Monday, May 01, 2017

Force and Fanaticism: Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and Beyond

A bit about Raymond Ibrahim:

http://raymondibrahim.com/about/

RAYMOND IBRAHIM is a widely published author, public speaker, and Middle East and Islam specialist.  His books include Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings, translations, and observations have appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, CNN, LA Times, Fox News, Financial Times, Jerusalem Post, New York Times Syndicate, United Press International, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, and Weekly Standard; scholarly journals, including the Almanac of Islamism, Chronicle of Higher Education, Hoover Institution’s Strategika, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, and Middle East Review of International Affairs; and popular websites, such as American Thinker, the Blaze, Bloomberg, Breitbart, Christian Post, Daily Caller, FrontPage Magazine, Gatestone Institute, the Inquisitr, Jihad Watch, NewsMax, National Review Online, PJ Media, the UK’s Commentator, WND, and World Magazine. He has contributed chapters to several anthologies and been translated into dozens of languages.
Ibrahim guest lectures at universities, including the National Defense Intelligence College, briefs governmental agencies, such as U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and has testified before Congress regarding the conceptual failures that dominate American discourse concerning Islam and the worsening plight of Egypt’s Christian Copts. Among other media, he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, Blaze TV, CBN, and NPR; he has done hundreds of radio interviews and instructed two courses for Prager University.
...
Raymond received his B.A. and M.A. (both in History, focusing on the ancient and medieval Near East, with dual-minors in Philosophy and Literature) from California State University, Fresno. There he studied closely with noted military-historian Victor Davis Hanson. He also took graduate courses at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies—including classes on the history, politics, and economics of the Arab world—and studied Medieval Islam and Semitic languages at Catholic University of America. His M.A. thesis examined an early military encounter between Islam and Byzantium based on arcane Arabic and Greek texts.
To read the entire item, kindly lick on this link:

http://raymondibrahim.com/2016/10/24/force-fanaticism-wahhabism-saudi-arabia-beyond/

Force and Fanaticism: Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and Beyond

Note: The following is a book review of Force and Fanaticism: Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and Beyond, by Simon Ross Valentine. A shorter version of the review first appeared in the Middle East Quarterly (Fall, 2016, vol. 23, no. 4).
Valentine, a British Methodist pastor and teacher who taught in Saudi Arabia, has written a useful book about the desert kingdom. Most interesting is its exploration of how the monarchy is “the single greatest force in spreading Islamic fundamentalism”; it “has spent as much as $100 billion to spread Wahhabism in the West,” yet “America and Britain have been, and are continuing to be, implicit supporters of Wahhabism.”
...
The book’s primary defect is standard.  Valentine regularly insists that “it is of the greatest importance to distinguish between Wahhabism and Islam generally.”   Anything good, positive, tolerant and peaceful is ascribed to Islam; anything bad, negative, intolerant, and violent—misogyny, draconian punishments, execution of apostates, intolerance for and discrimination against non-Muslims—is ascribed to “Wahhabism.”
This position appears to be based on the author’s own cultural presuppositions.  Thus he “felt confused and puzzled” to hear of Wahhabi intolerance, including the “attempt to propagate their beliefs by force,” prompting him to wonder:
Can you force someone to love God?….  In all the conversations I had with ulema, imams, Mutawa [religious police] and Saudis generally there was never a mention of “love,” the idea that God loved me, just frightful talk of hell, burning and future pain if I did not believe and accept the Wahhabi faith.”
Had Valentine engaged in a critical reading of Islamic doctrine and history—as opposed to projecting his Christian notion of God onto Islam—he would’ve known that Muhammad, followed by countless caliphs and sultans throughout the centuries, did “propagate their beliefs by force” (the overwhelming majority of today’s Muslim world was taken from non-Muslims “by force”) and that although Islam attributes 99 characteristics to God, “love” is not one of them.
...