Force and Fanaticism — Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and Beyond

Force and Fanaticism — Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and Beyond, by Raymond Ibrahim.

Valentine, a British Methodist pastor and teacher who taught in Saudi Arabia, has written a useful book about the desert kingdom. Most interesting is its exploration of how the monarchy is “the single greatest force in spreading Islamic fundamentalism”; it “has spent as much as $100 billion to spread Wahhabism in the West,” yet “America and Britain have been, and are continuing to be, implicit supporters of Wahhabism.”

Valentine discusses the background of how this “unholy alliance” came about. He warns: “If the West simply ignores it, Saudi Arabia’s role in international terrorism seems likely to worsen rather than conveniently disappear.” This is troubling considering that “ISIS is Saudi Arabia’s latest monstrous contribution to world history.” …

The book’s primary defect is standard.  Valentine regularly insists that “it is of the greatest importance to distinguish between Wahhabism and Islam generally.”   Anything good, positive, tolerant and peaceful is ascribed to Islam; anything bad, negative, intolerant, and violent—misogyny, draconian punishments, execution of apostates, intolerance for and discrimination against non-Muslims—is ascribed to “Wahhabism.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil