CHARLOTTE, NC, November 20, 2017 – One of the biggest mistakes the West is making in its quest to overcome ISIS and Islamic terrorism is believing that beheadings, bombings, destroying villages and perpetuating “justice” is the source of the problem.
Horrible as that may be, the rapid growth of Islam among impressionable Muslim youth with access to arsenals of weapons is, sadly, far more dangerous than its more visible cousin.
Abd-al Wahhab – where ISIS begins
Much of the problem lies in an invasive cancer created by the 18th-century founder of the Islamic doctrines we are witnessing today, Abd-al Wahhab. Though Wahhab had no idea his beliefs, over time, could implode in ways that have made Islam more dangerous than ever before, the inevitable is beginning to unfold in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia is enmeshed in the center of that conflict.
So complicated were the “rules” implemented by the tenets of Wahhabism that even the most devout followers could easily be labeled as unbelievers unless he or she actively attempted to destroy other forms of worship.
Regardless of a person’s dedication and loyalty, the list of sins was so vast that it was virtually impossible to be a true believer. Such a system was destined to be self-destructive, but these guidelines led to the creation of ISIS and the alignment of either naive or ignorant alliances between the West and the Middle East, in particular, Saudi Arabia, have brought us to the position we face today.
As one analyst notes,
“Through its intentional adoption of this Wahhabist language, ISIS is knowingly lighting the fuse to a bigger regional explosion — one that has a very real possibility of being ignited, and if it should succeed, will change the Middle East decisively.”
British Harry St. John Philby – The Godfather of ISIS
In 1818, the Ottomans violently rejected al-Wahhab’s beliefs, but a century later in the 1920s, Wahhabism rose like the Phoenix to transform into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia we know today. In 1937 Arabian desert oil was discovered and suddenly the world became even more vulnerable.
One little-known contributor to this “new world order” was Harry St. John Philby, a former British official who was the father of Kim Philby, the MI6 officer who spied for the KGB in the Soviet Union.
Harry Philby was an “Arabist”, much like Lawrence of Arabia. Philby eventually converted to Wahhabism and became known as Sheikh Abdullah.
Determined to make his friend and ally, Abd al-Aziz the ruler of Arabia, Philby ignored official orders from Britain to defeat the Ottoman Empire and set about the process of aiding Aziz in his quest to become the new Arabic leader.
Thus, Harry Philby was instrumental in influencing the agreement by which Saudi leadership could use its power as a way to control Sunni Islam on behalf of Western goals. The end result being that Philby was, in a sense, the “godfather” of the movement that led to many of today’s problems with Islam.
Saud and Philby Wahhabi Islam alliance continues as ISIS
Decades down the road, the alliance between Saud and Philby has been hugely successful in political and financial terms. However, that success has roots in the ignorance of UK and US authorities to recognize the danger that Wahhabi Islam represents..
Today, we know this incarnation as ISIS which has changed the Middle East and the world as we know them forever.
Until recently the Saudis have always been able to suppress challenges to their authority, but that was because the protests were internal within the Kingdom.
Today, ISIS operates beyond Saudi borders and they have been staunch critics of the al-Saud family leadership.
Modern King Abdullah fractures beliefs with ISIS
As King Abdullah attempts to modernize his country with dramatic reforms, it has created a deep fracture in the beliefs between ISIS and Saudi Arabia. Not only is that conflict external, the schism also exists within the house of Saud.
Saudi Arabia is nervous and apprehensive for good reason. Islam in its purest sense thrives on control and power, which Saudi Arabia is slowly yielding to ISIS. If the seed of ISIS dissent takes root within the Kingdom, not only will the country cease to exist as we know it, the Middle East will change once again.
Alistair Crooke calls it the “ISIS time bomb, (which has been) hurled into Saudi society.”
Time has always been on the side of Islamists. They can ride out many, if not most, controversies with patience alone. King Abdullah’s reforms are popular, so he may be able to overcome internal opposition. The real question is whether his reforms can survive after his death.
Western policies in the middle East inept in ISIS battle
Western Middle Eastern policies have been woefully inept for a long time, making US influence minimal at best.
ISIS, besides being keen on growing its numbers, has its eye squarely on Mecca and, to a lesser extent, Medina. For the moment, Saudi Arabia retains control, but the internal strife of the region is never stable for very long.
If Mecca falls to ISIS, global terrorism will take on a frightening new perspective.
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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