The Wahhabi Code

“Uncle Terry, can you tell me, what’s happening in the Middle East?” asked my sixteen year-old niece, Mirabel. “My friends and I are so confused. Please, help us understand!”

Moved by Mirabel’s anxious plea, I agreed to speak to her small group the following week. When the day arrived, I entered the large library and was stunned. It was packed with kids, parents, and elders… I realized then how little anyone knew about the roots of ISIS, and the Sunni/Shiite conflict.

Having grown up in Saudi Arabia and spent 30 years in the Middle East and the Gulf, I see things differently, and clearly. I’ve had a first-hand, insider’s view. And, after my talk, everyone insisted I put it down in writing.

That day, this book was born. Not as a polemic or a tedious history, but as a simple accessible response to today’s Middle East chaos that has spilled across the Mediterranean and beyond.

To begin, I recount story of the austere Wahhabi sect founded in the central desert of the Arabian peninsula in the 18th century—1,500 years after the birth of Islam. Its severe, ultraconservative doctrine now serves as the official religion of Saudi Arabia, and also is the core ideology of ISIS, Al-Qaida, the Taliban and Boko Haram. I describe how the followers of this sect claim to represent “true Islam” while condemning all other Muslims as apostates. Their mission is to eliminate the great diversity of Islam and reject its millenary multicultural heritage. Their obsession to eradicate the past is symbolized by the wanton destruction of the monumental Buddhas of the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan, the classical ruins of Palmyra, and most of the sacred historic sites in Mecca and Medina.

Traditional Islam is now besieged by the Wahhabi imperialist “mission” financed by Saudi public funds and private foundations from Morocco to Indonesia, from Kosovo to Brussels. Countless madrasa schools and mosques with Wahhabi teachers and imams threaten all other Muslims–Shiites, Sufis, Yazidis and Sunnis. The Saudi regime buys silence in international media with its petro-dollars, and Western political leaders say nothing as they bow lowly to secure lucrative arms purchases and their everimportant oil flow. So, the truth remains hidden to the average citizens.

Now, it is in all our interests to speak truth to power. By ending the silence, Saudi imperial projects will be examined in the cold light of day; innocent lives in both the Islamic World and the West will be saved from jihadis; and UNESCO cultural heritage sites will be protected for Mirabel and her our children, long after we are gone.

pp. 86 with illustrations

Rights Sold: Italy [LEF], USA [Arcade Publishing]

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