Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sovereignty Over Mecca

The KaabaAli Eteraz has written an important and thought-provoking post, “The Problem Of Mecca”, in which he struggles with the issue of fractiousness and internecine violence in the Islamic world. The problem, as he sees it, is the status of the holy city of Mecca, and the fact that the House of Saud has control over it.

Perhaps we would have never had to battle one another over Mecca (or over “Mecca”) if the Prophet would have left a clergy in place. Or if he would have left a political structure in place. Or if he would have left angels to rule us in his stead. However, given that he did no such thing, given that he left us to our own individual devices, it meant that each and every one of us felt that we were the true guardians of Mecca, that each one of us in his own capacity, was the true guardian of God’s Arabian Abode. In each of our desires to assume this responsibility we turned against one another. We killed one another. We separated from one another.

...In other words, Muslims have believed that what unifies them is the specter of a political empire called the Caliph, when, quite obviously, what truly unifies them is a political actor who has dominion over Mecca. It is Mecca, as I stated, which is the locus.

In the context of the modern nation-state, the centrality of Mecca to all Muslims has been the cause of immense trouble. It has meant, that whether Muslims like it or not, the House of Saud is now the presumptive leader of Islam. Why? Because they have dominion over Mecca. Out of respect, the balance of Muslims in the world cannot decry the House of Saud, for they are the “Guardians of The Two Holy Mosques.” The majority of the Muslim nations simply consent to the notion that the House of Saud is our presumptive leader and neither break away from its propaganda and disinformation, nor prevent its scholars from trampling them under foot. The deep-seated respect for Mecca provides the House of Saud with religious legitimacy in the entire Muslim world, such that everything that comes from Saudi Arabia is considered to be the truest expression of Islam (even if it is clearly anti-Islamic). It is not Saudi oil which sells Wahhabi theology. It is the weight of Mecca which gives it gravity. Take away Mecca and the theology of regression follows suit.

Eteraz is, from the point of view of this blog, a rare bird: a truly moderate Muslim. He wants Islam to come to its senses and come to terms with modernity. He wants it to accept a place as one religion among other world religions, instead of the rightful ruler of the whole world.

To this end, he wants to remove power over Mecca from the Saudis, so as to de-legitimize the baneful Wahhabi theology. He acknowledges the difficulty of such a project; Mecca cannot be taken by violence, and wresting it from the House of Saud will not be easy.

The only possible solution is for a collection of Muslim nation-states to begin a movement using international legal remedies and diplomacy to make Mecca (and Medina) either independent nation-states unto themselves (as is the Vatican), or to have them rendered international protectorates, the task of their protection and maintenance falling upon the Muslim world jointly. ...Muslims, by having a Mecca that is no longer identified by its ethnicity, but by its religion, can all compete to become better Muslims, as opposed to competing to become the pawns of Saud.

It’s an interesting idea, and I have no idea of its practicality. But an important difference between Islam and the Catholic Church is that there has never been the Islamic equivalent of the Pope, a religious leader with a plausible claim to universal legitimacy. If Mohammed had had the equivalent of St. Peter in his entourage, and handed over the keys of Mecca to him… But he didn’t, and nothing can change that fact.

In any case, I hope other Muslim intellectuals take up Eteraz’ cause, and start discussing it. We need a counter-meme to compete with the Great Jihad. For those of us who still hold out a shred of hope for “moderate Islam”, it’s an absolute necessity.

Some Gates of Vienna readers believe that the “moderate Muslim” is a myth, and that a twilight struggle against the entirety of Islam is our only option.

And Eteraz? Well, in their view he’s simply a sophisticated practitioner of taqqiya, of the stratagem of deliberate deception practiced by believers against the infidel.

They must think he’s really good at it.

38 comments:

Joshua said...

One problem with internationalizing Mecca is that it would still remain functionally dependent upon Saudi Arabia, which would have an internationalized Mecca surrounded on all sides and would thus have de facto control over who and what enters or leaves Mecca - meaning they could continue to squeeze any manner and number of concessions from Mecca simply through restrictive travel policies aimed at Mecca.

To fix this, not only Mecca but also a chunk of Arabia between Mecca and, say, the Persian Gulf coast would have to be internationalized, and then a transportation infrastructure developed on that territory to facilitate travel in and out of Mecca without having to pass through Saudi territory or airspace.

A. Eteraz said...

whatever concession saudi extracts will only be of the financial variety and i dont care about that. they will no longer be the symbolic 'heads' of islam and that is far more important. trust me. most of their crap is sold on the fact that it is coming from mecca. i know, because i've been sold it.

Cato said...

You know my views - I think Eteraz is not alone. Western opponents of radical Islam who deny, minimize, or denigrate the mere existence of moderate Islam are tactically unwise, as well as morally and factually wrong. Even among the intensely religious Muslims, the notion that jihad requires foreign conquest and re-conquest varies widely among communities, movements and individuals.

Dymphna said recently that she doesn't judge a religion by the evil that was done in its name (sorry I don't know where the exact quote is). We can give the Christian Church a break, even though there are great evils in its past (balanced by much more good). Maybe reformation can happen in the Muslim "church" - who really knows which way the winds of history are blowing?


Remember, the opposite of divide and conquer is unify and perish.

Cato said...

As for Eteraz's actual point, the internationalization of Mecca - which Islamic Countries potentially have the political will, and the military and diplomatic resources, to accomplish this? Wouldn't Al Qaeda try to jump in to assert control over this newly established zone?

Evan said...

I wonder whether the idea that wordly leaders might appropriate religious ideas (e.g., jihad, "guardians of the two holy mosques") for their own corrupt purposes could get much traction in the Islamic world. If the only debate is an arcane theological one over the practicalities of the Saudis vs. world Muslims being the custodians then the battle is lost.

I have heard it said that much of what passes for "Islamic" is in fact simply primitive Saudi tribal customs foisted on the Muslim world with oil money. If so, only if the Saudi royalty is itself seen as having corruptly stolen the heart of the religion - its theology, its commandments about how to live in the world - is there much chance.

A. Eteraz said...

Cato,

There is way too much money and legitimacy involved for al-Q to do anything. The established Muslim states would militarize the zone before allowing al-Q to take over. Assuming al-Q wanted to carry out a terror reign against Mecca. My God! They would be raped and pillaged in a few days time by fat Algerian aunts and hefty Punjabi uncles. You don't mess with Mecca, which is why it should belong to all.

William said...

Recognizing Mecca internationally, as the Vatican is, as a separate political and diplomatic entity isn’t the problem. The Vatican is surrounded by Italy which now has a communist government, which is and will be hostile to the Catholic Church.

The real problem is who is going to head the religion of Islam on Earth from Mecca? Christianity exists in many different forms, but as the professors of Islam keep reminding us, Islam is Islam, so Mecca as a separate entity is not the problem the reform of the religion is the challenge.

Dymphna said...

Then there is Tehran, waiting in the wings. What plans do they have for Mecca? And since they are not Arabs, what standing do they have in the history of the Caliphs?

Archonix said...

I don't struggle with the concept of a moderate muslim but, as I understand islamic teaching, the very concept of a muslim becoming "moderate" takes them in to the realms of apostasy. If this understanding is true then it creates a strong pressure to remain immoderate, so my difficulty lies in believing that there's a large mass of moderate muslims who are simply staying quiet. I can easily believe that most Muslims that are just trying to live their lives and don't want to know about the terrorists, unfortunately by their nature they're removed from the moderate side by giving unspoken assent to continued terrorism. But, then, you get that mass of people in any group; most people are followers rather than leaders.

Tis a quandry.

A. Eteraz said...

"but as the professors of Islam keep reminding us, Islam is Islam,"

sure islam is islam but i guarantee you that if you took a survey or ten islamic professors, nine would be from nine different schools of law and the last one from his own. over time, there have been at least sixteen different muslim schools. in the world today, depending on who you ask, there are at least eight. (that's not counting the wahhabi jurists, the salafi jurists, and the reformist jurists).

here is what is important: please do not think that I have proposed a pope for islam. no. mecca functions differently. people go to be close to the kaba. there is a sermon giver and a man who leads prayer. there is no reason why these positions could not oscilatte between all OIC member nations (like the head of UN does).

in other wrods, i am saying, the muslim pope is the kaba.

which is great, because it doesn't talk.

Alexis said...

So, in other words, Islam is the city-state of Mecca.

Actually, an independent "international" Mecca is a realistic possibility so long as Mecca also includes Jeddah and a zone immediately surrounding Mecca/Jeddah.

The real question is like all others concerning Wahhabism (and its rival, velayat-e-faqih) -- who will bell the cat?

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

More central authority in Islam? Gawd forbid, their fractiousness is important. Any hint of union in islam historically was extremely dangerous (Turks at the gates anyone?).

The wahhabites are one source of braindead islamism, not the root of the the problem. The root of the problem is the braindead nature of Islam itself, and unification woudly hardly keep the screeching hordes of the current ummah at peace for long .....

Mecca needs leveling, to the ground. No stone left standing. And preferably all radioactive. Alternately, let the stone stand but extremely radioactive.

FluffResponse said...

Cato said, "Western opponents of radical Islam who deny, minimize, or denigrate the mere existence of moderate Islam are tactically unwise, as well as morally and factually wrong."

I doubt they are wrong in any sense. Islam is what it is, with Mohammed as the guide for all time. The Muslims who gain my respect tend to be those who (a0 are minimally or not-at-all observant, which is what we usually mean by "moderate"; or (b) are no longer Muslim.

In this line of thought (or non-thought, if you prefer) I don't really know what the Catholic Church is doing, with their open-armed acceptance of Islamic immigration. seems wishful and foolish.

Is "tactics" why Bush and Rice speak so highly of Islam? The lying keeps people from being aware of the danger.

Might be better to think of Muslims as enemies and to smile when not acting on the insight. Kind of what Islam itself teaches.

We need healthy religions, simple alternatives for those whose ancestors were forced into the Islamic creed. Folks should respect their terrorized and long-dead elders.

Pastorius said...

Baron,
Did you keep up on all the anger and dissension at Infidel Bloggers Alliance, over my having invited Eteraz to contribute.

It was not fun.

Eteraz ended up resigning. I can't say I blame him.

I like Eteraz' idea here. It's a beginning, anyway.

Alexis said...

One of the problems I have had with Islam is that I am not sure whether its monotheism is universal or just wishful thinking. Please let me explain.

If one were a polytheist, a deity could easily be seen as a personality template (analogous in some ways perhaps with the Shi'ite concept of a "model of emulation", except that it would be an "identity smorgasbord"). In this sense, an idol is not merely a statue but a cultural mold that shapes the personality of each worshipper.

In classic Jewish and Christian monotheism, God is mysterious. In other words, since it is impossible to completely understand Him, we ironically have the freedom to be ourselves and not model ourselves on idols. In fact, He prohibits idolatry. Moreover, He, by metaphorically creating humanity (Adam) in His own image and breathing life into him, can be seen as instilling curiosity a sense of wonder, a desire to understand and perhaps affect the universe as it is.

In old pagan idolatry, a city temple was not merely a place of worship, but it was at least in a religio-political sense the repository of a city's soul. This was certainly the case for the ancient Maya and ancient Greeks.

So, in this context, the attacks on the World Trade Center and America's capital nearly five years ago could be seen as an attempt by pagan idolators to destroy the soul of the United States.

And this gets back to Islam's identity as a city state. The centrality of the Kaaba (and the black stone) and by extension Makkah to Islam is troubling. If Islam were a pagan religion, control over the Kaaba would mean control over Islam; moreover, destroying the Kaaba would mean destroying Islam's soul.

So, there is a clear difference between a worship of a deity in a manner that doesn't require a temple and worshipping a deity through one temple and seeking to eradicate all others (or turn them into satellite temples). If I were to consider Islam a monotheistic religion, I would be more favorably impressed by Islam. Yet, as a matter of practice, many Muslims appear to proclaim their belief in one deity not in the sense of denying the existence of all others but in the sense of killing all other deities. (Here, I quote janjaweed rapists who tell their victims, "We have killed your god.")

Although I may be a monotheist, I reject Abraham. Abraham did not invent God and he did not invent monotheism. And Abraham's attempted murder of his son was at best barbaric and at worst evil. To say there is one God is not to say there ought to be only one personality based on Him, one polity based on Him, and focus for prayer in regimented fashion focused on a black stone.

I would like to think that Islam is a monotheistic religion, but wishing it were the case does not make it so.

William said...

--A. Eteraz said...

I should’ve elaborated: Though “Christianity exists in many different religious forms, they still are not all clamoring to get a hold on Vatican hill.”

Islam doesn’t have that divergence. They must all go to Mecca. Now, who in the Islamic world is going to ‘control’ it? I don’t see time-sharing.

A. Eteraz said...

alexis,

"Although I may be a monotheist, I reject Abraham. Abraham did not invent God and he did not invent monotheism. And Abraham's attempted murder of his son was at best barbaric and at worst evil. To say there is one God is not to say there ought to be only one personality based on Him, one polity based on Him, and focus for prayer in regimented fashion focused on a black stone."

what a nietzschean thing to say. did you just read beyond good and evil, the section on why polytheism permits the elevation of many personality-types? if you did, you should have summarized it better =)

also, you seem to be suggesting that islam is connected to mecca. it is. catholicism is connected to the pope. shia islam is connected to kerbala. sikhism is connected to amritsar. hinduiusm to the ganges. if you drained the ganges would there still be hindus?

these are irrelevant asides to the real issue my post gets to: how do you delegitimize the House of Saud in a non-violent manner.

You are not going to find any other solution than mine. Keep thinking about it.

i assure you in two hundred years mecca will be an internationally independent zone.

A. Eteraz said...

william,

i recommended an oscillating role by the OIC.

you know what? im going to write a second post to it in a couple of days.

everyone come by my blog on friday.

Baron Bodissey said...

Pastorius,

I certainly did follow what happened to Eteraz over at IBA. And I saw the way the commenters treat him on his own blog, some of nastiest, vilest trolling I've ever seen.

I did a post about it, last week I think...

A. Eteraz said...

Pastorius and Baron,

I think we can stop talking about IbA. I have no problem with the trolls there. I left b/c I was censored. I know that IbA has censored anti-Islamic (you read that right) stuff in the past. My disagreement was solely based on the fact that I had been called a dissimulator by one of the moderators, and then he had proceeded to remove my post. Since that threat would always hang over all future posts, I left. I like Pastorius and a number of other people there. I still comment there. So, whatever abuse I took, it's cool, I'm over it. It comes with the territory. as Hafiz said: we should not make a shrine out of sadness. Back to Mecca.

Pastorius said...

Aw, come on, Eteraz. Let's talk some more about IBA. It's important that we confront our feelings and work them through.

I've been doing journaling over the whole situation for weeks now. It helps me with my pain.

:)

Alexis said...

a. eteraz:

The idea of Mecca as an international zone is a good one. It is not new. It may interest you that I have been suggesting that idea for years, but I also realize that my credibility for that idea is somewhere less than zero because I am not a Muslim.

If Mecca became an international soon (and the next 200 years is soon on the "theological time scale"), I would welcome it. It could happen even sooner, depending on how events unfold.

Actually, I didn't base my comments on Nietzsche, at least not consciously (although I admit that I have read Nietzsche's works in the past). I based them instead on my own study of ancient Mediterranean paganism, especially ancient Semitic polytheism.

Your comments about other religions having a focus are well taken. I would argue, though, that the true vitality of a religion is found when its visible focal point no longer exists. Could Catholicism exist without Rome? Could Judaiam exist without Jerusalem? Would Hinduism exist if the river Ganges were diverted to the Arabian Sea? My answer in all instances would be yes. Roman Catholicism was once based in Avignon; Judaism existed in exile for two major stretches of existence; Ganges-based Hinduism may be affected, but I suspect it wouldn't be affected very much; non-Ganges based Hinduism probably wouldn't be affected at all!

Although I recognize the enduring centrality of Mecca to Islam, I am concerned that the very fact that the House of Saud could obtain such prestige through its control of Islam's holy spaces exhibits a fundamental flaw within Islam. Likewise, the city of Jerusalem (in particular, the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary) exerts a major pull on both Judaism and Christianity. (One could just as easily say that Judaism was incomplete until David conquered Jerusalem, just as Islam was incomplete until Mohammed conquered Mecca.)

Interestingly, you have an historical basis for your idea. Sharif Hussein's rejection as caliph showed the importance of popular approval for controlling Mecca. Wahhabi control rests partly on a fait accompli, but it also rests upon a tacit agreement that the House of Saud controls Mecca on condition that it does not overtly proclaim a caliphate. The proposal you are making seems to be essentially a new "republican dynasty" for the Caliphate, where a coalition of Muslim democracies force the House of Saud out of Mecca (and possibly Medina and Jiddah as well).

I have my doubts a non-violent method would work, though. The decline and fall of the Papal States did not happen through nonviolence; they were conquered by a republican Garibaldi. Likewise, I doubt the Wahhabis will give up Mecca without a fight, even if the House of Saud knows the fight is utterly futile.

Alexis said...

a eteraz:

Here are two ideas for you to consider, the "Road to Mecca" and the United Nations.

Imagine a time when a Muslim could drive from Morocco to Mecca in a car on the Mecca Road. Imagine a time when a Muslim could ride a high speed train from Pakistan to Mecca on a train a get there the same day. Imagine if a Muslim in Kuala Lampur could drive to Mecca. One of the reasons why Muslim nations are so weak and divided is because the physical connections between them are so weak. Nations are not merely about language, ideology, and religon; they are about fiber optic cable, railroad tracks, highways, electrical lines, and telephones. (In the 1800's, Germany was not united by language, but by a superior railroad network.)

Physical infrastructure is important. That is why the "Road to Mecca" is so important to Islam. The way out of the present age of ignorance for Islam is not merely wresting control over Mecca from Wahhabism, but creating physical links between Muslims and their Mecca that are not the exclusive domain of any one Muslim faction.

Also, there is historical precedent for the United Nations asserting a major religious city to be an international zone. This was first done unsuccessfully with Jerusalem. It may be possible for a coalition of powerful Muslim states to bring the status of Mecca to the United Nations; non-Muslim states might not necessarily look unkindly to your idea of internationalizaion.

As I see it, the principal problem with implementing your idea won't come from the "West", but from the slumber of the Muslim masses in Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Algeria, and Egypt. Wahhabi money acts like morphine. If there were some grassroots movement in Muslim states for your scheme, you may get your wish. Perhaps if the ignorant regimes of present day were seen as responsible for keeping Muslims from driving or riding to Mecca, there may be some hope.

Mecca as a United Nations Trust Territory -- I like the idea.

snowpea said...

Mr. Eteraz--I'd be interested to know how you respond to those who claim that Islam is inherently extremist, by referring to such features as the many favorable references to violence against unbelievers in the Quran, the apparently gratuitous violence sometimes exercised by Mohammed against his enemies, the nasty anti-Semitism in the Traditions, and so forth. If you have set out your views on this somewhere could you provide a link?

Jason_Pappas said...

Taking Mecca away from the House of Saud is quite easy. The Jordanian King, as a Hashemite heir, believes he is the rightful guardian of Mecca--not the House of Saud. All we need to do is have an excuse to invade Saudi Arabia from the East (by the way, where the oil is) and allow (with a wink and a nod) Jordan to posture as the savior of Mecca and Medina from the infidel invaders. This would make the Jordanian king a hero in Muslims’ eyes. If he is a so-called moderate (which, as most know, I don’t believe in) he should be able to establish a different kind of reign.

A. Eteraz said...

Alexis,

Interesting thought. As you noted, there is no grassroots movement for this idea.

As far as I know, no human has ever thought of this idea before (i know, i know, i am utterly amazing =) However, I do think it's a good idea, and some kind of disentanglement of the House of Saud from Mecca is in order. Pappas suggests a military solution. Here's the problem with it, and I noted it in my post: Western complicity in the emancipation of Mecca will lead to the entire Muslim world supporting Saudi Arabia. Perhaps Dubai could buy out Mecca, but war? It'll create world war iii.

Mr. Snowpea,

Thanks for asking. I want to be sure what you're asking for: please email me. Are you asking for my treatment of the verses relating to violence in the Quran? Or my views on the hadith? Or about Muhammad's character? Or something else. Please make your questions more specific and let me have that email.

Anyhow, I am grateful to baron for helping spread this internationalized mecca idea. i believe its my most important thought to date and he is smart for recognizing it ;)

pastorius,

i have not forgotten about your iba post. i'll promote it soon.

Brian Macker said...

Baron,

You say, "I did a post about it, last week I think..."

I couldn't find the post. Could you provide a link.

Jason_Pappas said...

Eteraz, but I'm counting on the Islamic world getting behind ... Jordan. Besides, we don't actually have to invade; we only have to stop supporting the Saudi regime. It was with the help of the British that the Saudi came to power and we have helped them stay there. We only have to make it clear that we will refuse to protect Saudi Arabia and let the wolves (Jordan, perhaps Egypt) rally the Islamic world against the Saudi family and perhaps us. Of course on the East coast the Shiites resent Saudi domination but that's another aspect of a well-planned betrayal of our so-called ally. Saudis have many enemies. We just have to stop protecting them.

Robert Schwartz said...

Better idea. It will belong to no one. We blow it to radioactive smitherines, turn it into black glass, so hot that no one can go there for a thousand years.

Papa Ray said...

"World War III" has already begun, its just that no one is really paying attention.

It would not be an accident, that if violence comes to America, in such a way as to anger the masses, that black rock would recieve some of that anger, and be no more.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

ik said...

Millions of infidels were killed before there was any notion of a nation state anywhere on earth and before Ibn Wahab was born - trying to blame it all on the House of Saud/Wahabbism seems a bit too much (no I do not like them myself - but that is not the point).
The brotherly states of Jordan and Syria have not got together not because of Saudi money - similarly the UAR fell apart before the oil shock - so no saudi money/wahabbism was involved. Mahathir Mohammad (he was ruler of Malaysia for decades - no shortage of money and not a weak willed person)gave his famous anti-semitic speech to a standing ovation - Mahathir was not brainwashed by Saudi money or Wahabbism.

Just A Decurion said...

It couldn't hurt anything, and frankly I'm really looking for suggestions that don't involve nuking a couple nations off the maps, because that's all I can think of right now.

It certaintly wouldn't hurt to try. Either way, it would be a step in moderating Islam, and any step in that direction is a Good Thing.

The endstate is one of two situations. Either Islam will manage to shed the historical shackles that keep most of its followers locked in a 7th century blood and fire mindset, or Islam will go away in an orgy of blood and fire that Mohammed could never have imagined.

I just happen to think that Final Solutions are, in general, only to be used as a last resort.

My old point about the Arab-Israeli conflict is that the reason we still have Arabs on Earth is because the Israelis are gentlemen who don't want to nuke them all off the face of the planet. Put the Jews up against a wall, and they might jettison their scruples.

The West as a whole is not yet up against a wall, and those true moderates who find something postive in their version of Islam ought to see that it is in their best interest that we never are up against a wall. 300 warheads, and Arab culture is gone. Another 300, and every majority-Muslim nation will have 95%+ of its educated population vaporized. This is not what I would call an ideal solution, at least from the moral standpoint.

Jason_Pappas said...

How about simply not supporting them before we try to kill them? Right now, Condi is looking for was to resume support for Palestinian terrorism (call it "humanitarian aid") just as we supported Arafat. We given Egypt $2 billion a year. And we protect Saudi Arabia from attacks. That just for starters. The first step in any war is to stop coming to the aid of your enemy. Let's just step aside and let them fall. Sure an occasional intervention here or there may be appropriate (we'll protect the UAE.) But let's stop helping our enemies.

Then we can talk about establishing a deterrent.

Just A Decurion said...

Hrrrm. . . So we stop giving Egypt money. Qui bono?

The Muslim Brotherhood.

We let internal dissent take down the House of Saud. Qui bono? Every problem I have heard of in Saudi Arabia is from folks who think the ruling family is too modern and Western.

Our removing support from the current governments of these countries will result in worse, far more rabid versions of Islam taking power by force. It's the oldest problem with moderates.

Moderates, being basically reasonable folks, will generally NOT be the first people to incite mobs and back them with terrorist action. Extremists go in for that sort of stuff. It's why nearly every revolution has a phase where the extremists hang the moderates.

Baron Bodissey said...

Decurion,

You are right, but this is a problem we must eventually face, just as we did with the Palestinians and Hamas.

It's better to get things out in the open. Let the yearnings of the Arab people express themselves in their political structures. Then we can see their face clearly, quit pretending we're friends, and deal with them appropriately.

We can only put this process off for so long. Eventually we will have to deal with it.

Jason_Pappas said...

I agree with the Baron here. We’re not solving the problem by supporting people who hide it. We’re only lying to ourselves that the problem doesn’t exist.

Mubarak doesn’t suppress the MB because we give him $2 billion a year (and that’s not the reason Jimmy Carter got us to commit this money.) He does it out of self-interest. If moderates can’t dominate then they don’t exist in a significant way and will eventually fail. Besides, Mubarak has to prove this $2 billion hasn’t co-opted him and he does this by supporting the anti-American press and media. This isn’t helping us.

In Iraq, too, the Islamic Revival (i.e. fundamentalist Islam) was underway before Saddam fell. Saddam himself couldn’t ignore it and he started a mosque building program to try to jump on the bandwagon. Even Quadaffi is paying lip-service to Islam after being initially hostile to it.

House of Saud is the big problem. They are funding the fundamentalist movement through out the world. They, with Pakistani fundamentalists, supported the Taliban. They told bin Laden to take his jihad to the infidel. They are the problem but as long as they lie, our freckles politicians will pretend the problem doesn’t exist. It is better to have bin Laden in Riyadh than the backwoods of Pakistan. We’ll have to face the truth. Besides, we aren’t good at fighting covert snipers but we can take down standing governments. Bin Laden hiding in Pakistan is a folk hero; bin Laden sitting in a palace in Riyadh is a dead man.

unaha-closp said...

Decurion,

Sauds are not moderates. You correctly point to the Muslim Brotherhood as the threat to Eygptian stability. This bunch of outlawed theocrats in a 3rd world country get the funds to be this threat to stability from Saudi Arabia. Without Saudi they are just a bunch of poor and angry men with beards.

Saudi is the root cause of Muslim terrorism, even more so than Islam. As Eteraz contends the spiritual strength of fundamentalism flows from Mecca, because the Sauds control it. Equally the financial strength/militant strength of fundamentalism flows from Aramco.

Eteraz,

That is probably as good a plan as is possible. Try attacking the House of Saud directly as not worthy of the honour of holding Mecca - that they are whoring, drunken, usurous, pagan, Americanised, apostates - whatever charge you think fits the bill and use their own fundy Islam to denigrate them.

blert said...

Blood it will take....

The House of Saud could never concede their center.