Terrorist attacks have been conducted by the Wahhabis, a toxic sect of Islam
Stabroek News
November 14, 2001

Dear Editor,

As the world tries to relieve itself from terrorism, along with the need for the comprehensive re-examination of the insensitive US foreign policy there must be an awakening to the long ignored virulence of religious rabidness that has permeated the Arab and Muslim world.

Consider the nationalities of the suicide hijackers of September 11th; almost all are from Saudi Arabia, Egypt or that quasi- Saudi gulf state, the United Arab Emirates. This is not a coincidence. These countries have been the fertile ground on which radical Islamic terrorism has grown. Saudi Arabia's connection to these terrorists is particularly illuminating. Embracing Wahhabism, a toxic, xenophobic version of Islam, the Saudi regime has tried to bolster its faltering legitimacy, deflecting questions about its management of the country, its alliance with America and its own corruption by supporting and spreading in the past two decades this uncompromising religious fetish. The Wahhabi Islamic cult consequently finances the institutionalization of its acidic ideology in the vulnerable Arab and Muslim world, polluting it with its bellicose and fiery interpretation of Islam, one that views the outside world and modernity with hostility and contempt.

If one examines the public school curriculum in Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries under Wahhabi influence, it is seen vividly that the educational system has been tailored in such a way as to foster unconditional hate for Jews, Christians and the Hindus and to stimulate obsession for the " Islamization" of the planet. The infamous Pakistani Madrasa Islamic hate schools are the results of this poisonous expansionism. The policy has boomeranged. In an article published in the Spectator of London, Stephen Schwartz points out that every major terrorist attack on the West in recent years has been conducted by people who have embraced Wahhabism. Bin Laden is a Wahhabi, so are his Egyptian allies who exulted as they stabbed foreign tourists to death at Luxor, and so are the Taliban guerrillas in Kabul. It is clear that Saudi Arabia now exports two products around the world -oil and religious fanaticism.

The world should be made to understand that the irrational and nihilistic philosophy of the Wahhabi movement thwarts sanity and foments bitterness and maliciousness that ultimately seeks catharsis in callous and diabolical murder, destruction and chaos. Wahhabism through its apprehension of religion through exclusivist and fundamentalist lenses espouses an insatiable thirst for conquest and domination much like the Hitlerite hunger for Lebensraum.

We are bombarded with the plight of the Palestinians, but if one looks profoundly at the vocabulary of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda associates, there is the regurgitation of the words "infidels and unbelievers" with almost predictable regularity. This is indicative of the reality that indignation is aroused not only by perceived isolating US foreign policy but also by a perceived threatening and advancing civilization. This also exposes the furtive reality that US foreign policy is not only a perceived reason for the holocaust of Sept 11 but it is also an excuse for the articulation of the angst and trepidation billowing regarding the ability of Islam to further conquer and dominate. Such is the insidious callousness of the Wahhabi influence.

The ideological tenet that the Wahhabi movement is grounded upon is not only inimical to the world but it is also self-consuming. The world has come to the realization that the philosophical principles of democracy will have to supplant the anachronism of totalitarian monarchical rulership if the progression of thought is to be continued. There is now the global realization that backwardness, stagnation and political turpitude are the antithesis of democracy. These pseudo religious fetishes have successfully stifled and stultified the Arab and Muslim world. With the exception of Turkey, no country within the Arab and Muslim world has truly accepted democracy, much less the deep philosophical implications of democracy. Gamel Abdel Nasser between the 1950s and 1976 began to insinuate a liberal path for Egypt and the Arab world. This was vigorously, often violently protested by "The Muslim Brotherhood", an organization the Wahhabis honor as Islamic heroes. In 1954, Nasser imprisoned several of its leaders. One of those jailed, Sayyid Qutub, a frail man with a fiery pen, wrote a book in prison called "signposts on the Road". In his book Qutub condemned Nasser as an impious Muslim and his regime as Un-Islamic. Indeed, he went on, almost every Arab country that contemplated liberalism was similarly flawed. This misguided and intellectually distorted book is treated with equal reverence with the Koran within the twisted Wahhabi cult.

This hate-saturated idiocy holds the Iranian revolution of 1979, where the Shah of Iran, the Middle Eastern ruler who sought to incorporate some amount of liberalism and modernity into his country reaped a most violent reaction as a moment for collective euphoria by all Muslims. For too long this fetid cult of Wahhabism has been allowed to nurture terrorist mentalities and anti humanitarian sentiment within the Islamic World. This is the time when the United Nations Security Council has to pass a resolution against this sort of dogma that hides behind the veneer of religion as it continues to undermine the fragility of world peace.

The Bush led coalition and entire civilized and non-fanatical world can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to this phenomenon of terror. There is no point in striking the branches on the tree of hatred while the root is allow to expand in terrifying continuity.

Yours faithfully,

Amar Panday