Writing about Wahabism and Salafi-Islam, could fill many books. I will however in this article, try to make clear why it is of tremendous importance in our time. Both movements are considered as the origin of Islamic terrorism. A lot of recent Islamic terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, have been inspired by Wahabism.
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703 – 1792 ) was an Arab theologian born in Saudi Arabia and can be considered as the founder of Wahabism. Wahab is considered by many to be a great reformer of Islam, and at the same time as the "father of Islamic terrorism. Iwill not go deeply into his teachings, but expose the teachings of two of his contemporary followers.
Salman bin Fahed al-Auda, in his book "The End of History", asserts that the solution to Islamic distress , that may bring about the fall of America and the Western world, "exists in one word which is Jihad". According to al-Auda, the meaning of jihad is much broader than fighting with a sword. Appealing to Muslims throughout the world, he wrote: "We should not simplify this issue and narrow its meaning to a restricted military battle in one of the Islamic regions or even to an all-out war against the West, which is possible and predicted and we assume is arriving… Life as a whole is a battlefield. The weapons are not only the rifle, the bullet, the airplane, the tank, and the cannon. Not at all! Thinking is a weapon, the economy is a weapon, money is a weapon, water is a weapon, planning is a weapon, unity is a weapon, and so there are many types of weapons." In "The End of History", al-Auda concluded that the West by itself was already in an advanced state of decay: "The West, and above all the United States, and Western culture, in general are undergoing a historical process that is deterministic. This process leads to its total collapse, sooner or later." His jihad was intended to accelerate that collapse. During the 1990's, he was regarded as the most influential preacher in Saudi Arabia and Osama Bin Laden often cites out of his work.
Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, lin his book "Democracy is a Religion", denies the traditional protection given by Islam to Jews and Christians. For al-Maqdisi, democracy is a prohibited innovation that contradicts Islamic values and embodies a new heretical religion. Its followers are "infidels" and "polytheists," even if they consider themselves as Jews or Christians by religion. Al-Maqdisi based his claim on the following arguments:
1. "Democracy gives legitimacy to the legislation of the masses or to the despotic regime. It is not the rule of Allah….Allah ordered his Prophet to execute the commands given to him and forbade him to follow the emotions of the nation, the masses, and the people."
2. "Democracy is the rule of the masses or the rule of paganism, which is conducted according to a constitution and not according Allah's laws….Democracy has become the mother of laws and is considered by as a holy book. The religion of democracy has no relation to Quranic verses or the Prophet's way of life and it is not possible to legislate according to them unless they are compatible with the holy book (the constitution)."
3. "Democracy is an outcome of despicable secularism and its illegitimate daughter, since secularism is a heretical school striving to separate religion from state and government."
Al-Maqdisi concludes: "Democracy is a religion that is not Allah's religion….It is the rule of paganism…it is a religion which includes other gods in its belief…the people represented in the religion of democracy by its delegates in the parliament…who are actually standing idols and false gods placed in their chapels and their pagan fortresses, namely, their legislative councils. They and their followers rule according to the religion of democracy and the constitution's laws upon which the government is based, and according to the paragraphs of their legislation….Their master is their God, their big idols who approve or reject legislation. He is their emir, their king, or their president
Wahabism (together with the related Salafi-movement), is not representing the majority of Islam. Actually, it is however the most aggressive teaching and it act as if it represents all Muslims. Many terrorist groupings such as Hamas, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Al Quaida, Abu Sayyaf…,are followers of Wahabism (or Salafi). Enormous quantities of money are funneled through Charity organisations to these terrorist groups. Most of the money is distributed by the Saudi Monarchy. The U.S. has already blocked many of these channels. New ways for financing the radicals, will however always be found.
The only way to stop terrorism is eradicating its roots and these roots are the teachings of Wahabism and the Salafi movement.These intolerant teachings have to be stopped. The House of Saud that has been connected to Wahabism since Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, must with the help of the moderate Muslims, renounce and forbid the Wahabi teachings and if necessary, banish the terror-preaching clergy. This is however an internal Muslim problem. The question is: has the moderate Muslim-world the wil and the strenght to realize this.
Meanwhile, the "West" has no other choice than continue it's "War on Terror"
Robert Maegh is a Belgian engineer, born in Germany in 1945. He spent several years in Africa and the Middle East. "A Holy Terror" is his first novel and a sequel can soon be expected. http://www.westernfreedom.com email@example.com