Just read Mohammed Alyahya’s NY Times post “Don’t Blame ‘Wahhabism’ for Terrorism” and I think it is incomplete without some additional comments. So let us talk also about Human Rights and how religion and religious dogma aims at violating it in the Saudi context.
I agree that the article is an interesting perspective and arguments that it is petty criminals who get trapped in the ISIS model might have some validity as well the argument that Al Qaida became strong due to a negative sentiment towards west. But when you try to just refute the comparison of Wahhabism and ISIS ideology and try to put Saudi in an illuminated light of righteousness a bit more needs to be said and discussed.
I don’t think it is just a comparison thing of ISIS andWahhabism here. The point that should be noted is that barbaric punishment models like beheading and flogging still happen in Saudi as their main form of punishments which is not only inhuman but also uncivilized in current era. This has to be highlighted with the fact that people who oppose Islam or the Saudi Kingdom are victimized and persecuted in Saudi.
Shaykh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr who was executed. His nephew Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr was arrested when he was 17 year old and was sentenced to death and still in jail awaiting ratification. What were their crime? voicing their opinion against the Kingdom?
Atheist Blogger Raif Badawi is being flogged for speaking out and still in detention and the Atheist Poet Ashraf Fayadh was sentenced to death and then the punishment made to 8 years and 500 lashes if I remember right. And what was their crime? Being an Atheist? Questioning a religion?
Many (or most/all) Muslim Countries still hold on to the barbaric concept of Blasphemy which can emerge from talking against Islam, or abandoning the religion, being an Atheist or keeping belief systems that are considered blasphemous as per Islam. All of the above are met with the wrath of religious policing.
So while trying to save the name of Wahhabism from its comparison with ISIS ideologies, one should speak out and fight what Saudi is doing to its own citizens. Only then the post will be complete. Saudis (have and) still commit such human rights Violation as mentioned above as if it is the legal thing to do. Their country their system, but where does this system come from?
Every religion has violence deep within it because it was all created at a time when it was a very violent world out there. conversion was by force and at the tip of the sword was the accepted norm. And If you need to take violence out of a religion one needs to bring change at the core of a religion. Rewrite texts if needed and speak out that we need a new way of thinking for a peaceful world not a blind following of a thought that emerged in medieval times.
May be along with talking about Wahhabism, Deobandis and thrusting the point that true Islam is peaceful and all these are just violent strains of Islam, people should also discuss about the violence seen in religions like Saudi practicing beheadings and flogging and upholding blasphemy laws.
Maintaining peace when everyone is a Muslim is different from maintaining peace when this world belongs to muslims, hindus, christians, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, atheists and several other denominations of religions and belief systems. That is the definition of peace in the current world. Any religion that at its core thinks only they are right and everyone else is wrong has an issue if taken verbatim. That is the reason why one sees violent strains of a religion. Change what is in the religion that causes violent strains to emerge so often.
One needs to ponder why it is always said “Islam is the peaceful religion” as if all other religions are violent. That is not only laughable but it is just a way to be politically (and some say peacefully) correct and it is like saying something to pacify the kid that cries loudest in the room.
We and I mean Muslims and non muslims should break out of that and accept that every religion that is founded during a violent time of the world has violent streaks in it and following it by the book or by the word and heresay is not the recipe of peace in the current world
What is the difference between Saudi executions and arrests and flogging of people and the slaying of Atheist bloggers in Bangladesh. In Saudi the state does it with pride and in Bangladesh it was done by miscreants. Both did the same thing, executed people who spoke against their beliefs.
Posts like this begging tolerance from people who might talk against religion is incomplete without the need for tolerance among the proponents of the religion in these religious states. Fighting Islamophobia is not curtailing the right of free thinkers to talk against religion it is fighting against discrimination of people who follow islam. These are two different things.
I talk against Islamophobia because it is not right to discriminate against Muslims because of what a few people do. But I fight Islamophobia by upholding my right to criticize Islam just like we talk about Hinduism or Christianity. Islam does not (and should not) have any additional privilege when it comes to debating and critical analysis. Change is a necessity for all religions.
We want a world where Human Rights, equality, Free Thought and peace are given a better chance to flourish than religious beliefs. Period…..