Of course, it’s no new news that Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading sponsor of Islamic extremism.
Funny enough, It is also a close U.S. ally. This contradiction, although responsible for a lot of human suffering, is frequently ignored. Yet it recently plunged back into the limelight with the Saudi monarchy’s largest mass execution in decades.
On Jan. 2, Saudi Arabia beheaded 47 people across 13 cities. Among the executed was cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a leader from the country’s Shia religious minority who was arrested for leading peaceful protests against the regime in 2011-12.
Sheikh al-Nimr was known throughout the Islamic world for his staunch opposition to sectarianism. The outspoken Saudi dissident firmly insisted that Sunnis and Shias are not enemies, and should unite against the sectarian regimes oppressing them. “The oppressed should unite together against the oppressors, instead of becoming tools in the hands of the oppressors,” he declared.
By executing a dissident who challenged sectarianism, the Saudi monarchy was only further fomenting it.
Human rights organizations condemned the executions . Amnesty International said the Saudi regime is “using the death penalty in the name of counter-terror to settle scores and crush dissidents,” sentencing activists “to death after grossly unfair trials.” Amnesty called this “a monstrous and irreversible injustice.”
Yet atrocities like the mass beheadings are by no means new in Saudi Arabia. What is new is the global attention to them.
Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, the nephew of the murdered cleric, was arrested at age 17 for attending a peaceful pro-democracy protest in 2012. He was allegedly tortured, before being sentenced to death by beheading and crucifixion.
Saudi Arabia is one of the last places on the planet where crucifixions are still practiced — ordered by the government itself.
In recent years, the Saudi monarchy has also arrested at least two other peaceful teenage pro-democracy activists and sentenced them to death .
Furthermore, a Palestinian poet was sentenced to death by Saudi Arabia in November for renouncing Islam and criticizing the royal family.
In 2015, the Saudi regime executed 158 people, largely by beheading. On average, approximately half (47 percent) of people executed in Saudi Arabia are killed for drug-related offenses, according to Amnesty International . Every four days, then, on average, the Saudi monarchy executes someone for drugs — while its own princes are caught with thousands of pounds of drugs at foreign airports .
The internal repression and human rights abuses inside Saudi Arabia is one thing. Perhaps even more troubling, however, is the monarchy’s support for violent religious extremism. It is here that Chomsky’s advice on stopping terrorism becomes so important. By continually aligning itself with the Saudi regime, the U.S. is fueling the very fire it is fighting in the so-called War on Terror.
What in world could account for such brutality even the mowing down pedestrians and then stab a policeman to death?
The foundation is right in the Middle East and its web of hate spreads across the globe. But it is also in Britain — and growing.
Douglas Murray the Associate Director of the Henry Jackson Society explains.
“Since Wednesday’s carnage we have learned that 52-year-old Khalid Masood is believed to have converted to one of the worst forms of Islam.
“Whether during his time in prison, or the years he spent in Saudi Arabia, Masood adopted Wahhabism.
“This interpretation of Islam grew up in the 18th century. It is a Middle Eastern movement similar to Calvinism.
“A return to the strictest version of the religion. A joyless, unforgiving and hate-filled worldview. But in the 20th century this horrible worldview got lucky.
The House of Saud who ruled Saudi Arabia after its creation liked this form of Islam. And the Saudis had something the world increasingly wanted — oil.
“And after the Arab oil embargo of 1973, the Saudis increasingly had the West held hostage. We needed Saudi oil, and they were happy to sell. But it was a devil’s bargain.
“For the Saudis used their oil money for many things. They enriched themselves, living playboy lifestyles in London and Dubai.
Saudi natural resources feed personal fortunes and lives of luxury
“Saudi natural resources feed personal fortunes and lives of luxury hypocrites spread their harsh version of Islam around the globe. While rich Saudis drank, danced and smoked in Knightsbridge, the ideology they pushed taught another message.
“At Wahhabi schools — known as madrasas — in the UK paid for by the Saudis, students are taught to hate the modern liberal West.
Supercars, penthouse apartments and casinos in Mayfair are often associated with Saudi lifestyle
“They are taught to despise and look down on us and our freedoms. The same message is taught at Wahhabi mosques across the world. The Saudis pay for the buildings and appoint the clerics.
“Today across Europe there are thousands of such institutions of education and religion which exist because they are paid for by the Saudis.
In 2015 the flow of money to UK mosques was reported to have reached a record high. It is the same story almost everywhere in the world you go.
Wahhabism grows fast because it has deep pockets. The Saudis spend billions every year exporting this ideology.
An undercover investigation in 2007 found that Wahhabi mosques in the UK were encouraging the physical abuse of women who refused to cover their hair.
Followers of Wahhabism include Lee Rigby murderer Michael Adebolajo, shoe bomber Richard Reid, 7/7 ringleader Mohammad Sidique Khan, and hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
Now for the United states also, Journalist Abby Martin devoted an
episode of her show “The Empire Files” to exploring the Saudi-U.S. relationship. The episode, aptly titled “Inside Saudi Arabia: Butchery, Slavery & History of Revolt,” displays the brutality of the monarchy in excruciating detail.
“If the Saudi kingdom were an enemy of the U.S. government, we’d be shown these images and facts every day on the mainstream media,” Martin observes.
We should have stopped the Saudis being allowed to spread their hatred here a long time ago. But a combination of greed for oil and fear of false charges of “Islamophobia” have stopped any British government as well as the U.S power to date from confronting this.