need protection and support to carry out their â€śJihad Against Terrorismâ€ť.
8- How to understand the root causes of this evil known today as â€śWahabismâ€ť
The Saudi State was established three times and was destroyed twice in recent history.
The initial process of the first Saudi State began in 1745, when Ibn Abdel Wahab, the zealot Sunni scholar, revolting against the Sufi and Shiite Muslims in the 18th.century, had formed an alliance with Ibn Saud, the prince of Al Dareâ€™iah in Najd, north of the Arabian Peninsula. According to this agreement, the Saudi Prince was given the religious justification to conquer his neighbors and occupy their lands under the banner of Jihad. This sowed the seeds for the Wahabi cult in the first Saudi State.
Generating its Wahabi dogma from the hardest line of the Sunni tradition, the first Saudi State used the name of Islam and Jihad to occupy most of the Arabian Peninsula and to invade and massacre the Shiites and Sufi Muslims in Iraq and Syria. The helpless and dwindling Ottoman Empire of that time asked its strong ruler of Egypt; Mohammed Ali Pasha to eliminate the Saudi Wahabi danger. After seven years of hard battles, Mohammed Ali was finally able to destroy the first Saudi State and its capital in 1818.
9- Did the defeat of the Saudi State in 1818 eliminate the Wahabi faith?
No. On the contrary, the Military solution against the first Saudi State apparently helped the Wahabi faith to learn an important lesson. While the Turkish military uprooted the first Saudi State, but it gave the Wahabis more strength and determination to help the broken Saudi house to reestablish their second state in Najd for some decades in the 19th century.
Due to the absence of strong Islamic ideology during that time to counter the emerging Wahabi doctrine from inside Islam, the Wahabi teachings spread unopposed in the heart of Muslims even in the absence of a well-defined Saudi State itself.
Moreover, their military defeat had made the Wahabi scholars become more determined in their extreme ideology.
10 â€“What is the role of Wahabism help in reestablishing the current Saudi State?
The second Saudi State collapsed because of inner military conflicts.
Abdel Aziz, [Ibn Saud] is the founder of the current third Saudi State by his tough wild Wahabist followers named Al Ikhwan; or â€śBrothersâ€ť.
Those ardent fanatic Wahabi soldiers[ Ikhwan] helped Abdel Aziz in reestablishing his Saudi State, [1914 â€“ 1925] which was called [The Saudi Kingdom ] in 1932.
The wild tough Bedouins of [Ikhwan] were inculcated with Wahabi dogma as real and forgotten Islam which should be applied by their swords and military Jihad.
After adding Al Hejaz and the Muslim Sacred Mosques, the Ikhwan continued their military conquests by invading Iraq and Syria where they committed many massacres. It was against the will of the mighty British Empire and its interests and allies. Abdel Aziz refused to defy the greatest power in the world to keep his new state secure.
This apparent conflict between the Saudi political authority and its religious Wahabi hierarchy, was absent during the first Saudi State. The tough soldiers of Al Ikhwan, believed in the continuous military Jihad and condemning Abdel Aziz and accused him to be friend of the idol worshippers [the other Muslims] and the infidels, [the British]. They had a strong Wahabi argument against Abdel Aziz who tried to eliminate this dissension by some of his other religious official scholars, who were unable to help him against the basic teachings of their sacred old masters ; Ibn Abdel Wahab and the oldest Imams; Ibn Taymeya and Ibn Hanbal.
11- How could Abdel Aziz solve this problem ?
Abdel Azizâ€™s policy was mainly aimed at the protection of his state, rather than reform the Wahabi faith. This has created the problems and the resultant bloodsheds extending to our present times, manifested by the emergence of leaders like Bin Laden.
12- This needs more explanation.
It was clear that the Wahabi doctrine needed reform in the 20th century, but the helpless non-Wahabi Saudi scholars found themselves incompetent for such an important task. So the peaceful political efforts of continuous conference in Riyadh on 1927 and 1928, failed to avoid the military conflict.
Abdel Aziz had to fight his own brothers [Ikhwan], defeating them militarily in 1929, but he could not defeat their extreme religious beliefs, nor could he reform them. Leaving this problem unsolved until now, makes the Saudi State, the core of extremism and fanaticism for the entire Muslim World, including the Western World as well.
Abdel Aziz had another problem in protecting his new state from its enemies, the Shiite Muslims around his borders in Iran, Iraq, Syria and in Yemen, and inside his state, in its eastern part and in Al Hejaz. He planned to convert the Muslims around his state from Sufism to the Wahabi faith. He concentrated first on Egypt and India where there were a big Muslim Sunni masses suffering from the British colonization and who would find solace in the Wahabi doctrine to provide religious motive for revolt against the occupiers of their lands. He acted on his plan as soon as he established full control over Al Hejaz and its sacred mosques and hence the Muslim pilgrimage. This gave the Saudi State a control over the religious heart and nerve center for the entire Muslim World.
So as early as 1928 the Muslim Brotherhood organization was created in Egypt by Hassan El Banna and his Spiritual master Rasheed Reda, an agent of Saudi Abdel Aziz in Egypt.
Between 1928- 1948, Hassan El Banna established some fifty thousand branches of the Muslim Brotherhood all across Egypt, besides many international collaborators and the secret military organizations. Muslim Brotherhood orchestrated the Egyptian Revolution in 1952, which changed the history of Middle East. After that conflict between the Brotherhood and Nasser the leader of the Revolution (1952), most of the Muslim Brotherhood members escaped from prosecution to Saudi State, their spiritual home. They finally returned to Egypt in the time of Al Sadat (1970â€™s) who gave them controlling authority in Egyptian religious and educational life. They used their influence to create their public and secret organizations to take over Egypt, and in turn assassinated Al Sadat himself in 1981. Finally, the Egyptian Muslim Brothers produced two famous leaders, Sheikh Omer Abdel Rahman, currently imprisoned in the U.S and Ayman Al Zawahery, the right hand of Bin Laden, beside Mohammed Atta the leader of the attack of September 11. Muslim Brotherhood and its public and secret organization are some of the bad fruits of the policies of Abdel Aziz.
13- Besides Egypt and the Middle East, what were the effects of this fanatical policy in the India subcontinent?
It was relatively easy for Abdel Aziz to force his doctrine in recruiting Indian Muslims who were against the British and other majority of their Indian people; they found in the Wahabi faith a religious justification to revolt against their British masters and other Indians, sowing the seeds for the division of the great Indian state and its people into two countries, creating Pakistan, which has been one of the greatest calamities of the 20th century.
Pakistan by the help of the Saudi State and its Islamic university in Islam Abad and its [Madrassas ] or Islamic primary schools, created Taliban, who took over Afghanistan subsequent to Russian departure in 1989. The problem of Taliban in Afghanistan still persisting despite their military route by the US in 2001.
14- Is Abdel Aziz, the founder of the current Saudi State and the father of the current Saudi king Abdullah, mainly responsible for all the ills of Wahabism we face today?
Instead of up-dating and reforming the Wahabi faith after his clash with his [Ikhwan], Abdel Aziz preferred to export the Wahabi cult in its original Middle-Age teachings to the Muslim world creating religious bloody conflicts and turmoil from Algeria to Indonesia and from Sudan to Russia, and finally to the West and the U.S.
His sons are keeping his policy until now. They have steadfastly refused any political reform entering the kingdom, either coming from the West or from within Islam. Moreover, they continue to use their influence in persecuting any Muslim thinker and scholar if he dares to counter their Wahabi dogmatic culture.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is the time for true reform for Muslims, for their own safety and the safety of the entire word and civilized society.
It is also time to realize that while some battles may be won by military force in select places, this ideological war between the U.S and the Wahabism will have to be won by the Quranic Muslims who are pro Americans. Empowerment of such Muslims is therefore the need of the hour.
The Second Part
The bad results of the Wahabism
1- Does the Saudi State still uphold its founderâ€™s policies?
Do they seem to care about the worldâ€™s concerns for reforming their primitive society?
Yes and No.
After the death of the Saudi founder Abdel Aziz, his sons have maintained their absolute grip on power by relying on the Wahabi doctrine. This hypocritical approach has been boosted by their new-found oil wealth and their eager enthusiasm to make Saudi Arabia as the leader of the entire Muslim World. The U.S â€“ because of its political and economical interest in the region inadvertently provided a moral support for the Saudi policy. Moreover, the Western nations including the US have continued to provide facilities to the Saudis to create the Islamic Centers inside the West to spread the Wahabi dogma as the real religion of Islam, and gave them the opportunity to mislead and misguide the Muslim communities in the West.
Although the oil wealth has given the Saudis the ability to modernize the material life, their religious, social and cultural lives are still controlled by the fanatic Wahabi dogma. This apparent contradiction between the Middle-Aged fanatic teachings and their governmentâ€™s policies of allying with the infidel West (according to the Wahabi doctrine) has caused increasing resentments among the new brand of radical Muslims, typified by the likes of Bin Laden.
2- How significant is the Saudi State problem in dealing with its own extreme Wahabists, in becoming a victim of its own policies?
It is extremely big.
Trying to keep the Wahabi teachings intact under the rising tide of radicalism and discontentment against government policies makes the Saudi State a prime target from these radical religious factions.
On the first day opening the 15th century of the Muslim calendar [November 22, 1979] some of these fanatic Wahabists, lead by Johayman, laid a siege on the Sacred Mosque of Mecca dooming the Saudi State to seek military help from their Western allies (the infidels). This in turn gave the ultra Wahabists an ax to grind claiming that the Saudi State is anti Islam. As expected, the Saudi authorities used their borrowed military power to eliminate Johayman and his group while its official religious scholars were - and still are - unable to rebut Johaymanâ€™s arguments.
3- What is the level of current opposition groups within the kingdom?
Besides the Kingdom itself, the U.S and the entire World have to deal with the current Saudi opposition which produced the likes of Ben Laden. The current Wahabi opposition- born after the first Gulf war in 1992 â€“ includes many different intellectuals with different backgrounds; most of them have graduated from the Western universities but still maintain their fanatical and extreme Wahabi views.
4- What is the effect of Wahabism on the Arab World?
The Arab World is the first victim of the Wahabi culture.
The medium of dictatorship has generally supported in the spread of the cancer of Wahabi Faith around Arab Muslim World.
Democracy is the forgotten Islamic virtue, a dirty word allied with the infidel West, but the Wahabi faith gives the Muslim dictator unlimited political power in accordance with the Middle aged political culture. The Saudi royal family could not let go of the monarchy to face any democratic aspirations of its people to hold on to their absolute power. However, the current neo Wahabi opposition while believing in absolute authority of the Muslim ruler or [the Caliph] is in conflict with the Saudi regime as the real enemy of Islam. These extremists, allied with Muslim Brothers around the world are condemning the military despotic regimes, as the followers of the [infidel West]. Their aim is to take over the political power and establish theocratic regimes. So the irony is that while the political oppositions around the world uphold democracy and human rights, the Wahabi political oppositions inside Muslim World are against the [Infidel West] FOR its democratic culture and their total rejection of all non-Muslims.
In this complex game of political power, the Military despotic regimes in Muslim World seem to support that Wahabi oppositions only to scare the intellectual opponents and the unsuspecting world making a choice on their behalf: Us (meaning the dictatorship) vs. them (meaning the Wahabists)? That is how they have been able to
maintain their control over the Wahabi culture as well as the masses, at the same time by using military power against the selected Wahabi terrorists who propagate overthrow of regimes by violent means (jihad) as true teachings of Islam.
As a result of dictatorships of the regimes and their religious oppositions, the wave of democracy abandons the Middle East while it invades other nations in Africa which are less civilized than the Muslims.
5- What about the Saudi Wahabi influence in Egypt?
Muslim Brotherhood was created in Egypt by the efforts of the Saudi agents. After Nasser destroyed their organization for his own political survival, they returned back to Egypt - with renewed Saudi oil-rich influence â€“ during the time of Al Sadat, who gave them limited authority to control the Egyptian religious and educational life. But extreme religious zealots are seldom satisfied with limited power and soon they began their influence to create other public and secret organizations to take over entire Egypt. Though Mubarak seems to have kept them at bay to gain control, they have the great power in the Egyptian street. Muslim Brothers are not just an organization. It is a live powerful Wahabi culture. It is the culture that makes the Wahabi fanatic dogma acceptable in the entire Muslim World. Ironically, this Muslim Brother culture (with the Saudi influence) have taken full control of Al Azhar .
6- What more do we need to know about The Al Azhar University of Egypt?
Al Azhar was initially a Mosque, built in 972, the same year the Egyptian capital Cairo was built. As the original seat of many great Islamic scholars and thinkers, it continued to be the magnet over the centuries to attract Muslims scholars from around the world to come and learn about the Islamic Jurisprudence and religious philosophy. Soon it obtained the status of the most respected name as the premier Islamic institution in the Muslim world for its scholarly expertise to dispense religious knowledge and train Muslims scholars who pursued knowledge in specific fields of their interests.
It is not only the oldest university in the entire world, but also the biggest as it has more than fifty colleges and five universities in Egypt, beside its own educational religious system in Egypt for the primary, preparatory and secondary schools. You can find its schools in every Egyptian village and neighborhood. Al Azhar trained Muslim Imams control the entire network of Egyptian mosques and hence the religious life of all Muslim Egyptians.
As a legendary part of the Egyptian life and history, Al Azhar has been manipulated by the modern Egyptian rulers to brain wash the masses in the name of Islam. Its current President Mubarak has tightened his grip on Al Azhar to preach the Wahabi culture to preserve his power. Paradoxically, this has made the Egyptian streets and mosques increasingly hostile to the U.S and its policies in the Middle East.
It is a must to reform such a critical Islamic institution as Al Azhar to support real democratic values of Islam, which are not opposed to America because of its freedoms and its charter for basic human rights. The reformed Al Azhar must defend the freedom of speech and belief, democracy, tolerance and human rights as real Islamic values.
For 15 years (1973- 1987), I struggled against the Saudi fanatic influence inside Al Azhar and tried to reform it in my limited capacity without much support. I was fired from Al Azhar University for my views and put in prison on trumped-up charges. My struggles against them continued as a free Islamic Scholar trying to propagate Islam according to its original teachings from the Quran of peace and tolerance. For this I was constantly persecuted until my escape to the U.S in October 2001.
Thus reforming Egypt will not be possible without the needed reforms at its religious nerve center- Al Azhar.
And in trying to reform the Middle East, reformed Egypt with a renewed Al Azhar can play a central role. If we approach it with a right understanding of the issues, I humbly submit in front of this committee that it is possible to reform Al Azhar and Egypt with the right people at the helm. This can be one sure way to blow a death nail to eradicate Wahabism .
7- In the short run, what can the U.S do to resurrect its image in the hostile Arab Muslim streets?
The U.S and the West become victims of the Wahabi culture, by their unflinching support of the dictatorial regimes in spite of their apparent falling out with their home grown neo Wahabists.
The uninterrupted dictatorships have hatched continuous corruption and chaos in creation of terrorists and their organizations in the Middle East. To deviate the masses from the real issues of corrupt governance (education, health, law and order, security ect), these despotic regimes and the Wahabi organizations have used each other in their game for political power. Wahabists tell the masses that the [Infidel West], is the ardent enemy of Islam, and is plotting against Muslims to keep them behind all nations. The dictators on the other hand are able to scare the Western powers from the bogey of Wahabists (their own creation) to keep them in power perpetually. So the West finds itself in this perplexing dilemma of who to support to guarantee a safe passage for their strategic interest. They have obviously chosen a path of least resistance by sticking with their â€śtrusted alliesâ€ť the fewer members of the ruling class in favor of the â€śunknown chaos â€ś of the masses.
In the meantime, finding it relatively helpless within their own borders, neo Wahabists have refocused their ire at the Western backers of their rulers. Their obsession with the complex of the â€śWestern/Jewish Conspiracy against Islamâ€ť was the main motive behind the terrorist attacks of September, 11.
To provide religious sanctity to this radical ideology of declaring war on the so called â€śenemies of Islamâ€ť, these Wahabists have restored the old traditional fanatic Sunni faith of dividing the world into two camps of the believers (Dar-ul-Islam), and that of the infidels (Dar-ul-Harab). In their twisted way of thinking, it gives them freedom to attack (openly or subversively on unsuspecting civilians) any land where Muslims are not in control. To achieve this aim, they are working relentlessly to take over political power in Egypt, Saudi State and Pakistan to set the stage their ultimate goal for the One Islamic United Nation to finally crush the Christians the Jews and anybody else that comes in their way and against their medieval understanding of their religion.
8- How could this radical religious opposition within Muslim nations carry out this big dream?
Their unified goal is to take over the world and raise the Islamic banner by military means as the sole arbitrator of world affairs.
So far these Wahabists have made substantial progress:
1-They have already controlled most of the mosques and Islamic centers inside, including Al-Azhar and out side the Muslim World, including most of the Western European cities (especially London, Germany and Holland) and the US.
2-They already control the most educational, media and cultural outlets in the Arabic lands and gaining steadily in their control non-Arab Muslim World.
3-They use all these means to make the Wahabi the only representative of Islam, by referring to Muslims as â€śAl Ommahâ€ť, meaning â€śOne Nationâ€ť. It sounds that there is one Ommah or one nation in this world, the Muslim Nation, ignoring the other nations. Hence they assume leadership to represent all Muslims by default!
4-Their absolute control of the Sunni Muslim communities to preach the Wahabi â€“inspired doctrine in the West and the U.S centers is enough to create a volatile atmosphere against the host nations. A systematic approach in dealing with this menace is required instead of gut reactions on isolated instances as we have seen since 9/11.
5-Wahabis have been successful in recruiting not only the Muslims who have been brainwashed against the West and the U.S, but using the tactics of the communists during the cold war, manipulating other groups, mostly non-Muslims to do their dirty work to avoid detection. It is very much like the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
6-They use historic references of the grandeur of the original caliphate empire to lure present Muslim generations into an artificial aura of super Islamic Utopic generation on earth.
7- By distracting the U.S and the West by this new kind of war where you could not predict where and when and how the next terrorist attack will happen, their aim is to exhaust the economic resources of the West and to eventually make them weak and winnable.
8-In this new kind of war, they have many different faces and sides. They are masterminding Western technology against the West and its inability to defend itself against this faceless enemy. Use of the internet for recruiting has basically taken care of the need of travel of possible suspects, with chances of being apprehended. They have trained soldiers and made loose secret organizations to commit the terrorist crimes under the various names of jihad. Their secret agents seem to have penetrated many regimes, due to their wide spread support among the mostly uneducated Muslim masses; some of them are even famous writers and (so-called) Islamic scholars to provide religious cover to defend them for their crimes against humanity. Many are constantly collecting money and funds for them, in the guise of Muslim sufferings around the world, while others are trying to recruit young Muslims for brainwashing and preparing them for the terrorist crimes.
The third Part
Reforms in the Saudi Kingdom
1â€“ Why the efforts to reform the Saudi Kingdom from within have not been successful?
Briefly, the Saudi family has two major problems: its Dictatorship, and its Wahabi bloody culture. The Saudi Royal family represents in our modern time the worst of the Middle Ages culture with a dangerous mix of political ambition and religious hegemony over the entire Muslim population. Thus they have refused any reform in the preaching of the Wahabi faith, even when the demands to change come arise from within the core of Islam.
They rely on the religious Sunni term( Al Hakemeyya) meaning : â€śThe Divine Rights of the King â€ś which is afforded to the royal family by their Wahabi counterparts- giving the Saudi family the religious justification to monopolize the wealth and the political power for themselves exclusively, as it used to be in the Muslim Empire in the Middle ages. By giving the kingdom their Saudi family name, it reflects the Middle-Age culture where dynasties were named after their founders e.g. the Abbasid, the Fatemid, the Omawwid,and the Ottoman Empires.
To understand their line of thinking we can show that within the official Saudi documents, all non-royal family members, including their own citizens, are referred to as [Al Tabeâ€™eyah] which means those that are under their control, and are regarded as an asset or belongings. Saudi family members are only those who are free citizens in their own country and kingdom.
By owning the country, its wealth, and its people, takes the royal Saudis out of any need for accountability to anyone. In their belief system, it is â€śAL Shoyoukh Abkhasâ€ť, meaning that â€śThe king is the only one who knows betterâ€ť ! Any discussion of such political terms and issues is a crime. Some intellectuals who have questioned this phenomenon are paying the price by being in prison in the Saudi State at this time.
The mention of the key word â€śslaveryâ€ť in the CDLR report highlight this brand of thinking by the Saudi Royals, implying that they believe that they own all the people inside the kingdom. By aligning with the street Mutawwis (the Wahabis) the Saudi Royal Family has been given this unlimited power to enslave its population. Although the royal family members seldom show any personal religious piety for themselves by their lavish lifestyles, indulgence in drinking, womanizing and gambling away their millions, they are unlikely to abandon their ties with Wahabism anytime soon.
2 â€“ What about the hopes with the changed Saudi leadership of king: Abdullah?
The sons of Abdel Aziz generally have belonged to three camps:
The most corrupt to back absolute dictatorship; e.g. their modern patriarch, late king Saud and now late king Fahd and their living brothers Sultan, Nayef, Turkey and Salman.
Few with some good ideas about democracy, like Tallal who revolted against his brother king Saud during the sixties and was excommunicated.
Others are famous for their religious leanings according to the Wahabi culture, like late king Faisal and the current King Abdullah.
When the present king was crown prince, the Saudi opposition in London during the late 1990â€™s pinned great hope on him due to their opposition to the then king Fahad and his full brothers Nayef, Sultan and Salman. It was said that Abdullah had some secret relationship with some members of this opposition to use them to strengthen his power inside the Saudi Kingdom. The facts however, seem to point out that king Abdullah has more partisans in the Wahabi extremist crowd than his late half brother, king Fahd.
The Wahabists have great hopes in him.
The Fourth Part
The Wahabist war on America
1- How Is Saudi Arabia spreading Wahabism here in our American mosques and schools?
The Wahabi Muslim Americans are using the Islamic schools and mosques and internet in spreading the Wahabi culture of hatred and terrorism.
According to the Wahabi religious verdicts [Fatwas] and their historical wars, Al Jihad means to hate and to fight the enemy of Islam. The term â€śenemyâ€ťincludes all Christians, the Jews, all non Muslims as well as other Muslims who do not follow their Wahabi ideology. They justify waging wars- as military Jihad â€“ to kill not only the army personnel, but also innocent civilians, including elderly, children and women, even their pets. At the same time, the Wahabi Soldier, if he martyrs himself he gains instant access to his final abode in paradise, with the highest rank of being granted the power of intercession before God on the Day of Judgment to intercede for his family and friends. The current wave of suicide bombers are the clear manifestation of this bigoted ideology of their Jihad against the infidels.
2- More details about their influence in the American mosques and Islamic schools.
According to one recent survey, there are 1,209 mosques in America; most of them were founded during the last 20 years, making the Wahabi Islam one of the fastest growing religions in the United States. By 2010 it is expected to become the second largest faith practiced in the country. There are about 200 fulltime Muslim schools, about 500 Sunday Islamic schools, and six schools of Islamic higher learning in America.
The fanatics Wahabi Imams are now in charge of most of these mosques and schools in countering the Western ideas of liberty, justice and peace and fighting the U.S. system from within its home territory.
Ironically, many of these Sheikhs and Imams claim Al Azhar and Saudi backgrounds, giving them a religious hierarchical position difficult to challenge by ordinary Muslims. They can be more dangerous than the open foes like the Ben Laden.
A cursory look at the official Saudi translation in the holy Quran of Al Fateha (the opening chapter) can highlight this point. [Al Fateha]- is recited at least 17 times through the daily Muslim prayers- they on purpose have mistranslated the last two verses in [Al Fateha]. It should say:" Guide us to the straight path. The path of those on whom you have bestowed your blessing, not of those who earned your anger, nor of those who went astrayâ€ť
The official Saudi translation comments on these verses to describe the Jews as those who earned the anger of God, and the Christians as those who went astray
There are hundreds of other examples in this Saudi Wahabi Translation. Thousands of copies of such translations are regularly distributed in the Islamic centers and schools and mosques in the U.S to make Muslims believe that all the Christians and Jews are infidels, enemies of Islam and according to the Wahabi faith, they should be fought and killed. This translation is also available on line on this official Saudi web site:
Are we now to believe in their assurance to the US government and its people that they are with us in their fight against war on terror with the likes of Ben Laden? I do not think so and the evidence suggest otherwise.
The hypocrite scholars are worse than the frank extremists like Ben Laden, who speak their discourse and apply it openly as they can. Those hypocrites are more dangerous because they keep the religious culture of terrorism untouchable, which provides a rich breeding ground ready to produce thousands of Bin Laden.
The only way to expose them is to face them from inside their culture, proving their enmity towards Islam, and the big contradiction between their tradition and real Islam (evident fro the Quran), and to discuss and criticize their tradition in the light of Quranic discourse.
3- What about the Freedom House Report â€śSAUDI PUBLICATIONS ON HATE IDEOLOGY FILL AMERICAN MOSQUES.â€ť?
Yes, I believe that the report is fair in its overall assessment of the problem. Actually, it provides a wakeup call which comes a little late. Such a report should have been generated twenty years ago. But while hind sight is 20/20, it is still a good first step. But continued scrutiny of Wahabi lobby activities including their centers, fund raising and money transfers, their Arabic newsletters, Arabic sermons and conferences are warranted.
4-What about the Arabic online war against America?
By the help of the American counterparts, the fanatics Arab Bedouin Wahabists are controlling most of the Arabic websites. Muslim Brothers were the first people in Egypt in using computers for their political cause, so are the Saudis fanatics and others. It is their best way to reach all their secret organizations and cells and individuals in the entire world. They use it within the U.S soil by hijacking Islam and the American value of freedom of belief and speech, while benefiting personally from these value systems to escape scrutiny. While the American agencies may have the most sophisticated internet security tools, they are not qualified in facing them in the Arabic websites because they use their confidential terminology and codes.
For example; there are websites which seemingly focus on religious issues only and in general way. For the ordinary Muslim, they seem just religious websites, so they may have a large following and supporters. Under deeper scrutiny by expert scholars, however, one may find that the so-called moderate traditional web sites are the proving to be more dangerous in propagating fanatic Wahabist views to ordinary Muslims.
The most famous moderate web site is â€śIslam Onlineâ€ť, owned and controlled by Sheikh Al Qaradawy, the spiritual leader of Muslim Brothers. This so â€“ called Moderate Sheikh has issued his famous bloody fatwa calling to kill all the American civilians in Iraq. In addition, the Saudis have the most number of the fanatic web sites. It is easy to say the Saudi Arabic web sites have many different fanatic kinds of discourse. There are these official sheikhs who attack Ben Laden and defend the Saudi Kingdom while they are upholding the same faith and beliefs as Ben Laden himself. There are the sites of other Sheikhs like Salman Al Ouda and Safar Al Hawaly who were against the Saudi regime initially and were put in prison. After some compromise â€“ they were released on one condition: not to attack the Saudi State. Accordingly, they have learned to ignore the Saudi repressive regime and have instead focused their attacks on the West and U.S interest to encourage the terrorists every where else.
Al Masâ€™ary and Al Fakeeh are other example for this category of websites operated by Saudi dissidents in London where they attack the Saudi family and the U.S together and encouraging the war against the West in general. Other London websites attack the Arabic regimes and the U.S and the West: Yaser Al serry and Hany Al sebaâ€™ey from Egypt as example. Some websites provide portals for Ben Laden and Al Zarqawy to propagate their messages. But generally, all of these fanatic web sites share common preaching of hatred and a bloody religious culture inspired by Ben Laden but with different tunes and different accents.
The Fifth Part
American Mission: How to defeat terrorism in this intellectual war?
1- How to respond to this intellectual war?
This war against terrorism should be 90% ideological and intellectual peaceful war. It is very easy and cheap war if it is handled by the right people. Unfortunately America is using its military in 99% of this war.
This is dangerous since it will have serious implications of draining its economy, the eventual aim of its enemy.
2- What are some other details of this intellectual war which must be fought to defeat Wahabism?
This is a new kind of war. We can summarize its new aspects with one concrete example: the suicide bomber. He is eager to blow himself up in order to kill as many innocent people as possible from among Christians, Jews and other Muslims. Young men are usually inspired by their dreams of the future and of enjoying their lives, but the suicide bomber is motivated only by the thought of being a martyr and he is convinced that virgins are waiting for him in paradise to reward him for blowing himself up amongst â€śinfidelsâ€ť.
The suicide bomber is a human ticking bomb walking the streets ready to destroy other people, any time and any place. It is very difficult to recognize him and to predict where and when he will strike.
With this new weapon -- the human bomb â€“ the Wahabi terrorist enemy has neutralized the most horrifying weapon of all times, the nuclear bomb.
This Warâ€™s chief Ingredients:
1-The most lethal weapon is the suicide bomber.
2-The ammunition is the Muslim medieval tradition and religion.
3-The factories of ammunitions are the mosques, the Islamic centers in the West and in the U.S, the Muslim system of educations and the Arabic web sites.
4-The battle field is the mentality and attitude of all Muslims.
5-The soldiers and the generals of war are fanatic extreme Muslim scholars and the Sheikhs.
6- The very nature of this war is 100% intellectual-ideological religious war.
7-Who will win this kind of war? The terrorists, unless challenged by the Islamic scholars.
8-Why: Because so far only the U.S army is waging about 90% of this war.
The Crucial Reassessment:
1-How can the U.S win this war and save thousands of lives and billions of money?
By using the same tactic of the intellectual-ideological religious war.
2-How could the U.S use this tactic?
By responding to every enemy weapon to neutralize it:
The weapon [suicide bomber] must be convinced that if he kills innocent people or himself he will be the enemy of Islam.
The ammunitions [Muslim tradition and religion] must be used against the terrorist themselves.
The factories of ammunitions: [Mosques, Islamic centers in the West and the U. S and the educational system in Muslim World] are under the control of U.S. allies. These factories of ammunitions in the Muslim World must be reformed in the name of Islam by the pressure of the U.S, and the U.N. -- along with real political reform. The mosques and the so-called Islamic schools in the U.S must be reformed, and the Arabic fanatic web sites must be faced.
The battle field of this war will be the mentality of all Muslims.
The soldiers and the generals of this war against terrorists are the free Muslim scholars and sheikhs. We are willing to fight but need the support of the West and the U.S.
The very nature of this war against terrorists: A large percentage of it can be â€“ and must be -- intellectual war.
Who will win this kind of war?
The civilized world including the West and the U.S. will win it.
Because the fanatic terrorist Wahabists have their power by using the name of Islam. We must explain from within Islam the contradiction between Islam and the bloody culture of Wahabism.
It is not hard to have the silent Muslim majority on our side if we can reach them. It is not hard also to convince some of the fanatics by using the fanatic tradition against them. Also, it is very easy to recruit the open-minded Muslims and organize them in this peaceful war against terrorism. Actually, they are eager to be organized and supported by the U.S to get their freedom and to get rid of the terrorist danger.
3- Does America have the Ability to win this war of Ideas?
America has not used its unique abilities to win this intellectual war. America has the most powerful media productions in the world and the great number of the Islamic departments within its Universities. Moreover, there are the Quranic groups in Egypt and the entire Muslim world, who are manifestly pro democracy and anti Wahabism. They can easily defeat the Wahabists if they have the American support and protection.
I have a painful experience in this regard. After 25 years of struggle against the Wahabism as a Muslim scholars and freedom fighter, I came to the U.S eager to serve this great country which gives me a shelter after the Egyptian fanatics have rooted me out from my home, family and career. Since October 2001 until now (October 2005) I worked only 15 months. 3 months in the National endowment For Democracy, and one year at Harvard Law School. Because of the Saudi Wahabi fund no Islamic Department in the American Universities responded to my application to teach in my Islamic field, in spite of my knowledge and expertise. This explains why these Islamic Departments in the American Universities ignore Wahabism and how to counter it.
During my 3 months at N.E.D, I wrote my first book in Englishâ€ť: The root of democracy in Islamâ€ť in 2002. I called in this book to establish many T.V Arabic free channels to defend America and its democratic values. After establishing the Arabic American T.V channel, Al Horra, I contacted them several times to work with them, but they ignore me totally. Some months ago, Magdi Khalil who worked at Al Horra hosted me to talk about Islam and the contradiction between Islam and Wahabism. I also talked about the American role in establishing democracy in Iraq, saying it is a real Islamic Jihad which must be supported by All Muslims. Because of this Magdi Khalil was fired from Al Horra. This proves that Al Horra is controlled by the wrong people.
I sent many proposals to many American agencies and figures in the fields of reforming the Islamic mosques and schools and recruiting the free minded Muslims to activate and win the silent Muslim majority to our side, and how to handle this war of ideas. The response so far is zero and very frustrating.
I stand alone with my Quranic people facing the fanatic Wahabists on line in the Arabic internet. In my weekly article on line, I usually attack the Wahabism and the dictatorships, giving my Quranic people a hope that one day they will have the American support.
4- What is the practical step in handling this war?
This new war against terrorism will save billions of money and thousands of lives, although it may last for some decades in this century. It is impossible to change people mentality in some years. America must have its own powerful agency to win this war peacefully and intellectually and perfectly. This will confirm America as the only super power in this century.
This American agency will be specialized in Islamic cultural fields to produce and publish and broadcast books, drama and television programs in Arabic, Urdu, Farsi and English languages throughout the Muslim World and the Muslim communities in the U.S and the West.
Its production must reach all Muslims in every street, every mosque, on line, and in theaters and homes.
5- In some details: What is the mission of this proposed American agency? And how it will handle its mission?
Briefly, this agency has two new expressions in handling its mission: Amricanizing Islam and Islamizing this war. Amricanizing Islam means to preach the core of Islam among Muslims. When you read the Arabic Quran according to its terminology you will find Islam has the same American values. Islamizing this war means to recruit the intellectual Muslims to handle it by the support and the control of this American agency.
The proposed agency needs the following departments:
A) Department of International Affairs, to organize the Quranic Muslim groups in the entire World, to give them assignments, and to recruit other intellectual Muslims. This department will hold regular conferences to help the agency in handling its mission overseas.
B) â€“Department of Islamic Reform:
1. For the Islamic mosques in the U.S. to defend democratic values in the name of Islam)
This will enable the U.S. to drive extremists out of the American mosques, making them advocate American patriotism as part of core Islamic values of faith.
2. For the Islamic Schools in the U.S.
Itâ€™s useless to reform their religious curriculum; the only way is to present to them alternative Islamic subjects, to preach the Islamic values of Peace, tolerance, justice, freedom and democracy.
This department will provide these subjects as available materials for these schools, calling on the schools to reconsider this in their teaching. It will also publish these subjects calling on the American Muslim community to discuss them and to be an active part in pressing the Islamic schools to uphold them instead of the fanatic teachings.
If they refuse, then it will be a unique opportunity to discuss this issue in the public eye of the media. A public debate may disclose some absent facts concerning the secret relationship between some Islamic schools and other fanatic organizations in the Muslim World.
In such a debate, they will be faced with these important questions: If you really believe that Islam is the religion of great values, why do you ignore this in your courses? If you claim you did not have the ability to write it in your courses, and information to this end has now become available, why do you continue to refuse to uphold it in your courses? If you are against the fanatic culture, why do you keep it in your courses?
The final goal is to make these Islamic schools serving Islam compatible with the United States nation in its war against terrorism.
C: Department of Publishing
It should publish books and newsletters in Arabic and English languages and to distribute them in all the American Muslim mosques, schools and stores and communities and publishing it also online.
Publishing these books and newsletter aims to:
1- Expose and disclose the dark side of the fanatic tradition and the big contradiction between it and the real teachings of Islam.
2- Recruit open minded Muslim Americans to work against the fanatics inside and outside the U.S.
3- Through the discussions and the reactions of those who control the Muslim communities and schools and mosques, it will be easy to define the terrorist Imams and their followers in order to free the American mosques from their control.
D Higher Institute for Islamic Research and Reform in which open-minded Muslims will be trained to be Imams, not only in the mosques but also in the Islamic schools and to work as Imams for Muslims in prisons and army instead of these Wahabi fanatic Imams. It is also necessary to train some other brilliant free minded Muslims to infiltrate the fanatic groups inside the mosques to pave the way for taking over them in the right time.
This high Islamic institute will be also a think tank specialized in the Islamic fields and the other secret sacred sides of the Wahabism. It will tackle researches and assignments for the American agencies.
F- Arabic Library specialized in the secret sacred scriptures and texts and the hidden manuscripts of the Sunni Wahabi cult. It is said that the Saudi agents in Egypt have stolen many of these unpublished manuscripts from the very Old Al Azhar library and the official Egyptian Library. We need copies in our proposed library to serve us in this intellectual war. Using these sacred secret books will be an atomic intellectual bomb against them.
G- Department of Online War
It is painful to say, that the greatest super power in the human history has not single Arabic web site to defend itself and to clear its image, while it is usually insulted and attacked severely every day in the Arabic on line web sites. The Wahabists have a jungle of these Arabic websites. Their sole mission is to brainwash Muslims against America. This department will be supervised by Arabic experts who will maintain this online war and has a team work inside and out side of America to keep commenting on all the articles and the books that insulting America on line and in the local media overseas.
It also will hold many conferences to :1- Explore this new kind of war.2-Analyze the fanatic websites, and how they brainwash the young Muslims and prepare them to be suicide bombers, how they recruit them , and how they raise fund.3- How to face them. 4- How to deal with â€śAl Fatwaâ€ť- the verdict or the rule given by the Sheikh â€“ as the most dangerous weapon against them. 5- Translating and presenting this unknown field - the Arabic fanatic web sites - to the Americans. 6-Expose the so â€“ called moderate Muslims and sheikhs who have two discourses, deceiving the West and the U.S. while they are working for the terrorism.7-Establish many web sites to serve in this war.9- Organize the secular and other open minded Arab scholars and their web sites to be in our side against the terrorism. 10- Establishing new Muslim generation specialized in this online war.
H: New Arabic Satellite Channels for multi media productions of Movies, T.V serials and other programs
Only intellectual Muslims have access to internet and read books and newspapers. Most of Muslims get their education and knowledge from T.V channels and its drama which 90% of them are owned and controlled by Wahabists and dictators. To defeat them , the magic word here is â€ś Hollywoodâ€ť. By drama and few T.V satellites the U.S can win 90% of this war.
Proponents of extremism and terrorism are not just clerks or imams. The most dangerous are script writers who compose historical, Islamic, and ordinary dramas. In their movie and soap-opera scripts, they usually promote terrorism through subtle ideas which they convey indirectly and effectively to the conscious and subconscious of viewers, shaping their ideas and outlook while enjoying the show without any discussion or protest.
Most Arab countries monopolize the media, including local and satellite TV channels, to serve a ruling dictator and the Wahabism. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are working together in promoting the Wahabism.
When small Qatar set up its anti American Al jazeera channel with a reasonable margin of freedom and independence, the satellite channel has become famous in Arab countries and the whole world.
The success of Al Aljazeera motivated the USA to set up Al-Hurra (the Free) Arabic channel. When the United States thought about establishing Al-Hurra Channel, Arab regimes and advocates of terrorism were caught by horror. Yet despite all the facilities and financial assistance given to Al -Hurra, the American channel turned into something similar to a local Lebanese channel, without any impact. Al-Hurra was born dead, when it ought to have been born a giant to confront the intense hatred for the United States in the Arab region, spread a culture of democracy in the Middle East, and uproot the Wahabi culture.
It has become imperative to establish more free and independent TV channels to address the Islamic world preaching the American Islam against the Wahabism. The address must be well-studied and void of any direct preaching or demagogue presentation. Ideas must be presented with such ease and subtlety as to persuade viewers.
Establishing TV and drama production companies
If the proposed channels have a unique message to convey, then they require specific drama and cultural program production companies which will be unique in their production in drama and T.V programs.
Drama has the most effective impact on Arab and Muslim viewers. All kinds of drama â€“ social, political, and even thrillers â€“ can easily serve our cause, either in the main plot, or in deliberate comments said by the characters. Historical drama teems with thousands of issues which a writer can use to highlight virtuous values and raise the awareness of viewers. In all kinds of drama, different themes can be incorporated in natural conversations that are both congruous with the context, and void of direct preaching.
TV programs are generally popular and effective. We have our issues that have not been presented or discussed yet by other channels, because they are not bold enough to raise them. Even if they do, they are not qualified to run the talk.
Human rights in Islam have not been frankly and objectively discussed. They cannot discuss questions like these: if Islam is really a religion of peace, why has terrorism been cultivated among Muslims? How has terrorism come to be inextricably associated with Islam? If Islam is valid for all times and places, why have Muslims lagged behind other nations? And why is there a call for ancestral fundamentalism? If Islam is a religion of freedom, tolerance, democracy, and compassion, why do Muslims have despotic regimes? Why do they reject democracy and advocate radicalism and fanaticism? Hundreds of questions like these need to be answered in free and objective arguments in talk shows run by real thinkers, and not by people who promote superstition, ignorance, fanaticism and backwardness.
In short, it is necessary to raise the issues that have remained undisclosed in the Islamic literature for ages, including edicts, rulings, legislations, and interpretations that contradict the core of Islam and all its values and virtues. A daring and scientific discussion of these issues will ensure prompt success for such programs, especially when discussions are based on freedom of opinion, thinking, and belief, tolerance, and respecting the right of others to differ and disagree, without holding them infidels, traitors, or contemptible. There are other taboo issues which the Arabic TV satellite channels usually neglect in order to avoid collision with Arab old despotism. Among these issues are the corruption, the real history of the Saudis and their fanatic Wahabism, and torture in the Arab Muslim World.
This proposed agency by these departments will defeat terrorists and their Wahabi culture at a very cheap cost and giving the world more safety.
Ahmed Subhy Mansour