Tag Archives: Wahhabi

Ignorant Abroad: is Trump Encouraging a Foolish Prince to Start a Sectarian War in the Persian Gulf?……..

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“Iran is Salman’s top issue. This month, Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave an interview condemning Iran in extremely harsh sectarian terms. The prince, the king’s favorite son, characterized the Iranian Islamic Republic as being driven by messianic prophecies and determined to dominate the entire Islamic community. He claimed that Iran sought to take control of Mecca from the kingdom. There was no room for dialogue with Tehran, according to his statement. Indeed, the prince promised that the kingdom will fight its war against Iran inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia. He was vague about what that means, but it suggests he supports regime change in Tehran. It was one of the most virulent public attacks on Iran ever by the House of Saud. The royal family is eager for American support against Iran in Yemen, Syria and Iraq. The Saudi leaders face a more skeptical domestic audience. The new Trump administration is widely seen by the public in the Arab world as an enemy of Islam. A poll of Saudis in November showed overwhelming support for Hillary Clinton and only 6% for Trump. There will be no demonstrations against the president in a police state……….” Al Monitor

This past week the Middle East, especially the Persian Gulf region, was pushed closer to a direct sectarian war by a spoiled young Saudi prince. He may have aroused and provoked religious passions that are hard to subdue.

He is the favorite son of Saudi Arabia’s king Salman, also his Defense Minister, Crown Prince to the Crown Prince, and Heir Apparent, among many other royal positions. Not exactly an Arab Kim Jong Un, but: he shocked the Middle East this past week by threatening to wage war on Iran. In effect the Wahhabi prince has threatened to attack Iran, start an unprovoked war. Mainly because the wily Iranians have outsmarted him in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. He is inviting them to outsmart him again, which they might do if history is any guide.

What is worse, the under-educated prince also threw in a scathing sectarian attack on the Shi’a faith itself, mocking it and its followers in general. That includes millions of Arabs and other Muslims. Something Iranian leaders never do to other Muslims or people of any other “major” faith, not even to Wahhabis, at least not in public. He is almost setting the stage for a region-wide sectarian war that he seems to believe Donald Trump will support. A foolish notion: the United States should stay out of it.

This happened soon after his visit with Donald Trump at the White House, which smells fishy to many people in the region. Some independent Arab media claim it is part of a plan hatched in Washington. Iran has only threatened to wage war if attacked or threatened first. Which makes the prince’s threats odd, given that Saudi Arabia can’t even defeat poor under-armed Yemen, even with heavy American and British logistical and intelligence support.

The Iranian strategy has been defensive for almost two centuries. They don’t have access to the sophisticated Western warplanes and the Western support personnel that the Saudis have. But then they did not have access to the fancy weapons Saddam Hussein had when he attacked them in 1980 (with Saudi help), and they won that war. They have been under an American siege of several decades; they still are, regardless of the Nuclear Deal. Their deterrence depends heavily on air defense systems and, very important, on a huge arsenal of home-made advanced missiles that can retaliate by taking the war to the enemy.
That explains their attachment to missiles, not the desire to attack Europe or North America as Netanyahu and some of the Arab potentates and their lobbyists claim to the West.

The Iranian foreign minister (Zarif) answered the Saudi prince’s threat of an aggressive war by talking calmly of a peaceful resolution. But the Iranian defense minister answered with a strong warning that no Saudi city will be safe if they attack Iran. He excluded the holy cities of Mecca and Medinah.

So if the Saudis start an air attack with their expensive American toys, expect all their royal princes and princesses to be huddled in the only safe places in the kingdom: Mecca and Medinah. An enforced terrifying version of the Umrah pilgrimage.

Question is: does anyone around Donald Trump know the kind of sectarian passions this prince has stirred? Does Trump really want to get involved in this new Wahhabi religious war? Does he know what it is all about? Are those around him foolish enough?

Ich weiss nicht…..

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Lesson of the Jews: Should Muslims Cower after Every Wahhabi Act of Terrorism?……..

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Personally, I see that Muslims have been cowering these past few days in the face of public bigotry. I must add that I have noticed this “bigotry” only through the media, which tend to magnify the importance of every unusual position and statement. After all, the crimes of terrorism have been committed by a Wahhabi minority, and they have targeted Muslims and others. The Wahhabi terrorists no more represent Islam than the Trump bigots represent a majority of the American people.
We should remember what happened to the Jews of Europe, who also cowered as they faced open popular and official bigotry and were easily shipped like cattle to their deaths across a bigoted Europe. Bigotry needs to be condemned loudly and publicly, especially by its victims.

Cowering in the face of bigots gets you nowhere, just ask American blacks who have lived through the Old South (and much of the North). Muslims in the United States should condemn this Wahhabi terrorism, as they have mostly done, but they should also confront the noisy minority of bigots forcefully and publicly. While keeping in mind that this is an election season, and that is when the mutants come out…………
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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Cutthroat Alley: the Western Powers and the Sick Man of the Middle East…….

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“At the launch of the latest annual strategic survey published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), experts criticised the west for not doing more to gather support either from other Arab countries or Syrian rebels not attached to Isis. “Since the beginning, western powers have run away from hard choices in Syria,” said Emile Hokayem, IISS senior fellow for Middle East security. He said western policy was “fundamentally flawed” by not realising the extent of the threat posed by the Assad regime. “That makes the threat of Isis bigger,” he said. “The west is still running away from the hard truth … Assad is a much greater threat [than Isis],”………….”

We have heard (or read) this one before. Will the Western powers and their think-tankers ever learn? Will they ever learn not to repeat the same mistakes across the shattered and repressed Arab world, the “sick man of the Middle East“? Will they never learn from the experiences in Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, etc? Yet another “expert” from another think-tank is here advising a repeat of the old mistakes.

In Libya, Colonel Gaddafi was correctly seen as a corrupt repressive dictator. But one big mistake was in the apparent assumption that the Libyan rebels were like the American Founding Fathers: that they would lead the country to democracy. The same was allegedly expected in Yemen: Western powers assumed the repressive feudal kings and princes of the Persian Gulf states would turn their southern poorest neighbor into a prosperous democracy (or did they?). In Syria they apparently assumed the repressive Wahhabi princes and potentates of the Gulf (Saudi, Qatar, UAE) would help overthrow the Assad regime and create a quasi-Wahhabi state that can be tolerated by the West. All with the help of oil money, Wahhabi volunteers, and Turkish logistical cooperation.

Instead, now a large swath of the region, from Iraq through Syria and Yemen and Egypt and Libya can be correctly called Cutthroat Alley.

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Saudis and Yemenis Exchange Visits: Good and Bad News on the Ground War…………

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One strain of the Saudi opposition, including the anonymous Mujtahidd, has been complaining about the path of the war on Yemen. The Wahhabi opposition support the Yemeni war in general: like almost all Arab Salafis they see it as a sectarian struggle. But they acknowledge that the bombing campaign against Yemen is not going well, no surprise there. They put the blame, rightly, on the princes leading it.

Last week they were complaining about the new young defense minister and crown prince to the crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). They were critical of his taking a second princess wife and heading for a honeymoon in Paris while the country is at war.

This week they are complaining that the same prince MBS has left for a reported good time in the Maldives (islands in the Indian Ocean) while the war is not going well.

There is, however, some good news for those who want a more decisive war. For months some of the Saudi opposition and former president General Hadi Bin Zombie and his Riyadh hotel roommates have been urging a ground invasion of Yemen. Of course Hadi and his roommates had the chance to fight a ground war when they were in Aden, but they chose to escape to the safety and comfort of Riyadh. They left the war and the suffering to the Yemeni people. The good news is that during the second and third  honeymoons of Crown Crown Prince Mohammed the ground war has finally started.

Except the wrong side is waging the ground war, and it is going in the wrong direction for the Saudis. The Houthis and their Yemeni army allies have made bold incursions into Saudi territory and held military posts. Casualties were inflicted and weapons captured. Life in some southern towns and villages has been disrupted, some areas were forced to evacuate. 
Still, the Saudis don’t seem to know how to quit while they’re not ahead. Not yet…………

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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New Wahhabi International: Al Qaeda as the New Great Hope of Jihadis in Syria……..

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“Al-Qaeda affiliates are significantly expanding their footholds in Syria and Yemen, using the chaos of civil wars to acquire territory and increase their influence, according to analysts, residents and intelligence officials. The gains have helped the terror group’s affiliates become major players in the countries and have complicated efforts to resolve the conflicts. Al-Qaeda offshoots could also be gaining sanctuaries to eventually plan attacks against the United States and Europe, analysts say. In Syria, al-Qaeda’s wing, Jabhat al-Nusra, plays a leading role in a new rebel coalition that has captured key areas in the northwestern part of the country. In Yemen, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has seized parts of the country’s largest province, territory that includes military bases, an airfield and ports. “Al-Qaeda is becoming more deeply entrenched in Syria, and it is gaining significant momentum in Yemen…………..”

A known Salafi activist on the Persian Gulf tweeted the other day, wishing, urging Al Nusra Front to break its allegiance to Al Qaeda. For years that same Salafi activist was urging Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to make their peace with his Saudi masters, the princes and their Muftis. Other Gulf Salafis who openly supported Al Qaeda and its affiliates, especially AQI and ISIS among other terrorist groups, have shifted away from the latter. At least in the open, but it could be just the usual Salafi taqiyya, feigning and faking.

Al Nusra is not as successful as the Caliphate of ISIS, but Al Nusra has one important advantage for the opportunistic Salafis. It is now being supported by their patrons, the Wahhabi princes and potentates of Saudi Arabia and Qatar (and non-Arab Turkey). It is being armed and financed by all of them. The Salafis, especially in the Persian Gulf countries listen to the dictates of these neighboring potentates, their patrons. Besides, it is the American support and weapons that they covet, which explains the phony claim of leader of Jaish Al-Islam (Army of Islam) a couple of weeks ago that he is now almost a Jeffersonian democrat.

It is as if a new global International, a Wahhabi International emerging, taking its signals and orders from the clerics and moneybags of Riyadh and Doha. Just like the Communist International of yesteryear (Comintern), the Wahhabi one is now divided. At least two major rival branches, possibly more if Al Nusra can be bribed to split from Al Qaeda. Not to mention other affiliated groups of Salafi cutthroats: AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula), the Shabab, Boko Haram, the Bel-Mukhtar Group of Northwest Africa, etc, etc.

There have been reports in recent months that the Saudis are trying to affect a shift in loyalties. Saudi warplanes raining cluster bombs on Yemen tend to attack Houthi and Yemeni army forces in areas where they fight AQAP. That they do not attack gatherings of AQAP terrorists. American drones are still allegedly attacking AQAP. As usual, the Saudis believe they can in the end buy and regain the loyalty of AQAP and possibly the Southern Independence movement around Aden.

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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Worldwide Wahhabi Crusade Turns More Violent……….

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Yesterday was Ashura, a special day in a special month in the Middle East. But to some it was just another day that brought new opportunities for more sectarian bloodshed.
We occasionally complain about discrimination against Muslims in Europe. That is mainly because we expect better, much better, in the Western democracies than we do in our own “Islamic” region, where your tribe or faith or sect decides your fate. Where your tribe or faith or sect often seals your fate, in some places quite violently.

Just read the headlines from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and other places. In Iraq it is a daily occurrence, with cowardly terrorist bombings of unarmed civilian. In dysfunctional nuclear Pakistan, from Quetta to Karachi, it is becoming an almost daily occurrence. Even Afghanis kill their compatriots of another sect in Pakistan.

The news headlines yesterday did not bring anything new. From Pakistan to Saudi Arabia and through Iraq, many people were targeted and killed and maimed simply because of their sect. Most of the victims of terrorist killings were as usual Shi’as. It was a good day for mass killings from a Wahhabi Jihadist point of view, given that it was a special Shi’a day of pilgrimage. Many unarmed humans packed together practicing their faith, risking their lives, some of them knowing the risks. The killers were also Muslims. It was as usual part of an onging systematic campaign of killings, a one-way terrorist war against Shi’as. There is some occasional sporadic misguided retaliation, mainly in Pakistan or in Iraq, but the trend is clear.

This war goes beyond our native region, spreading into Europe. I recall at least one case of a planned mosque in a Scandinavian city a few years ago. The strong opposition to the mosque did not come from the native Europeans. It came from other dominant Muslims who were of another sect. A Shi’a mosque was strongly opposed, fought against, by Wahhabis in a European country. Establishing a Shi’a mosque is even harder, nay impossible, in many Muslim countries. It is impossible, verboten, in places that have strong Wahhabi influences like Indonesia, Malaysia or Egypt. In these places people have to practice their rites ins secret and risk arrest or worse. Sounds familiar to some in old Europe, doesn’t it?

It is almost like a Wahhabi crusade, absofuckinglutely no pun intended. As violent and with as much indiscriminate mass killings as in the original European crusades.

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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Draining the Swamp: from the Gulf to Pakistan and Iraq and Europe………

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

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“As an Ahmadi leader in his locality, Kahloun knew he was a target for hired assassins in the bustling but lawless metropolis of Karachi. General insecurity in Pakistan is multiplied manifold if you are, like Kahloun, an Ahmadi – a sect of Islam that many orthodox Muslims abhor as heretic. “I never thought they would target my family,” says Kahloun, 57, a successful businessman who left everything behind, obtained political asylum and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife and daughter. In 1974, under pressure from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan’s parliament declared Ahmadis as non-Muslim (similarly pressured, the newly independent Bangladesh refused). A decade later, a military dictator made it a criminal offence for them to “pretend” to be Muslims…………”

The influence of Wahhabi oil money and Wahhabi ideology and overseas teachings is now worldwide. This phenomenon is widespread, having seeped like Persian Gulf crude petroleum, like petro-money, across the globe. There is so much hatred where none existed before. There is active intolerance, violent discrimination and mass sectarian murder in Pakistan and Indonesia. There is now religious and sectarian discrimination in Malaysia, in once-tolerant Egypt and North Africa. In Iraq, thousands of civilians are killed on the street because of the suspicion they might be of the wrong sect or faith. In the Wahhabi-ized ‘liberated’ parts of Syria and Iraq, women and girls of other faiths and sects are captured, used, sold, and bought as sex slaves. In Western cities, they collect money, distribute money, enlist volunteers, inject them with hatred and send them back to our region to kill, maim, and enslave.

The Wahhabis carry their hatred with them into exile, creating new forms of discrimination and potential violence deep inside European cities. Against their hosts and against people of other faiths and sects, including Muslims.

We all know who is fighting and murdering in Syria and Iraq and Yemen and North Africa and other places. We also know who has the funds to finance them. It takes many millions to run a Caliphate, much more than the revenues from a few oil wells they control in Syria. Many of the Jihadi volunteers come from the West, fueled by Persian Gulf money and the Wahhabi ideology of hate from the cradle of sectarianism. Perhaps helped along by alienation in European society: but it must take a lot of alienation to mow down, mass murder, innocent civilians.

That ideology, most of the killers, and the money that sustains it mostly come from the absolute tribal princes and potentates. The same princes and potentates on whom the West is now pretending to rely for salvation in Syria and Iraq. The ones Mr. Obama “is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with“.

Is it any wonder few have faith in the outcome of this war? Is it any wonder most Arabs who cannot express themselves in the vast controlled Saudi and Emirati and Qatari media are skeptical?

After the 9/11 attacks, George W Bush liked to speak of ‘draining the swamp‘. He was focusing on the wrong swamps: Taliban-controlled Wahhabi Afghanistan and secular Baathist Iraq. He may have misunderstood or was ill-advised. The genesis, the true swamp from whence Al-Qaeda launched its terrorism was not in Afghanistan or Iraq: it was, and still is, within the realm of some of his allies.

The bloody trails from the killing fields of Syria and Iraq and other places lead in that direction.


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Hobson’s Choice in Syria: Bad, Badder, or Baddest?…….

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1. an apparently free choice when there is no real alternative
2. the necessity of accepting one of two or more equally objectionable alternatives.………
”                                                                                                     Merriam Webster

“The jihadi group surging through Iraq and Syria is using large captured US-made weapons and has access to anti-tank rockets supplied by Saudi Arabia to a moderate rebel group, according to a report published on Monday. The study by the London-based Conflict Armament Research consultancy found that Islamic State (Isis) militants had access to large numbers of US weapons, which they were shifting to key battlefields……..The report was compiled from a list of weapons captured from Isis by Kurdish militias over a 10-day period in July. Of most interest was the capture of two M-79 rockets that were identical to a batch of such weapons supplied by Saudi Arabia to rebels………”

So this report seems to corroborate what we have all been saying for some time: it is almost impossible to keep weapons from being transferred among Syrian Jihadis. There is an active Syrian market for them and they get taken and sold and gifted between the hundreds of Jihadi groups and gangs that seek to liberate Syria for the Saudi and Qatari princes and take it back to their distorted vision of the seventh century (AD). ISIS and Al Nusra and all the other “Jabhats” and “Ansars” and myriad groupies get enough money from their well-known sources to be able to ‘buy’ whatever weapons they want from other Syrian ‘freedom fighters’, including the Free Syrian Salafi Army.

The fact is that within Syria there are no real non-Jihadi rebels anymore. This has been the case since late 2011, after the Wahhabis of the Persian Gulf region mobilized their vast financial, media, and volunteer resources and deployed them, armed with a strong dose of deep sectarian hatred, to commandeer a nascent uprising in Syria. Just a few years after deploying the same murderous resources to massacre Iraqi civilians in their towns and cities.

Within Syria the choice among rebels is between the following: (a) plain bad Wahhabis, (b) badder Wahhabis, and (c) the baddest Wahhabis. The crucial battles with Syrian regime forces in the past year or two saw all these various tiers of Wahhabi Jihadist groups join forces. Join forces and share weapons before the baddest of them, ISIS, started to push the others to the margins, to the periphery of history. Building up new mildly Wahhabi groups inside the Humorless Kingdom of Jordan and sending them into Syria to keep the civil war going will not do the trick either. The Jordanian Front is not likely to fare better than the Turkish front has done.

Or maybe the plain bad Wahhabis are the only palatable Hobson option available for the Western powers. They can appoint French pop-philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, co-liberator of Libya, as NATO high commissioner for Syria, to keep them from going badder and baddest. It did not work in Libya, but it might in Syria: hope springs eternal when supported with tribal petro-money.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Friends of the Caliph: Germans Single Out Qatar!……

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“German Development Minister Gerd Mueller accused Qatar on Wednesday of financing Islamic State militants who have seized wide areas of northern Iraq and have posted a video of a captive American journalist being beheaded. “This kind of conflict, this kind of a crisis always has a history … The ISIS troops, the weapons – these are lost sons, with some of them from Iraq,” Mueller told German public broadcaster ZDF. “You have to ask who is arming, who is financing ISIS troops. The keyword there is Qatar – and how do we deal with these people and states politically?” said Mueller, a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the center-right Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. Mueller did not elaborate and presented no evidence of a Qatari link to Islamic State………….”

ISIS or ISIL or IS are Wahhabi terrorists who got their start with help from many sources, especially in the Persian Gulf states. Not sure why the Germans singled out Qatar for criticism and ignored the others. Could be that Qatar is still funding and arming them while the others claim they are trying to crack down. Could be that the Turks are still allowing all comers access through their neighborly borders with Syria.

Could it be that the prospects of lucrative weapons deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are too tempting for the Germans to openly criticize them? They are for most other European countries: Francois Hollande would easily convert to Wahhabism, if he could still have his wine. The Al Saud princes and others have mastered the art of economic blackmail against greedy European powers. To the extent that British prime minister David Cameron has authorized an absurd investigation to decide whether the Muslim Brotherhood can be listed as a “terrorist” organization. The same Brotherhood whose government in Egypt he recognized before the military coup of July 2013. That is obviously groveling to the financial power of tribal potentates and their petro-money.

The culprits who helped ISIS rise in Iraq, grow in Syria, and then expand into Iraq are hiding in plain sight, and they are not only in Qatar.


Mohammed Haider Ghuloum



A View of Iraq and Syria from an Arabian Gulag: Earthly Rewards to Paradise…….

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“In Syria, where the Saudis are a leading backer of rebel groups including the secular Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Front, which includes less militant Sunni fighters, Riyadh still has some options to influence the outcome of the war. But in Iraq, its most populous neighbor, with which it shares an 850 kilometer (530 mile) frontier, Saudi Arabia has few tested friends or established links with Sunni groups, and knows that the majority Shi’ites will continue to dominate power……….”

So these authors wrote their report for Reuters, mainly with local interviews from Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. They quote some Iraqi ‘analyst‘ who works from Abu Dhabi and is, as they claim, “close to the Saudi Interior Ministry“. They don’t clarify how “close” this analyst is to the Saudi Ministry of Interior, and in what “capacity“. But we know that the Ministry of Interior does not do foreign policy. We also know what it does do: arrests, interrogations, prisons, public floggings, executions by public beheading with occasional crucifixions, religious police, immigration, travel bans, internal exile, external exile, among other things. In effect they run a vast Arabian Gulag.

Odd this assertion: Iraq and Syria are represented as serious problems for Saudi Arabia. But how did Iraq and Syria get to this stage? How did they get to represent serious problems to the region? Yes, you got that one right: because the Wahhabis started sending their intolerant ideology, their killers, their weapons, and their oil money, first to Iraq and then to Syria.

They started on Iraq early on, somewhere around the year 2005. In Syria they waited until the misnamed so-called Arab Spring reached Homs (or was it Der’a) and then the Wahhabi and Salafi and Ikhwan machine went into full gear to try and take it over. With a little help from the Turkish leaders who thought they could open their country to Jihadi traffic into Syria and remain untouched.

They created the monster that now threatens them and that the Iraqis and Syrians have to deal with. If Iraq and Syria ‘pose’ problems for the princes, they are problems of their own creation. They and some other potentates in Qatar and other emirates and their Salafi money-gathering machine. And their misguided underemployed frustrated young volunteers looking towards the joys of captive women as they await the promised unlimited virginal rewards of Paradise.


Mohammed Haider Ghuloum