Σάββατο, 27 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

GULF ARAB STATES AND THE JIHADIST WARS OF NO POLITICAL CONSEQUENCE

gulfstates15Andrew Hammond
(European Council on Foreign Relations, Middle East policy fellow Author, The Islamic Utopia: The Illusion of Reform in Saudi Arabia)
Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication Date: 23 December 2014
The Syrian civil war has been the third major jihad of modern times for Gulf Arab states. The first, Afghanistan, was a new experience, the inaugural transnational jihad of the modern era in which Saudi Arabia and the United States jumped into the fray against the Soviet invasion. Each with different motivations, they poured some $20 billion in the fight and Saudi interior ministry may have facilitated travel for anything between 35,000 and 40,000 young men to join in. Sensing Russian weakness, Washington wanted to take the fight to the Soviets, while Al Saud were willing to provide the manpower because of a new turn that Saudi Arabia took in the 1980s: scared by the 1979 Wahhabi revolt at the Grand Mosque in Mecca the regime moved to boost its Islamic credentials. The class of ulama (religious scholars) were given wider powers over society, the kingdom embarked on a programme of global proselytization (printing Qurans and funding mosques), and Saudis were publicly encouraged to join the Afghan jihad. The Mujahideen were public heroes... Read more

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