Wahhabism (Arabic: وهابية, Wahhābiyyah) is a radical religious movement or offshoot branch of Islam variously described as “orthodox”, “ultraconservative”, “austere”, “fundamentalist”, “puritanical” (or “puritan”), an Islamic “reform movement” to restore “pure monotheistic worship”, or an “extremist pseudo-Sunni movement”. It aspires to return to the earliest fundamental Islamic sources of the Quran and Hadith, with inspiration from the teachings of Medieval theologian Ibn Taymiyyah and early jurist Ahmad ibn Hanbal. In July, 2013, European Parliament identified Wahhabi movement as the source of global terrorism and a threat to traditional and diverse Muslim cultures of the whole world.
The majority of the world’s Wahhabis are from Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia. 22.9% of all Saudis are Wahhabis (concentrated in Najd). 46.87% of Qataris and 44.8% of Emiratis are Wahhabis. 5.7% of Bahrainis are Wahhabis and 2.17% of Kuwaitis are Wahhabis.
Initially, Wahhabism was a revivalist movement instigated by an eighteenth century theologian, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792) from Najd, Saudi Arabia, who was opposed by his own father and brother for his non-traditional interpretation of Islam. He eventually convinced the local Amir, Uthman ibn Mu’ammar, to help him in his struggle. The movement gained unchallenged precedence in most of the Arabian Peninsula through an alliance between Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and the House of Muhammad ibn Saud, which provided political and financial power for the religious revival represented by Ibn Abd al-Wahhab. The alliance created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where Mohammed bin Abd Al-Wahhab’s teachings are state-sponsored and the dominant form of Islam.
Wahhibism is also known as Salafism. Remember Osama bin Laden? Wahhabi. Al Qaeda? Wahhabi. Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri (the #2 guy in al Qaeda) is Wahhabi. The Muslim Brotherhood isn’t considered Wahhabi, but Wahhabist Saudis were the primary funders of the organization. The Taliban is not technically Wahhabi but their ideology is compatible. The main difference seems to be tribal rather than religious (Talibanis are Pashtun, not Arab).
But wait! There’s more!
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (alternatively translated as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham) (Arabic: الدولة الاسلامية في العراق والشام ʾad-dawla ʾal-islāmiyya fīl-‘irāq waš-šām or Arabic: داعش dāʿiš), abbreviated as ISIS or alternately ISIL, is an unrecognized state and active Jihadist militant group in Iraq and Syria influenced by the Wahhabi movement.
Who was NOT Wahhabi?
Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Saddam Hussein of Iraq.
Who ISN’T Wahhabi?
Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq. Pretty much all of Iran.
American refusal or hesitation in helping to control the Islamic threat in Iraq is even more unacceptable because the objective of ISIS is clear. It is fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Persian Gulf area, and to become the leader of global jihad. ISIS has declared that “we are soldiers of Islam and took on our responsibility to bring back the glory of the Islamic Caliphate.”
In a criminal trial the prosecution presents evidence, and then asks the jury to draw reasonable and logical inferences from that evidence. Basically they put a bunch of dots on a board and then connect them to draw a picture. The defense then may add some dots and then try to convince the jury that either the prosecution’s dots don’t connect or that they connect to form a different picture.
I don’t claim to be an expert on the Middle East, but it sure looks to me that some of these dots seem to connect to make a scary picture. I’m not saying that Obama is actively trying to help create a new Caliphate, but he does speak their language and he sure couldn’t be much more helpful if he tried. Of course saying that probably makes me an Islamophobe and a racist or something.
I do know from when I studied history that the glory days of the Caliphate were not good times for their neighbors. I look forward to when the Middle East runs out of oil because then nobody will give a fuck about that place anymore.
In closing I would like to point out that Muslims are kinda like Tolkien’s orcs – they only fight each other when there are no infidels around to kill.