You say Salafi, I say Wahhabi…

Its been a long hard winter. I realised that unless you take a winter break, this place is bleak. A Red Sox title only warms you up so far. Some interesting things are taking place in the Middle East which have me reading the papers more carefully. I am not convinced that the assasination of Hariri was planned by Assad. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Syrians are knee deep in mire on this one. I think this was a Syrian security operation designed to put pressure on Assad. This is a Syrian internal conflict being played out in Lebanon. Consider this, the Syrian secret police and army now has to move back to Syria after years of squeezing Lebanon and controlling the drug trade through the Bakaa Valley. The generals are rich and greedy. They now have a smaller pie to carve up and are competing with entrenched interests in Damascus for the same spoils. The pressure is mounting in the Levant.

Christopher Hitchens, usually a good writer, but over the past two years has shown questionable judgement writes in Slate from the annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum, sponsored by the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution and the Foreign Ministry of Qatar. The Forum, sounded interesting and I hope that they publish the papers. "The Doha Forum seeks to serve as both a convening body and a catalyst for positive action. Therefore, its focus is not on dialogue for dialogue’s sake, but on developing actionable programs for government, civil society, and the private sector."

Also in Slate, Robert Wright reviews Thomas Friedman’s new book The World Is Flat. Wright offers a positive view of globalisation, one that I share. Consumerism is the final stage of human development. Welcome to the world of strip malls and retail plazas. For instance, Dubai is living the the American dream – cheap gas, big cars, artificial environments, and plastic consumer goods made in China. The UAE has arrived where everyone else is trying so hard to get to. Consumerism is not a bad thing, if people have a stake in political stability for the sake of economic prosperity, the Rule of Law will take hold. And from an American point of view, how can we drop bombs on people in Nike shoes and Gap jeans? Viva Dubai! Read Friedmans article in the NYTimes from April 13 entitled The Calm Before the Storm?

Haneef James Oliver tries hard to dispel the common held belief that Wahhabis are not nice people and that they are simply misunderstood. Warning. Do not approach the Salafis! Its actually too bad, because all of my anti-Saudi ramblings are now for nothing. Perhaps there are some Hanafis out there who want to pick a fight?

For more laughs check out this Pakistani travel agencies website FAQ on Islam. It really is true, Muslims respect women. From the FAQ: "The hijab is designed to prevent women from being molested.  It brings peace to society and prevents mischief." Molested by whom? Good Muslim brothers? No way. Here is good piece and a Saudi take on the treatment of women in the Arab News. Interesting website on Internet filtering in Saudi by the OpenNet Initiative.

One thought on “You say Salafi, I say Wahhabi…

  1. Hi,
    I respect your views but do wish to say that the web site article is not there for laughs It is indeed true that in many societies Hijab has prevented many crimes.
    Althogh having free society there are far less street crimes against women in Pakistan than in any neighbourhood of modern society.
    I remember seeing a documentry on BBC many many years ago called “Do man hate women” the film director has given an example that if one question (What will you do if in one hour you will be raped) is asked from a man & woman the reaction is quite different the man makes fun of the question and women will be worried or even horrified Why because woman is insecure and vulnerable to all the odds of the society.
    In Hijab she can do her normal job and yet keep the eyes od man off her.
    Those are my views I am the owner and CEO writer of that web site however that article is the abstract of an speech of Dr. Zaki Naik

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