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THREAT OF AMERICAN WAHHABIS
Muqtedar Khan, PH.D.
Article was featured in San Francisco
Examiner (Nov 11, 2002),
tragedy of September 11 has now become an opportunity for political
entrepreneurship. More and more people are using it to advance sectarian
interests that are often at odds with America’s national interests. One
group, more than anyone – American
Wahhabis – is using September 11 to push its own fundamentalist
politics with a vengeance.
word Wahhabi essentially identifies a rather narrow and bigoted
interpretation of Islam. The Wahhabis are (1) oppose civil rights and
justice for women and other minorities (2) are anti-secular and in favor
of imposing religious law on others by force (3) and extremely intolerant
of “others” who do not share their specific religious beliefs.
Wahhabis, because of their intolerant outlook and allergy to liberal
values and institutions, constantly indulge in a theology of hate.
there is a similar group of bigoted religious fundamentalists in America
who are undermining the secular character of America, subverting the
peaceful message of Christianity and polluting the socio-cultural
environment of America. These
American Wahhabis like their
Muslim counterparts are intolerant of homosexuality, feminism, civil
rights (ACLU), do not believe in the separation of Church and State and
hate people of other faiths. Rev. Jerry Falwell, Rev. Pat Robertson and
Rev. Franklin Graham are three of the most prominent, powerful and vocal
representatives of American Wahhabis.
may recall that in the immediate aftermath of September 11, Reverend Jerry
abortionists, homosexuals, and the ACLU for angering God and indirectly
causing the attacks of September 11. He later apologized for his
statements when there was uproar from all sides of the political spectrum,
including the President who called Farwell’s comments as
“inappropriate”. His statement was a shameless and insensitive example
of political opportunism that sought not only to politicize the tragedy of
September 11 but also to incite hatred towards the groups that Rev.
Falwell and his associates habitually target. If he was not strongly
rebuked by nearly everyone who mattered, his crusade against ACLU, gays
and feminists would have fed on the emotions related to September 11 and
gained significant momentum.
the past few weeks American Wahhabis have unleashed a verbal assault on
Islam and its religious symbols unmindful of the hate it is inciting
against Muslim in America and the anti-American sentiments it is
generating in the Muslim World. Rev. Falwell and Rev. Pat Robertson have
called The Prophet of Islam a terrorist and argued that Islam and its
teachings itself are the sources of violence. Rev. Franklin Graham has
announced that Islam and its teaching are evil and wicked. Between them
they have maintained a continuous discourse of hate against Islam and
Muslims for the past few months. The refusal of American leadership,
especially the President to rebuke them, has emboldened them to ratchet up
the decibel levels of their theology of hate.
comments have caused anger among Muslims worldwide, including religious
riots in India that have led to five deaths. Many Pakistanis have reacted
angrily and expressed their dismay by voting strongly in favor of a pro-Taliban
and anti-American alliance in the recent elections in Pakistan.
problem with the American Wahhabis is not just their ideas and their hate
mongering but the fact that they have a reasonably large following –
sufficient to influence the electoral outcomes in American elections. By
virtue of their votes and their fund raising capacity they exercise more
power directly on American Congress and the President than the Mullahs of
Saudi Arabia can over the decisions of their King.
Furthermore the close relationship between the President himself
and Rev. Franklin Graham and other members of his administration, such as
Attorney General Ashcroft, is extremely disturbing. It is not a
coincidence that the first group to financially benefit from George
Bush’s impulse to finance faith based programs was that of Rev. Pat
Robertson. Is it possible that the very purpose of the Federal initiative
to support faith based programs is to allow the American Wahhabis to
intertwine its operations with those of the Federal government?
Bin Laden attacked America hoping to incite a massive retaliation against
Muslim nations to actualize the false prophesy of a clash of
civilizations. He was hoping that by inciting a brutal response from the
US, he would succeed not only in uniting the 1.4 billion global Muslim
community, but also winning them over to Wahhabism and its anti-western,
seems that the American axis of hate – Revs. Falwell, Robertson and
Graham – by repeatedly making hateful and abusive comments about Islam
and Prophet Muhammad are determined to precipitate an Armageddon between
America and the Muslim World.
Yigal Amir shocked the Western World by assassinating Israeli Prime
Minister Rabin, American media and American leaders repeatedly emphasized
that violence was the natural cause of hateful statements. They were all
referring to the environment of intolerance that had been created in
Israel by Jewish religious zealots who are opposed to peace. Their hateful
comments eventually incited Yigal Amir to assassinate Rabin. We seem to
have quickly forgotten that painful lesson and the memory of Rabin.
is only a matter of time when the repeated anti-Muslim and anti-Islam
statements by the preachers of hate in America will result in some form of
egregious violence against Muslims. Already there have been two instances
where the police (California and Florida) arrested heavily armed would be
terrorists planning bombing campaigns against Muslims. It seems that the
American leadership, specially the President is waiting for something
horrible to happen before he can reprimand Revs. Falwell, Robertson and
Graham for their “inappropriate comments”.
live in very sensitive times. People’s insecurities are extremely
heightened and their capacity to suffer pain, bigotry and injustice is
being severely tested. We are facing the possibility of a global war
between America and the Muslim World. And the primary cause for such a
war, God-forbid, would not be oil, geopolitics or regime changes, but the
intolerable and vicious hate speech unleashed by religious bigots who
confuse self righteousness for righteousness and demonization for