Why Is the Wahhabi Saudi Monarchy Afraid of Wahhabi ISIS?
August 29, 2014 • 9:37AM

In Thursday's Huffington Post article, "You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia," former MI6 officer Alistair Crooke explains why the Saudi monarchy, being the godfather of the ISIS, is now trying to distance itself from those killers. What comes across from Crooke's article is that the Saudi ruling elite is divided. "Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shi'ite 'fire' with Sunni 'fire,'" while other Saudis, recalling the history of the revolt against King Abd al-Aziz by the Wahhabist Ikhwan, "which nearly imploded Wahhabism and the al-Saud in the late 1920s," is trying deny its Saudi linkage.

Crooke's analysis is excellent, although it begs the question of the necessary action to curb this British asset.

Crooke said, "King Abd-al Aziz's subsequent shift towards statehood in the 1920s: his curbing of Ikhwani violence (in order to have diplomatic standing as a nation-state with Britain and America); his institutionalization of the original Wahhabist impulse — and the subsequent seizing of the opportunely surging petrodollar spigot in the 1970s, to channel the volatile Ikhwani current away from home towards export — by diffusing a cultural revolution, rather than violent revolution throughout the Muslim world." Because of this act of Abd al-Aziz, Saudis and the West joined hands to manage the region. Western projects in the region included "countering socialism, Ba'athism, Nasserism, Soviet and Iranian influence," while western politicians "highlighted their chosen reading of Saudi Arabia (wealth, modernization and influence), but they chose to ignore the Wahhabist impulse," Crooke noted.

Read EIR's 'Bust the London/Riyadh Global Terror Axis'

But, Abd al-Aziz did not intend to crush the Wahhabi Ikhwanis, and instead, he exported it to crush the Shi'ites and moderate Muslims. The extradition of Sheikh Osama bin Laden, while financing him to make al-Qaeda grow stronger, was an example of such policy.

The founder of Wahhabism tenet, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, a Mullah, had joined hands with tribal chief Muhammad ibn Saud in the Arabian desert and worked out in the 18th century the doctrine of "One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque." These three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi King, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of "the word" (i.e., the mosque). On the one hand, Crooke says, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. "On the other hand, it is ultra-radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism. ISIS is a 'post-Medina' movement: It looks to the actions of the first two Caliphs [Abu Bakr ibn Qhuhafah (632-634) and Umar ibn al-Khattab (634-644)], rather than the Prophet Mohammad himself, as a source of emulation, and it forcefully denies the Saudis' claim of authority to rule."

"Today, ISIS' undermining of the legitimacy of the King's legitimacy is not seen to be problematic, but rather a return to the true origins of the Saudi-Wahhab project," Crooke concluded.