Zaid Nabulsi Blames Wahhabi Teachings and Reliance on Early Muslim Texts for Islamist Barbarity
In its series "Reform in the Muslim World," Memri (Special Dispatch No. 5963, February 11, 2015) reports on a column by Zaid Nabulsi in the English-language Jordan Times, titled "We Have a Problem" (February 10, 2015), which blames Wahhabi teachings and reliance on early Muslim texts for current-day Islamist barbarity, and I excerpt from his column below:
Enough is enough. It is time to speak out. 'Islam is innocent' is an incomplete sentence. Introspection is needed . . . . [I]f we shy away from reality, the alternative will be more images like those we witnessed . . . when brave [Jordanian pilot] Lt. Muath Al-Kasasbeh was burnt to death . . . . Some Wahhabist teachings, which have permeated . . . the Muslim world, are simply irreconcilable with decent human values, especially the ones that declare that every non-Wahhabist is a disposable body whose blood may be shed . . . . It has become tiresome to keep hearing the unproductive cliché that Islam is innocent after each atrocity committed by devout fanatics who did nothing except execute the exact letter of their textbooks, which order them to slaughter the infidels . . . . [To say] that mainstream Islam has nothing to do with those atrocities does not hold water anymore because Wahhabism and Islam have become indistinguishable. To understand the crisis of Muslims today, one has to remember that Wahhabism exists in several textbooks containing the alleged sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, or books of 'Hadith,' revered by so many. What we . . . confront is the undeniable fact that . . . from many stories found in these books . . . [comes] the unprecedented cruelty of groups such as the . . . Islamic State . . . . The catastrophe today is . . . the visible manifestation of Islam in the modern world, as demonstrated by the prevalent beliefs and practices of . . . Muslims . . . . If we truly want to defend Islam, we need to perform . . . invasive surgery. Take the Muslim Brotherhood as an example of the prevalence of the Wahhabist teachings among Muslims today. The Brotherhood is the virtual womb that incubated all the current jihadist groups, including Al-Qaeda itself . . . . The . . . decapitations in Syria over the last four years . . . [were] promoted by very rich Sunni clerics . . . . aided by . . . countless satellite stations openly calling for the murder of Alawites and Shi'ites, and financed by billions from extremely wealthy but hateful Muslims . . . . [E]nough with the denials . . . . [T]ime to raise the alarm. We have a problem! . . . . There is . . . a propensity towards eliminating 'the other' . . . within Wahhabist ideology. It is not only foolish to deny this fact, it is also dangerous, for we would be covering the cancerous tumour with a bandage. What we cannot deny is that . . . Wahhabist textbooks are the . . . operating manuals that Islamist butchers use to justify their savagery. For example, very few people know that while [the Jordanian pilot] Muath was being set on fire in that macabre video, the voiceover was a recitation of an Ibn Taymiyah fatwa deeming the incineration of unbelievers a legitimate act of jihad. Ibn Taymiyah is not some obscure scholar on the fringe of Sunni Islam. In the Sunni world, he is universally venerated . . . [as] 'Sheikh of Islam,' elevating him to an almost infallible clerical status . . . . [W]e need to do more than just repeat this meaningless mantra about us having nothing to do with [ISIS]. We have to muster the courage to identify the specific texts that actually defame Islam, denounce them and permanently cleanse Islamic tradition of them.This sounds much like Ibrahim Issa's criticism of the same problem, which I posted on yesterday. Perhaps Warren Larson is right "that many Muslims are going through some serious soul-searching at the moment."
Let us hope so . . .