The King is dead. Long live the King. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia passed away 23 January 2015.
Abdullah is being praised as a shrewd reformer by the New York Times. He was a “moderate.” A person we could work with. We were far and away his largest petroleum customer. We would only hope that he’d work with us! (Unless, of course, you press the “Like” button on a Facebook page for Arab Christians.)*
His country expresses that moderation by being the last nation in the world that still publically beheads people after due process of law.
Saudi Arabia continues to exist because of an ongoing alliance with The Wahhabi Sect of Sunni Islam. In recent decades, an off-shoot movement of The Wahhabi has been instrumental in the founding of organizations such as Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda. Many people who have studied the data gathered after the attacks of 9-11 felt it was no accidental coincidence that both Osama Bin Ladin and a large majority of the hijackers were originally from Saudi Arabia.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has incorporated Wahhabi teachings into official ISIS propaganda that is distributed in all places the group takes over.
For their guiding principles, the leaders of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, are open and clear about their almost exclusive commitment to the Wahhabi movement of Sunni Islam. The group circulates images of Wahhabi religious textbooks from Saudi Arabia in the schools it controls. Videos from the group’s territory have shown Wahhabi texts plastered on the sides of an official missionary van.
Finally this new off-shoot of the traditional Saudi Wahhabi Sect became an embarrassment to both the clerics and the Saudi regime. The Saudis were accused of remaining silent while ISIS butchered people. The Saudi Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, decided to stop at least the diplomatic bleeding.
“the ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism do not belong to Islam in any way, but are the first enemy of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims, as seen in the crimes of the so-called Islamic State and Al Qaeda.”
In the end, King Abdullah leaves a troubled land beset from without by hegemonic Shiite enemies in Iran and from within by his own radicalized Wahhabi. He has found peace after 90 years of life. His land may well know none in the discernible future. The philosophy that his predecessors knowingly allied with has morphed into a monster that spreads violence, death and destruction in every land that it visits like a viral pathogen. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is dead. Long live the king.
*-Strangely, the Saudis described his crime as “spreading liberal thoughts.” They clearly haven’t asked many American liberals what they truly think about Christians.