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Wahabism And Obeying the Ruler

December 30, 2013

“Obeying the ruler” is an article of faith amongst Wahabi Muslims. They constantly preach this message to their flock and they teach that one must remain on that to be a good Salafi (i.e., wahabi). The following is an excerpt from an excellent article that explores this phenomenon:

Seamlessly, the idea is woven that the Wahhabi state—along with its kings, princes, and clerics—is the true custodian of Allah’s faith. To oppose the Saudi regime, then, is to oppose Allah himself.

This is part of the reason why the charge of apostasy is used against detractors of the state religion. In Saudi Arabia, Islam is more than an expression of personal faith; it is the single most effective tool by which the House of Saud clings to power. Like the caliphs and sultans of the days of old, their very legitimacy rests on the faith of their subjects.

Despite this, being a nation comprised of disparate conquered tribes and peoples, Saudi Arabia has never been a purely homogenous society.

In the EasternProvince bordering the Persian Gulf, Shia communities have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the Wahhabi regime.

In the Hijazi cities of Jeddah, Makkah, and Madinah, citizens who have historically been used to a more diverse and liberal interpretation of Islam have resented the intolerance of many Saudi religious teachings and lamented the destruction of holy sites deemed idolatrous by the Wahhabis.

Meanwhile, for worse, in the heartland regions of Nejd and Qassim, the grandsons of the zealous raiders who rode alongside Ibn Saud have opposed the encroachment of modernization and the ties with Western nations encouraged by the Saudi state, resulting in incidents like the seizure of Makkah’s Sacred Mosque and the many acts of terrorism that have gripped the nation in recent decades. As the very extremism once promoted by the Wahhabis festered beyond control, the regime found itself once more reining in dissent through the use of religion.

As many have stated here on this site and in other places, in reality there is no one “true” Islam. But what the Wahabis have tried to do over the past few decades is define their version of Islam as the only version of Islam, while casting all other versions of Islam as false or a deviation. The reality is that the sources of Islam are so obscure and open to interpretation that it means many different things to many different people, thus all of the confusion and differing sects. None of that stopped the Saudis from selling their Islam as the only one.

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  1. I would hope you would mention Linguistic Miracles somewhere in here, as your excerpt is from there.

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