Saudi clerics and Shī’a Islam


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The money was used to established Islamic colleges, Islamic centers, mosques, and schools for Muslim children in Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries. The Saudi Arabian government funds a number of international organizations to spread fundamentalist Islam, including the Muslim World League , the World Assembly of Muslim Youth , the International Islamic Relief Organization , and various royal charities.


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In the words of journalist Scott Shane , "when Saudi imams arrived in Muslim countries in Asia or Africa, or in Muslim communities in Europe or the Americas, wearing traditional Arabian robes, speaking the language of the Quran — and carrying a generous checkbook — they had automatic credibility. In addition to the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, other strict and conservative interpretations of Sunni Islam directly or indirectly assisted by funds from Saudi Arabia and Arab states of the Persian Gulf include those of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami Islamist organizations.

Later the two movements are said to have been "fused", [5] or formed a "hybrid", particularly as a result of the Afghan jihad of the s against the Soviet Union , [6] and resulted in the training and equipping of thousands of Muslims to fight against Soviets and their Afghan allies in Afghanistan in the s. Revivalist groups also disagreed among themselves -- Salafi Jihadi groups differing with the less extreme Muslim Brotherhood, for example. The funding has been criticized for promoting an intolerant, fanatical form of Islam that allegedly helped to breed terrorism.

And that conservative Sunni groups such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan are attacking and killing not only non-Muslims but fellow Muslims they consider to be apostates , such as Shia and Sufis. Altogether people were killed in the attacks. This is the Salafist missionary apparatus.

A proposal to construct a large mosque in Helsinki to "unite all Finnish Muslims", has met with resistance from among others the incoming mayor of the capital Jan Vapaavuori. This was because it is being funded by Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and may introduce "Sunni-Shia hate politics into Finland", as both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are Sunni ruled and have cracked down on Shia protestors.

The German government has expressed concern that religious organizations from the Middle East may be supporting German Salafists through the construction of mosques, training facilities, and the utilization of radical preachers. Angela Merkel has raised this matter directly with the Saudis. According to a report by Anthony Glees, [Note 2] extremist ideas being spread allow with donations from Saudi and Arab Muslim sources to British universities.

A article in Arab News reported. Over the past decade, Saudi Arabia has been the largest source of donations from Islamic states and royal families to British universities, much of which is devoted to the study of Islam, the Middle East and Arabic literature. A large share of this money went toward establishing Islamic study centers. Oxford has been the largest British beneficiary of Saudi support. There are many other donors. In June , following the London Bridge terror attack , opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn stated that the "difficult conversations" Prime Minister Theresa May called for should start with "Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that have funded and fuelled extremist ideology".

A July report by the Henry Jackson Society , commissioned by the government of the UK, stated that Middle Eastern nations are providing financial support to mosques and Islamic educational institutions, which have been linked to the spread of extremist material with "an illiberal, bigoted Wahhabi ideology". Historically parts of the Balkans were introduced to Islam while under the domination of the Ottoman Empire and have majority or large minority Muslim populations.

The fall of Communism and breakup of Yugoslavia , provided an opportunity for international Islamic charities to Islamization or re-Islamization people who had been living under an irreligious Communist government. Islamic charities—often with the backing of oil-rich Gulf kingdoms—built mosques and madrassas in Albania [32] and other Balkan countries. In Bosnia , Wahhabism is being established particularly in the remote villages. A Muslim majority country, Albania had been under anti-clerical communist control for 45 years when the Eastern bloc fell in The pro-Islamic Democratic Party was elected to power in , and the government of Sali Berisha "turned to Saudi Arabia for financial support," and for assistance in "re-Islamizing" the country.

According to Olivier Roy and Antoine Sfeir, the "organized project undertaken by preachers and Islamic NGOs" was to "expunge indigenous Albanian ideas about Islam, before replacing it with a version of the faith more in conformity with the Wahhabi model. Islam in its most radical form was taught as the only true faith, while tolerance was seen as an indication of weakness.

Hatred of the West was raised to the status of a creed. Unbeknownst to Albanians, in addition to helping with relief and spreading correct Islam, IIRO was charged with the task of helping other members of Islamic Jihad find jobs within "charitable organizations building mosques, orphanages and clinics. This was later exposed during an investigation carried out by the American and Albanian secret services, [36] [37] In June three Egyptian Islamist accused of terrorist activities were arrested in Albania, with further arrests in September after the United States embassy bombings.

How successful the proselytizing has been is unclear. A report by the CIA stated that "all of the major and most of the minor Islamic charities are significant players in the former Yugoslavia", particularly in aiding Bosnian Muslims, delivering food, clothing, and medicine; supporting orphanages, schools, hospitals, agricultural, and refugee camps; and constructing housing, infrastructure. However, a "growing body of reporting indicates that some of these charities are being used to aid Islamic extremist groups that engage in terrorism.

Aid to the local Bosnian Islamist party the SDA gave it leverage to undermined competing local secular and more traditional Muslim groups. It passed resolutions declaring "without ambiguity that the aim of the Bosnian conflict was the extermination of Bosnia's Muslims.

کتابخانه مرکزی دانشگاه صنعتی شریف - Saudi clerics and Shia Islam, Ismail, Raihan.

In addition they engaged in. Rather than spreading strict Islamic practice, these activities were so unpopular with the Bosnian public and media they were condemned by the SDA. All those guys that actually performed some kind of terrorist activity in Bosnia-Herzegovina were part of that mosque". Wahhabi aid organizations also physically influenced Bosnian religious culture following the war. Saudis have helped restore some of the hundreds of mosques and monuments Serb nationalist forces destroyed during the war.

While this assistance was badly needed, it involved removing the Islamic calligraphy that adorned many Balkan Muslim tombstones, which Wahhabis considered idolatrous and unIslamic. Critics complain that the graveyards were "often all that was left" of the local Bosnian heritage, and Wahhabis took advantage of Bosnian's desperation. One country where Saudi Arabia has been particularly successful in spreading strict and conservative Wahhabism where once tolerant local Islam held sway is Kosovo.

Saudi-sponsored charities sponsored education, classes not only in religion but English and computers, often paying salaries and overhead costs. Families were given monthly stipends. All this was appreciated in the "poor and war ravaged" country but local Kosovar imams complained that stipends were given "on the condition that they attended sermons in the mosque and that women and girls wore the veil". Conservatives came to dominate the Islamic Community of Kosovo, the national Islamic organization.

Part of the Wahhabi influence can be found in more strict practices, such as the refusal by some women to shake hands with or talk to male relatives.

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But threats — or acts — of violence against academics, journalists and politicians have also occurred. One imam in the city of Gjilan , Enver Rexhepi, was "abducted and savagely beaten by masked men" in after clashing with a Saudi trained student Zekirja Qazimi over whether to continue the long-standing practice of displaying the Albanian flag in his Rexhepi's mosque. Qazimi believed the depiction of the dragon on the flag idolatrous.

Kosovar police have identified people who have left Kosovo to join the Islamic State , "including two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children". After two Muslims from Kosovo killed themselves in suicide bombings in Iraq and Turkey, Kosovo intelligence began an investigation of "sources of radicalism. Saudi aid has also affected the architecture of Islam in Kosovo, leading to the dismantling of centuries-old Ottoman mosques whose ornamentation was offensive to Wahhabism, including the Hadim Suleiman Aga mosque and Library in Djakovica, Kosovo.

Although the majority Catholic country has an Islamic population of roughly only 0. A Saudi donor Shaykh Abdullatif al Fozan ranked 51 in on the Forbes' list of richest Arabs [54] sponsored 4,, euro [55] the construction of the "Center of a Muslim Culture" in Warsaw.


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  • The building is fully equipped; has a store, a restaurant, library, prayer hall and even a gym. Originally, it was meant to be built as a "Centre of Arabic Studies" adjacent to the University of Warsaw , but the University's staff refused the offer due to the Saudi funding and the Wahhabi message it would propagate. Saudi leaders have endeavoured to influence, trade, resources in Sudan , Kenya and Ethiopia which has also resulted in a regional rivalry between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shia Muslim Iran.

    The Saudi ‘Ulamā’

    The spread of Wahhabism, is a, "key concern of the west, and of many local players as well". Sudan , a poor country with a majority Muslim Arab population whose coastline lies just across the Red Sea from the Hijaz province of Saudi Arabia, has had close relations with the kingdom since the Arab Oil Embargo.

    However, the dominant interpretation of Islam in Sudan was very different from that of Saudis or Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi funding, investment, and labor migration from Sudan has all worked over time to change that. Saudi provided funding for the Muslim Brotherhood [60] whose local leader, Hassan al-Turabi , enjoyed "close relations" with "some of the more conservative members of the Saudi royal family". Both provided rewards for whose affiliated with Hassan al-Turabi's Islamist National Islamic Front —employment and wealth as a reward for young militant college graduates and low interest loans for investors and businessmen unable to find loans elsewhere.

    In Saudis persuaded then-President Gaafar Nimeiry to institute sharia law [60] including interest-free Islamic banking. The traditional Sudanese banking system was abolished and afterwards. Over time, this has concentrated economic power in the old families from the "Three Tribes" who were loyal to the new regime" [64].

    The influx of Sudanese labor migrants to Saudi as truck drivers, electricians, factory workers and sales clerks, was also significant.


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    Returning migrants "boldly" critiqued the Islamic authenticity of local practices such as "mourning rituals, wedding customs and reverence for holy men in particular. Traditional wedding rituals with singing and mixing of genders were called into question.

    Saudi Clerics and Shī‘a Islam by Raihan Ismail

    Al-Turabi became the "power behind the throne" of the al-Bashir government from International organizations alleged war crimes, ethnic cleansing, a revival of slavery, torture of opponents, an unprecedented number of refugees fleeing country, [70] and Turabi and allies were expelled from power in The jihad in the south ended unsuccessfully with the south seceding from Sudan forming South Sudan taking with it nearly all of Sudan's oil fields. Muslim Brethren who became wealthy in Saudi Arabia became key contributors to Egypt's Islamist movements.

    Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy , who later became the grand mufti of Egypt, spent four years at the Islamic University. Saudi funding to Egypt's al-Azhar center of Islamic learning, has been credited with causing that institution to adopt a more religiously conservative approach. Diminishing indigenous Islam was the dismantling of Sufi mystical brotherhoods and the confiscation and redistribution of their land in retaliation for their lack of support for the FLN during the fight against the French.

    To do this Egyptians were recruited by the Algerian state to Arabize and de-Frenchify the school system. Like Saudi Arabia, Algeria saw an influx of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members hired to teach Arabic and eager to escape government suppression.

    While the leftist FLN Algerian government was totally uninterested in Islam as a foundation for conducting worldly affairs as opposed to building a national identity , the Muslim Brotherhood teachers very much were, and many of the generation of "strictly Arabphone teachers" trained by the Brothers adopted the beliefs of their teachers and went on to form the basis of an "Islamist intelligentsia". In addition, in the s, as interest in Islam grew and devotion to the ruling National Liberation Front FLN party and secular socialism waned in Algeria, the government imported two renowned Islamic scholars, Mohammed al-Ghazali and Yusuf al-Qaradawi , to "strengthen the religious dimension" of the "nationalist ideology" of the FLN.

    This was less than successful as the clerics supported "Islamic awakening", were " fellow travelers " of the Muslim Brotherhood , supporters of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies, and had little interest in serving the secularist FLN government. Also in the s, several hundred youth left Algeria for the camps of Peshawar to fight jihad in Afghanistan.

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    As the FLN government was a close ally of the jihadists' enemy, the Soviet Union , these fighters tended to consider the fight against the Soviets a "prelude" to jihad in Algeria. When the FLN followed the example of post-Communist Eastern European government and held elections in , the main beneficiary was the massively popular Islamic Salvation Front FIS political party which sought to establish sharia law in Algeria.

    This did not prevent him from coming out in support of Sadam Hussein —along with most other Islamists—when Saddam invaded Kuwait , despite the adamant fear of and opposition to Saddam Hussein by the Gulf oil states. After the FLN saw how unpopular it was and canceled the elections, a bloody civil war broke out. The Algerian Civil War ended badly with an estimated , Algerians, many of them civilians, killed.

    In return the government has shown tolerance towards the Salafis. Their putative quietism notwithstanding they have protested a government plan to make women remove their headscarves for passport photographs, pressuring shopkeepers to stop selling tobacco and alcohol. The Izala Society —a Wahhabi missionary group established —has become one of the largest Islamic societies in Nigeria, Chad , Niger , and Cameroon.

    As Islam and Central Asian peoples had been repressed by the Soviets—often brutally [93] —many were "deeply affected by the dedication" of their putative enemies. In the late s, as the same time the Soviets were starting to withdraw from Afghanistan there was "an explosion of interest" in Islam in Central Asia.

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