Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Abdulbari Atwan attacks the fatwa of sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh (see prior post) on the basis that it serves the interests of the corrupt Saudi regime and their American allies, so when the sheikh referred to those who manipulate the passions of young Saudis in furtherance of their own ulterior motives, the best example of that would be the sheikh himself and the other clerics who serve the interests of the Saudi regime. The fatwa didn't mention any particular country, but Atwan draws particular attention to the timing of this fatwa, coming as it does at a time when Saudi Arabia and other American allies in the region are trying to work out a scheme that would facilitate the continuation of the American occupation of Iraq. When the mosques of Saudi Arabia were made centers of contributions and mobilizations for Arab and Islamic jihad in Afghanistan, the Balkans, south Philippines and elsewhere, the religious authorities backed these movements, and there was never the kind of prohibition that we have here in the case of Iraq. The point being that the fatwa is politically motivated in the interests of a corrupt and America-allied regime.

And when Al-Sheikh refers to the obligation of obedience to constituted authority, for instance for the organizing of jihad, Atwan says that was so in the early days of Islam when the rulers were honest. Nowadays, it is true that the constituted authorities carry out the organization of military force, but it is not for combatting oppression, rather for fighting alongside the oppressors, and for generating huge commissions (alluding to Prince Bandar and others) for the ruler and his offspring. If it is not permitted for Saudi youths to travel to Iraq to help the resistance, how is it that it is permitted for the American youths to travel all the way from their country to Iraq in order to occupy and oppress that people, and there aren't any fatwas against that? It is a rhetorical tour de force.

Unfortunately, demolishing the sheikh as any kind of a moral authority, isn't the same as answering the questions about the relationship of the jihadi network to the domestic Iraqi resistance.


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