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Saudi Islam is not the right image of Islam

Discussion in 'Middle East' started by Abu Sina, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Abu Sina

    Abu Sina New Member

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    (Newser) – Saudi Arabia and the strict Wahhabi form of Islam it has exported have fallen rapidly out of favor in the world's most populous Muslim nation after the kingdom beheaded an Indonesian maid earlier this summer for killing her allegedly abusive employer, the Washington Post finds.

    The execution sparked a major anti-Saudi backlash: Some 1.2 million Indonesians, mostly maids, work in Saudi Arabia, but the Indonesian government has now declared a moratorium on labor exports to the kingdom. At least 20 Indonesians, nearly all women, are on death row in Saudi Arabia.

    Even the most devout Indonesian Muslims have begun questioning Saudi Arabia's ultra-rigid interpretation of their faith, and there have been calls to boycott the pilgrimage to Mecca.

    "Some Indonesians began to think that Wahhabism is the true teaching of Islam, but thanks to God, there has been a change of thinking,” says the head of an Indonesian Muslim organization that has 50 million members and runs 28,000 boarding schools.

    “Saudi Arabia is the holy land, so people always used to make excuses for it,” says an expert. “They now realize that Saudi Islam is not the right image of Islam.”[/QUOTE]http://www.newser.com/story/125382/maids-beheading-sparks-anti-saudi-backlash.html

    More talk of Hajj boycott.
    I think in the years ahead this will become a reality.

    More and more Muslims are having a real problem with this ideology sponsored and flowing out of Saudi.
     
    The Turk and (deleted member) like this.
  2. The Turk

    The Turk New Member

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    Completely agreed!!

    I've never understood how the Islamic world failed to stop a bunch of Wahhabis trying to represent Islam. What the whole world understand about Islam is simply Wahhabism!
     
  3. DutchClogCyborg

    DutchClogCyborg New Member

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    Yet no one resists....
     
  4. The Turk

    The Turk New Member

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    Actually there's resistance. But not well organized. Yeah, If there was a state backed Muslim organization fighting Wahhabism, something might be different today. For instance a Muslim state could have built a memorial dedicated to the 9/11 victims. But no Muslim state did that as far as I am aware.
     
  5. Tyrerik

    Tyrerik New Member

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    The trouble with this notion is that for non Muslims there isn't much difference between Islam in Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi let alone between Sunni sects.
     
  6. Albert Di Salvo

    Albert Di Salvo New Member

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    Actually it's useful to know these things. Clear perception of reality depends on the acquisition of material information. Even if one considers all Muslims to be our enemies, one must know one's enemy in order to defeat them.

    I consider this some additional evidence that Muslims are not necessarily enemies on an across the board basis. Even I am wrong this is evidence that the threat is more remote than we think.

    That in and of itself means that we can direct our energies toward resistance against our real enemy. Domestic leftism.
     
  7. The Turk

    The Turk New Member

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    Yeah, Wahhabis are somewhat the Mormons of the Islamic world. So the Islamic world should work hard to raise the awareness of this.
     
  8. cassandrabandra

    cassandrabandra New Member

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    hardly surprising.

    it wasn't going to keep its mystique forever in the days of modern communications.
     
  9. cassandrabandra

    cassandrabandra New Member

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    lols - with our biggest neighbour being the most populous Muslim nation in the world I have never seen Islam as the threat so many americans do.

    If I am worried about religion - its more the fundamentalist christians :)
     
  10. cassandrabandra

    cassandrabandra New Member

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    speak for yourself.

    as a non muslim, I disagree.
     
  11. DutchClogCyborg

    DutchClogCyborg New Member

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    I see the same problems in the west regardless of Branch so he certainly speaks for me.
     
  12. cassandrabandra

    cassandrabandra New Member

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    but you are not all people in th ewest, any more than he or I are.

    most people in the west who have real contact with muslims don't even notice they are dealing with muslims most of the time.
     
  13. Abu Sina

    Abu Sina New Member

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    Al-Azhar torn between secularists and Islamists

    Despite ongoing feuds over the identity of the state in post-Mubarak Egypt, both secularists and Islamists have recently agreed on one issue: the necessity of liberating Al-Azhar from government control. Yet, each camp has its own motives for supporting an autonomous clergy.

    Islamists view an autonomous Al-Azhar as key to achieving an Islamic renaissance in Egypt. But for non-Islamists, if the religious establishment - long known for its moderate understanding of Islam - is freed, it can regain credibility among the masses and stem the influence of radical groups.

    For secularists, the need to contain the growth of radical Islam has become dire in recent months with the resurgence of Salafi groups in the wake of Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. At least three Salafi parties have launched since the revolution began on 25 January. Last month, tens of thousands Salafis alarmed secular activists when they flooded Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the revolution, in a rally that called for implementation of Sharia, Islamic law.

    “When intransigent voices dominate, the moderate outlook, for which Al-Azhar has been famous, becomes needed,” Ibrahim al-Essawi, a co-founder of the left-wing Popular Socialist Alliance Party, told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

    Essawi’s party is one of several non-Islamist groups that threw their full backing behind Al-Azhar’s independence by signing statements and raising the issue in the media. Even secular presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei, who met with Al-Azhar’s Grand Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb recently, has supported calls for independence.

    “If Al-Azhar retrieves its independence, all the people will rally around it,” the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency told reporters after the meeting. “The different interpretations of Islam that we see today, and those divisions based on religion, should not exist. Al-Azhar should retrieve its role as the beacon of enlightened Islam, not only in Egypt but in the whole Arab world.”

    A few days earlier, ElBaradei’s contender Amr Moussa, the former secretary general of the Arab League, paid a visit to Tayeb and made similar comments.

    Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Al-Azhar has been the bastion of moderate Islam in the Sunni world. However, its influence waned after the military coup of 1952. Gamal Abdel Nasser clipped the wings of clerics by nationalizing their endowments and giving himself the right to appoint Al-Azhar’s Grand Sheikh. (Before the 1960s, the grand sheikh used to be elected by his fellows.) In the meantime, Nasser used Al-Azhar to bestow legitimacy upon his pan-Arab and socialist policies.

    The same pattern was maintained by President Anwar Sadat, who came to power in 1970. Sadat further weakened Al-Azhar by opening the door for radical Islamist groups, which promoted Wahhabi thought. Since then, Al-Azhar has lost ideological influence in the face of the Wahhabi tide.

    When Mubarak held the helm of state, Al-Azhar continued to lose influence to fundamentalist groups, which sought to discredit the state-sanctioned religious establishment by arguing that it represented the regime’s interests rather than true Islam. Meanwhile, Wahhabi thought began to permeate Al-Azhar itself.

    Pushing for an independent clergy would not necessarily mean creating a bulwark against Salafis. Otherwise, Salafi parties would not have backed the cause.

    “Al-Azhar should retrieve its role in achieving the renaissance and the advancement of the nation,” reads the platform of the Salafi Nour Party posted on the group’s official Facebook page. “Regardless of the ruling regime type, Al-Azhar should be independent and act as the conscience of the nation.”

    In the same document, the Alexandria-based party has endorsed the demands echoed by thousands of Al-Azhar preachers to reverse all policies inherited from Nasser’s times.

    For Mohamed Yosry, Nour Party spokesperson, secularists who back the independence of Al-Azhar hoping to defeat Salafis are contradicting themselves.

    “By requiring Al-Azhar to play a particular role or to adopt a particular school of thought, you will be threatening the very independence of Al-Azhar,” said Yosry. “The role of Al-Azhar is not to stand by the side of one political trend against another.”

    Yosri’s party is not the only Salafi group that pushes for Al-Azhar’s autonomy. The would-be Asala Party (meaning authenticity) has showed interest in the same cause. Yet, the Asala Party’s expectations from an independent religious establishment are quite different from its non-Islamist counterparts. Speaking last month to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Adel Afify, the party’s founder, made it clear that his group thinks Al-Azhar should be in charge of deciding whether certain policies or practices conform to Islamic Sharia.

    “Who would tell the parliament whether a certain matter contradicts Sharia other than the official religious establishment represented in Al-Azhar?” Afify asked rhetorically.

    Many secularists expressed vehement opposition to this Salafi proposition, warning that it would pave the way for the creation of a religious state in which clerics rather than elected politicians would have the ultimate say on political matters.

    "Salafis are backing the independence of Al-Azhar, hoping they can hijack it and use it as a vehicle to spread their political ideas," said Ammar Ali Hassan, an expert on Islamist movements.

    “Some want to control al-Azhar and use it in the political life to produce a certain religious discourse that could serve mainly Salafi trends,” he said.


    For Hassan, easing the government's grip over Al-Azhar is a necessity, but it should be accompanied by other reform measures. The religious curricula should be revamped to introduce modern research methods and expose students to different interpretations of Islam, said Hassan. Also, new criteria should be set for the selection of religious scholars.

    “The scholar should be acquainted with other cultures and sets, have the experience of communicating with the public, hold high degrees and be known among his students of not being an extremist,” said Hassan.

    In the meantime, the role of Al-Azhar in public life should be redefined to avoid any interference from the religious establishment in politics, he added.

    “The role of Al-Azhar in public life should be spiritual, moral and educational, and no more than that,” said Hassan. Most secularists would agree with Hassan on restricting Al-Azhar’s duties to the spiritual realm. Yet, Al-Azhar scholars themselves would oppose such an outlook.

    In recent months, thousands of young Al-Azhar preachers have launched a campaign to pressure the interim government and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to implement changes that would pave the way for the independence of their institution. Many of the movement's leaders believe Al-Azhar should play a large role in public life.

    “People should not worry about the impact of other religious currents on Al-Azhar. They should worry more from the impact of secularism,” said Rabie Marzouq, representative of the Coalition of Revered Al-Azhar Pundits, an entity formed shortly after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.

    “Secularists want al-Azhar to be independent for a certain period of time, until it beats other religious groups. But in fact, they do not want it to act as a religious reference point. They want it to be no more than an educational institute,” added Marzouq, who believes Al-Azhar should be entitled to express its views on different political and social matters.

    “The grand imam of Al-Azhar should speak and say which policy is right or wrong, and then it is up to the street or the parliament to decide,” said Marzouq.

    In the meantime, Marzouq downplayed fears that Salafis might hijack Al-Azhar.

    “Al-Azhar has represented moderate Islam, so it is impossible for anyone to come and reverse this historically moderate voice,” he said.
     
  14. Tyrerik

    Tyrerik New Member

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    Fine, then explain the significant differences. How would I distinguish one from the other, for example here on this forum.
     
  15. Marlowe

    Marlowe New Member

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    By their opinions ?
    Chances are if it sounds extreme , its very probably by an extremist.

    :)
     
  16. Tyrerik

    Tyrerik New Member

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    We are not talking about people in the West who you consider have real contact with Muslims but non Muslims. You don't even consider I have real contact with Muslims despite everything I've told you about daily contact!
     
  17. Marlowe

    Marlowe New Member

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    AKA - the christian Taliban .

    :wink:
     
  18. Albert Di Salvo

    Albert Di Salvo New Member

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    I always know when I'm dealing with a Muslim. It's obvious.
     
  19. cassandrabandra

    cassandrabandra New Member

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    really?

    [​IMG]

    what signifiying feature does hadise have?

    how about Nancy Ajram?

    [​IMG]
     
  20. The Turk

    The Turk New Member

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    Though Nancy Ajram is from the Christian community in Lebanon. :mrgreen:
     

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