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When Saudi Arabia threatens Canada for demanding the release of women’s rights activists there, my first reaction is to laugh, because I’ve always thought the place wallowed proudly in its panoramic abuse of human rights in general. Let’s take a look at this puffed-up, backward stretch of oil-rich sand, more a family business than any kind of state.

 

Cobbled together by Ibn Sa’ud, patriarch and owner of many goats, in the 18th century, it was a fractious confederation of semi-nomadic tribes, from each of which he took a bride, until British colonial plunderers gave it the nod as a “kingdom” – meaning it might have some utility as an “ally”, should the need for one arise. Then along came a man named Wahhab, according to his own parents deranged, who saw himself as, not a second coming of the Prophet Mohammed but a far greater being, one destined to be Caliph of the entire Islamic world. His version of Islam, essentially a heresy, resembled a penal code of unbendable rules, many of which ostensibly outlawed pleasure, music, dancing, and so on. Ibn Sa’ud saw great virtue in an alliance with Wahhab and the sponsorship of his “faith” chiefly because it solved his most frustrating problem. What the old sand-pirate craved to do most was raid the rich caravans coming from Persia, but Islamic law forbade a Muslim from attacking and robbing other Muslims. Wahhabism, however, maintained that other forms of the religion – Shia, Sufi, Aluwite, Ismaili, etc. – were not Islam, were in fact infidels who should be attacked and robbed. The Persians were of course Shia. This was music to Ibn Sa’ud’s ears’ and so a deal was struck which essentially divided the kingdom equally between princes of his house and Wahhabite priests. The caravans from Persia were now legitimate prey, and hostility between the two places remains bitter to this day. The Kingdom likes you to think its national religion is orthodox Sunni Islam, yet it is not. Proof of this came early too. When the Saudis annexed the holy city of Mecca, traditionally held by Hashemite Sunnis, there was inordinate bloodshed. But the biggest problem arose during the first Haj pilgrimage, when Egyptian Sunni pilgrims marched towards the city singing their traditional Haj songs. What to do? Remember, singing is banned in Wahhabism. After some debate, the Saudi troops slaughtered all the Egyptians, men, women and children, which adroitly fixed that dilemma. The Brits, who regarded the Middle East as their bailiwick, didn’t care what Arabs did to other Arabs – or didn’t care until there was a reason to care.

 

This came with oil, which it was agreed would be co-owned by Brits and Saudis. Under numerous distracting corporations, to avoid accusations of monopoly, this arrangement still continues, orient and occident, with America now more of the occident. By the seventies, everyone knew the Saudis were fabulously wealthy, because princes from the hereditary family business were throwing their money around in all the casinos and whorehouses of Europe. But what of the equally hereditary priesthood, who could hardly be seen at gaming tables or in brothels? What did they do with their share of the loot? Well, sad to say, they invested in spreading their despicable heresy around the globe with free schools and mosques (hard for a poor nation to refuse) that all espoused the hateful creed, that still vehemently denounces other forms of Islam (except the Sunni form, of course), whose adherents are recommended for execution, or indeed whatever enormity you fancy visiting on them.

 

I will state unambiguously that Wahhabism, the Saudi state religion, is entirely responsible for all so-called Islamic extremism, from Al Qaeda to ISIS and beyond. The notion of founding a “caliphate”, a major preoccupation of these factions, is precisely the same megalomaniacal fantasy that Wahhab himself dreamt up. Osama bun Laden, the 9/11 bombers, the Taliban, and every other murderous maniac crawling around the planet’s less fortunate areas – all Wahhabis or funded by Wahhabi money. Fact.

 

And these are the people – inspired by their new and obnoxiously self-important Crown Prince – who now threaten us? Saudi Arabia is the only place I have ever been that I thoroughly detested, whose menfolk – for the womenfolk are all imprisoned – I found uniquely uncivilized, whose culture I found non-existent, and whose social mores I found completely barbaric. Homosexuality is punished by beheading. Freedom of speech is unheard of, and if it peeps a teeny bit gets a minimum of a thousand lashes. A joint of pot is worth 20 years in jail or worse – and in Saudi Barbaria twenty years is at least twenty years. It goes on and, as I said, I thought they were pleased and proud of this medieval intolerance. Now I find that posturing buffoon at the helm is touchy about being advised to catch up with international laws… well, I’m inclined to say, ‘Let’s invade and free the women, along with everyone who is not a prince or priest.” Those parasites can be set to work building a submarine zoo for themselves.

 

robertspaulwilliam@gmail.com

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