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Wed Sep 9, 2015, 06:08 PM

On ISIS's Wahhabist theology and the best weapon we have to use against them

Ironically it seems that our best chance of defeating ISIS may depend on our compassion.

Note that I have long standing permission from the owner to repost anything I wish at any length from this blog.

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2015/09/08/some-additional-thoughts-on-the-syrian-and-iraqi-refugees/

Earlier today Betty Cracker wrote a very thoughtful post about the Syrian and Iraqi refugees. I had been planning on doing one as well and wanted to wait a bit so as not to step on her post. There are two things that I find really interesting about what is going: 1) the responses of the various EU states, including the responses of their citizens and 2) that the most potent informational weapon we have against ISIS is providing aid to the Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

I’m going to take these in reverse order, because the second one is (sort of) shorter. While ISIS’s theology/ideology/dogma is something of a mishmash of several revivalist and reactionary Islamic concepts, at its heart it seems to be based on tawheed. Tawheed, or the unitary nature of the Deity, was the core of the doctrinal teachings of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab. At the time that he developed his doctrine of the unity of the Deity it was quite radical. Basically, it asserts that the Deity is completely one; that any form of intercessory prayer is therefore a denial of such unity and apostasy; that any form of adornment or adoration of great men/saints is a denial of unity and apostasy (hence the destruction of tombs and heritage sites); and living among apostates is forbidden requiring the devout believer to relocate to where tawheed is practiced and enforced.

Abdul Wahhab’s doctrine also included an extreme opposition to and distrust of Jews, Christians, Shi’a and Sufi Muslims, as well as all Sunni Muslims that did not accept tawheed. It was the combination of an inflexible understanding of apostasy, opposition to non Muwaheedun (unitarian) Muslims, as well as non-Muslims; and forced indoctrination of the tribes of the Najd (the Ikhwan – not the same as the Muslim Brothers) that led to the violence of the conquests of Ibn Saud.

One of ISIS’s major recruiting points is that Americans, Europeans, Jews, Christians, Iran, Shi’a, and non-Muwaheedun Muslims are all at war with the real Islam of tawheed. They use this as one of the informational tools to hook potential recruits. In a nutshell “you are surrounded by apostates and infidels; they are at war with you; and you can not trust them.” One of the best and most easily acceptable counters that we have to ISIS is to take in more Syrian and Iraqi refugees – the majority of whom will be Muslims. As a result providing aid, assistance, and refuge is not just doing good for those in need. It also provides us with a powerful informational antidote to counter ISIS’s recruiting pitches.

On to point #1. When the EU created the Schengen Accords in the mid 1980s the purpose was to push the border as far out as possible. By doing so the original EU member states, which are also its core, sought to make immigration issues the responsibility of the newer states to the East and Southeast, as well as the poorer states bordering the Mediterranean.* The EU security concern at the time, as posed in a number of publications, was that a common, single border made commerce easier, but also could lead to an increase in crime and terrorism. The Turk on Kurd guest worker violence in Germany helped to drive these concerns.

The basic idea was that if immigration controls for poorer immigrants or for asylum seekers was pushed to the periphery, then they would be dealt with there. Asylum requests would be made closer to point of entry rather than in the wealthier, original EU states in the North and West of the EU. This would keep refugees in the periphery and perhaps explains why Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia are all fighting against centrally set EU refugee quota requirements.

There was little to no data to support these concerns. In fact the EU didn’t even collect crime data from its member states into a single data repository. The only member state that seemed to be collecting this data for the entire EU was the UK for their own comparative crime research. Subsequent testing, using just basic correlations due to undifferentiated data, indicated that those EU states that granted more asylum requests actually had lower rates of crime and terrorism. This refuted the oft cited, but never empirically supported, security concern of immigrants to the EU being responsible for the majority of the crime and terrorism within the EU.

This basic empirical refutation of the popular belief among both European law enforcement and security professionals that more immigration is equivalent to more crime and terrorism is simply wrong. Though it is still widely believed and asserted; especially by the neo-fascist parties and movements. As a result I was very pleasantly surprised to see that a number of the core EU states are stepping up. Germany is on course to accept 800,000 refugees and Britain, after some internal and external pressure on the Cameron government, is going to take in an additional 20,000. Sweden has taken in about 80,000 and France 24,000. Reports of refugees being met and provided with supplies have been numerous, though marred by some of the recent anti-immigrant xenophobia that is part and parcel of the reemergence of far right and neo-fascist parties in different EU member states.

That so many of the citizens of the EU member states are willing to reach out and provide aid and refuge, as well as pressure their governments to take action, is a very positive sign. It is highly unlikely that it will actually pressure or shame the US into doing anything as we are going through one of our cyclical bouts of nativism and xenophobia partially fueled by us losing our societal mind as a result of 9-11 and still not having come to our senses. As a political science professor of mine once said: “there is nothing as dangerous as a democracy when it’s scared.” Despite a lot of tough talk, as a society, the US has been scared since 9-11 and this fear has contributed to the warping of our domestic and foreign policies.




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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply On ISIS's Wahhabist theology and the best weapon we have to use against them (Original post)
Fumesucker Sep 2015 OP
Dont call me Shirley Sep 2015 #1
KamaAina Sep 2015 #2
JCMach1 Sep 2015 #4
KamaAina Sep 2015 #6
JCMach1 Sep 2015 #7
KamaAina Sep 2015 #12
romanic Sep 2015 #10
hifiguy Sep 2015 #3
bklyncowgirl Sep 2015 #11
On the Road Sep 2015 #5
yuiyoshida Sep 2015 #8
Warren DeMontague Sep 2015 #9

Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 06:13 PM

1. The war profiteers need to be the ones who pay for the refugees they created.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 06:14 PM

2. ISIS are Wahhabists?!

 

Guess who else are Wahhabists? Our staunch allies the Saudi royal family!



Any questions?

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 07:11 PM

4. Well, that's where they got their early support and funding, KSA

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Response to JCMach1 (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 10:16 PM

6. That explains a lot.

 

Like why nobody in the region is doing a damn thing about them.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 11:38 PM

7. For the last 50 yrs., Saudi money has been radicalizing Islam across the Muslim world...

A good example is Kenya. There are some very traditional dresses that people who are part of the Muslim minority in the country wear. However, all across the country you see women in Saudistyle Niqab, or Burka. 20 yrs. ago, you would never see this. Now, at least half the Muslim women dress like this.

Why?

Most Imams are educated in, or by the Saudis. They spend huge amounts bankrolling mosques around the world who then are beholding to the Saudi brand of Islam.

And yes, this even happens in North America where they:

...are heavily influenced by Saudi-funded extremists, according to Yehudit Barsky, an expert on terrorism at the American Jewish Committee. Worse still, Barsky told The Jerusalem Post last week, these "extremist organizations continue to claim the mantle of leadership" over American Islam. The power of the extremist Wahhabi form of Islam in the United States was created with generous Saudi financing of American Muslim communities over the past few decades. Over 80 percent of the mosques in the United States "have been radicalized by Saudi money and influence," Barsky said. Before the 1970s, she explained, "Muslim immigrants who came to the United States would build a store-front mosque somewhere. Then, since the 1970s, the Saudis have been approaching these mosques and telling them it wasn't proper for the glory of Islam to build such small mosques." For many Muslims, it seemed the Saudis were offering a free mosque. However, Barsky believes for each mosque they invested in, the Saudis sent along their own imam (teacher-cleric). "These [immigrants] were not interested in this [Wahhabi] ideology, and suddenly they have a Saudi imam coming in and telling them they're not praying properly and not practicing Shari'a [Islamic law] properly." This Saudi strategy was being carried out "all over the world, from America to Bangladesh," with the Saudis investing $70-80 billion in the endeavor over three decades... http://www.jpost.com/International/Expert-Saudis-have-radicalized-80-percent-of-US-mosques

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Response to JCMach1 (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 11:18 AM

12. Funny, you never hear Fux ranting about "radical Saudi Islam"

 

Oh, right, they own a piece of Fux.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 04:53 AM

10. It made me sick

to see Obama sit with that asshole Saudi King. I support Obama fully but that made me side-eye the living crapola out of him. -_-

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 06:29 PM

3. I am rather partial to Frank Zappa's snarky, non-lethal solution

 

though there was no ISIS when he wrote this (emphasis mine):

"Defense Money should be put into manpower and equipment appropriate to the kinds of conflicts we are really going to encounter in the next quarter-century. The manpower should be dedicated, the equipment should be easy to operate and maintain, and the management of military assets should be streamlined. Let's say we have to make some 'show of force.' The most common scenarios involve small guerrilla or terrorist groups. Nuclear retaliation? It has been suggested by others that Aerosol Pork Grenades would be a better deterrent--Islamic Martyrs are denied entrance to heaven if they show up at the gate smelling like a pig. Denial of The Big Payoff removes a certain cachet from acts of voluntary self-destruction."

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 06:57 AM

11. Spray the bastards with bacon grease--I love it!

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 07:50 PM

5. Good Article

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 12:27 AM

8. I could have sworn he was a Wahhabists!



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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 02:07 AM

9. Good points.

Although now it's pretty clearly a humanitarian imperative, leaving aside all other considerations.

A moral one.

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