Monday, July 9, 2007

Is This Man Presidential Material - An Interview With Rob Andrews

by Joseph Puder from The Philadelphia Bulletin

Pruder: Saudi (Wahhabi) money, according to the Freedom House Report, is funding 80% of U.S. mosques, including the salaries for imams and the publication of anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and anti-American material being distributed throughout Muslim communities. What should Congress do about it?
Rob Andrews: We need to say to the Saudis that they must make a choice. They are either going to be on the side of civilization and reasonable behavior and put a stop to subsidizing hate campaigns, or they're not. And, candidly, the Bush family has blind spots when it comes to the Saudis. The Saudis got a free ride from this administration, and if the administration would apply the standards it applied to Hamas and Arafat, we would be in a different place with the Saudis. The Saudis must make a choice between a relationship with the Islamists and a partnership with us.

From Baghdad with hate

by Richard Elias from The Scotsman

The story of Bilal Talal Abdul Samad Abdulla begins in the nondescript market town of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, 27 years ago. Ironically, the London commuter belt community was also home to Germaine Lindsay, who blew himself up in the 7/7 attacks. Abdulla's father, Talal, also a doctor, was working in the UK but the family returned to their native Iraq for work when the boy was just five. His family were Wahhabi Islamists, followers of a severe and ultra-orthodox branch of the religion. It came as no surprise to anyone then that the young Abdulla was pious and reserved, even in his teens. Some have claimed he became fascinated with Sheik Ahmad al-Qureishi, an Iraqi cleric who preached at a mosque in Baghdad.

Losing the real war

by Fareed Zakaria from Khaleej Times Online

From a broad coalition promising to unite all Muslims, Al Qaeda has morphed into a purist Sunni group that spends most of its time killing Shias. In its original fatwas and other statements, Al Qaeda makes no mention of Shias, condemning only the "Crusaders" and "Jews." But Iraq changed things. Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the head of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, bore a fierce hatred for Shias, derived from his Wahhabi-style puritanism. In a February 2004 letter to Osama bin Laden, he claimed that "the danger from the Shia ... is greater ... than the Americans ... [T]he only solution is for us to strike the religious, military and other cadres among the Shia with blow after blow until they bend to the Sunnis."

The making of a new terror

by Jamie Doward, Mark Townsend and Henry McDonald from The Observer

Ultimately, though, it seems the suspects' main influences came from overseas groups, the Deobandi and Wahhabi sects that have flourished in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan thanks to their anti-Western message and their emphasis on sharia law. One prominent Wahhabi cleric, Ahmed al-Qubeisi, who advocates suicide bombings and the right of a man to beat his wife, is believed to have been a hero to at least one of the plotters.

Heal Thyself

from The Times of India

Wahhabi Islam is the principal ideological force behind present-day acts of terror. Fuelled, almost literally speaking, by Saudi money, its tentacles have spread far and wide through a network of mosques and madrassas. Its rise is no more than three decades old, coinciding with the start of the oil boom in Saudi Arabia and other countries around the Persian Gulf. With money came expansionist desires, for which Wahhabi Islam provided a strange kind of religious legitimacy. Like other totalitarian belief systems, it constructs both a utopia and an enemy to be destroyed. The enemy is the 'evil' West, but unlike, say, communism, utopia for its extremist adherents is situated not in this world but the next.

Ethnic group in Pakistan faces attacks by jihadists

by Philip Smucker from The Washington Times

The federal government in Islamabad pledged to preserve the culture of the 3,300-strong Kalasha people, who worship a pantheon of gods like those of the ancient Greeks. But fiery messages about debauchery of the polytheists delivered in the region's mosques and Salafist- and Wahhabi-funded religious schools render those promises of little comfort. When Kalasha women court openly with different men as they have done for centuries, they are targeted as harlots. The ethnic group's wine-making activities are also under fire ... The threats must be taken seriously in a region where anti-American insurgents regularly ply the remote mountain passes, transporting supplies for the fight in Afghanistan and dragooning new recruits in the valleys.

The Crisis of the Wahhabi Regime

by Stephen Schwartz and Irfan al-Alawi from The Weekly Standard

A kind of adjunct to the tens of thousands of state-subsidized clerics, the mutawiyin are a pillar of Wahhabism in the kingdom. They prowl the streets of the main Saudi cities day and night. Jeddah, the commercial capital on the Red Sea, is the notable exception: Local residents claim to have run the mutawiyin out of town. Elsewhere, however, they seek out people they suspect of violating the Wahhabi code of conduct ... Given the Islamic ban on intoxication, if the militia are informed that alcoholic drinks or drugs are being used in a private home, they may raid the house and beat and even kill people. If Muslim pilgrims violate the Wahhabi understanding of monotheism by praying at the shrine of Muhammad in Medina, they are likely to be taken aside and roughed up and, if they are foreign, deported.