Saturday, September 05, 2009

Planting the Seeds of Your Own Destruction

A&E's Biography: "The Saudi Royal Family" presents an often overlooked (at least by those who don't know enough to look) ideological linkage between the Saudi Royal Family and Islamic terrorism.

The episode presents the story of Ibn Saud, the founder of the Saudi Arabian state, and the man credited by some as the ultimate founder of Wahhabi Islam, the denomination of Islam that Muslim militants most often subscribe to.

If one accepts this to be true -- the matter is not nearly so simple in reality, but if one does -- then it stands to reason that Ibn Saud may have planted the seeds of his dynasty's own destruction.

Social theorizing on terrorism generally shares the conclusion that terrorism is rarely meant on its direct victims.

According to the crimonological perspective on terrorism, terrorism is a form of coercive social control, wherein those with little social, economic or social influence seek to enforce their values on their society.

In the case of Muslim terrorism, and particularly Osama bin Laden, many speculate that the true target of that terrorism is not actually the western world, but rather the Saudi Royal Family. The idea, clearly, is that if muslim terrorists can inflict great harm on the Royal Family's most powerful allies -- as they did on 9/11, that the House of Saud would fear what terrorists could do to them.

The years of opulant and leisurely lifestyle led by the House of Saud and their political alliances with western countries -- as well as the presence of foreign troops on Saudi soil, particularly too close to holy sites -- has led Wahhabi Muslims to see the House of Saud, from which their religious ideology is believed by some to have originated, as an enemy of their religion.

One can only wonder if, had he known what the future would hold, Ibn Saud would have done anything differently.


  1. Nice bit of extrapolation. That lesson (what if I knew that my actions would lead to my destruction?) would serve current leaders well as they repeat the errors of their predecessors.

  2. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    I would say that the more pertinent lesson is to be very careful when one mixes religion with politics, as it can have very unpredictable and unpleasant results.


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