Saudi Arabia Changes Course

Not gonna get overly heavy today, it is after all both the day after Thanksgiving and Friday. Personally, I spent too much time watching the equivalent of kitten videos far too late last night. But there is this, and it is important, and not much remarked. From Bookworm at Weasel Watchers.

Although I haven’t written about Saudi Arabia, I have been paying a great deal of attention to what’s going on in that kingdom. If Prince Mohammed bin Salman can avoid assassination (and I devoutly hope he can), he is a true reformer. He is trying to upgrade women’s status, he is purging the most corrupt members of the royal family and, most importantly, he is behind the outreach to Israel. There have been rumors that a member of the House of Saud made a secret trip to Israel and, assuming that rumor is true, Prince Salman is the best bet.

More recently, the hard-line Saudi Grand Mufti preached a very surprising sermon the other day. Melanie Phillips caught this story:

According to the Turkish Anadolu news agency, reported here, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz al Sheikh, has issued a quite remarkable religious ruling. Answering a question on TV about the Palestinian Arab riots over Temple Mount last July, he didn’t merely denounce Hamas as a “terror organisation”.

Much more significantly he actually issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, forbidding war against the Jews; and he said that fighting against Israel was inappropriate.

How can this be anything other than highly significant?

After discussing the Grand Mufti’s conservative stands and enmity towards Israel, Phillips believes something important is happening:

Nevertheless, he is the most senior cleric in the state which has served as the epicentre of Sunni Islamic fanaticism and the most austere and conservative interpretation of a religion which has Jew-hatred at its theological core. If such a man is now saying that war against the Jewish state is not holy at all but must be forbidden on religious grounds, will this not have some impact within the Islamic religious world for which holy war against the Jews is an article of faith?

A friend of Book’s add this…

I will say this for the Sauds. They are an incredibly corrupt clan, but they also enjoy their petro-billions and have no desire to so rock the boat that they have ever willingly joined in the Middle East wars of their era except on the most tangential level. True, it is their Wahhabi religion that has created the world wide mess that is radicalized Islam, but the Sauds funded and fanned that toxin to keep Wahhabism pointed at outward expansion, not at inner Saud corruption. If the Saud clan were not frightened of the Wahhabi scorpions in their midst, one gets the feeling they would all, each and every one of them, much rather be on the Riviera drinking Scotch and banging European hookers.

That’s the thing about the Sauds. They may be (and are) corrupt, very corrupt, in fact. But they are also dependable, all one needs to do is figure out what is best for the House of Saud. That’s why they embraced Wahabbism long ago, and why it is logical for them to embrace Israel, Eqypt, and yes, the United States, now. In a backhanded way, like we used to say of Chicago, they are honestly corrupt. And that is something we can work with, Iran, not so much.

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15 Responses to Saudi Arabia Changes Course

  1. Nicholas says:

    The days of Saudi Arabia are nevertheless numbered. This reforming spree comes too little too late. They have no power to stand against both Turkey and Iran. Turkey is no ally of the USA and, although historically it has been a rival to Iran, they both recognise nowadays that it is in their interest to maintain civility. Furthermore, although Turkey has made various diplomatic overtures and provided political and financial support to Wahhabists/Salafists in the past, Turkey’s Islamic tradition is primarily Sufi, much more closely aligned with groups like the Shi’as, Druze, and Alawites than the Wahabbis. Egypt is a frail reed now as it was in the days of Judah’s foolish stand against Nebuchadnezzar, and Europe is in too much disarray to provide support. I would expect serious war in the Middle East, with devastating consequences for the world as well as the region, to be necessary before the West snaps out of its stupor and gets properly involved. The ships of Chittim will eventually come, but not before a flood enters Egypt and civil war breaks out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      They are increasingly limited, and in truth, why this is good news, not so much their power (or Egypt’s) but the fact that they are making Israel acceptable company. Israel is the power in the neighborhood, with the US behind it. That is why Saudi is reforming, they need the IDF and badly, and are finally willing to pay the price. Turkey is useless, Europe has sold out for now). It will come down to US Russia, but we can’t fight each other without ending the world. Iran (and NORK) are going to end up with their governments destroyed, but if they are half smart, not their people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nicholas says:

        I think there will be a temporary situation where Saudi Arabia is drawn into a kind of Sunni alliance (an EU copy that avoids calling itself a caliphate), but will eventually be sacrificed. As far as I am concerned, it is the final incarnation of Babylon mentioned in Revelation 17 and 18. I will probably forfeit my right to be called a Christian in saying so, but I believe justice and the saints cry out for her chastisement. May the honourable flee her before her destruction arrives. It will be final.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    It caught my eye when I read last night in the Daily Mail that the prince wanted to institute, or maybe bring back, moderate Islam. I wondered if that would be taken as a good sign by infidels?
    Is a moderate Muslim to Islam sorta like a backsliden Southern Baptist is to Baptist? Probably being Southern Baptist is considered to be backsliden by Baptists anyways. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting, but whenever it comes… the Middle East, and certainly centred around Modern and National Israel, the end of the age will come & arrive, and in the Person of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Israeli Messsiah, and Lord of all the Redeemed! Zech. 12 ; 13 and 14 ; Rev. 1: 7; chap. 19. Btw see too Isaiah chapters 65 and 66!

    May the Almighty God watch and keep Prince Mohammed bin Salman! All of our time and life’s are in God’s sovereignty & providence! To God be the Glory!

    Like

  4. the unit says:

    Friday night humor. Unusual I know, but is on a topic you and I discussed maybe couple of years ago (and not being “overly heavy today”). 🙂
    Remember when I asked “Why doesn’t a fly lifting off the headrest of a car going say 60 miles an hour not smash into the rear window? You explained it to me. This link verifies your reply (it self starts and sorry, you can’t skip ad here).
    https://weather.com/series/extreme/video/incredible-dive-on-cruise-ship
    Ok, answer me this. If a package on the rear deck (called parcel shelf in old cars in olden times like i.e. my youth) flies forward if car brakes, will the girl hit the pool deck if the ship suddenly slows and stops from running aground? 🙂
    I ain’t “overly heavy today”, I’m your brother, or some such similar song…fa-la-la. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      🙂

      Yep, I think she would, the ship’s movement is part of her trajectory, and if the ship stopped it would change the equation. Mind, a ship stopping that suddenly is going to have a bunch of troubles beyond a girl in swimsuit spattered on the pool deck.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. theinfiniterally says:

    Sounds like good news to me. I suppose God only knows, but it is good to hear something good. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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