Writer, activist, J.D. candidate at Yale Law School.
The first thing you need to know about Saudi Arabia is that it is not a country but a financial and religious empire with a million poisonous tentacles stretching across both the West and the Muslim world. Its wealth is built upon the dirty oil under its sands, its legitimacy crafted upon an even dirtier political deal with a totalitarian religious cult known as Wahhabism.
The Saudi Royal Family treats the country as its private property. When the House of Saud conquered the territory known as Arabia, they named the country after themselves, hence the Saudi before the Arabia. It is more of a corporation than anything else, except The Family controls Islam’s holiest cities and profits handsomely off them.
Saudi Arabia should have made more news last week than it did. For starters, it was the anniversary of 9/11, and Saudi Arabia played at least an indirect role in Al Qaeda’s attacks on Washington and New York. More on that in a minute. But a Saudi billionaire also donated $10 million to Yale University and Yale Law School to establish a Center of Islamic Law and Civilization. The official announcement marked this as a great triumph. The establishment of such a center would have indeed been a victory worth celebrating had the money not originated from such a dubious source.
The Saudi billionaire-donor is named Abdullah Kamel. He is the CEO of the Dallah Albaraka Group, a Saudi conglomerate. Dallah Albaraka Group was a named defendant in a lawsuit brought by the families of 9/11 victims. Many of these suits were eventually dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, but a suit against Dallah Avco, a subsidiary of Dallah Albaraka Group, is currently in the discovery stage. Dallah Avco is an aviation company with ties to the Saudi Air Force — the same air force dropping bombs on Yemenis this very second, mutilating and killing thousands of them. Dallah Avco employed a man named Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi citizen who held a do-nothing job with the company while he was befriending and helping two of the 9/11 hijackers.
The Dallah AlBaraka Group and Abdullah Kamel undoubtedly operate with the blessings of the Saudi Royal Family, whose role in the 9/11 attacks is finally starting to be exposed. Earlier this year, the “20th hijacker,” Zacarious Moussaoui, directly accused the Saudi Royal Family of knowing about the 9/11 attacks in advance and funding al Qaeda’s plot. The Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 redacted 28 crucial pages dealing with alleged Saudi involvement in the planning and execution of the attacks. Bob Graham, former senator and ex-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has said in sworn statements that the Saudi government assisted the 9/11 terrorists.
Occam’s Razor directs the proponents of any theory to eliminate unnecessary assumptions. In the case of 9/11, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. They came from a country run by absolute monarchs, where information is tightly controlled, where a company known as the Saudi Bin Laden Group is the largest construction conglomerate. Trace the money back to its roots, and you quickly find that this “gift” tarnishes Yale beyond measure.
But the Saudi-Yale deal is about more than Yale or 9/11, much more. It is about elite institutions constantly prostrating at the feet of the Saudi Royal Family. The Family has given Harvard and Georgetown $40 million. They have funded research at leading scientific institutions to maximize Saudi oil output. They have donated to leading foundations, including the Clinton Foundation. They have paid for fundamentalist imams in American prisons. From California to India, they have erected a mammoth infrastructure of Wahhabist madrassas which indoctrinate impressionable young men to the virtues of their cause.
In this last charge alone, the Saudi Royal Family’s dollars are drenched in blood. The House of Saud came to power in the 1700s by making a deal with a fanatical preacher named Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who taught that Islam had to be stripped down to its puritan essence. All later adaptations were eliminated because they were seen as sinful. A Muslim had to adhere to the Wahhabists’ literal interpretation of scripture or risk being deemed an apostate, and thus, liable to be murdered. Visits to the shrines of saints were criminalized as idolatrous. The Shia, the Sufis, the Ahmadis–all Muslim minorities–were thought to have deviated from the One True Path and so they, too, could be killed. Because Wahhab and his gang claimed to be defending Islam, their violence was legitimated as jihad. Homosexuals and blasphemers were to be put to death. Adulterers were to be stoned. Thieves were to have their hands amputated.
In the Saudi-Wahhab deal, Wahhab pledged to “support the ruler, supplying him with glory and power” if Ibn Saud made Wahhabist doctrine his official dogma. In the early 1800s, the Saudis took over Makkah and destroyed the monuments built to the Prophet Muhammad’s family. The Prophet’s tomb itself was just barely saved. They destroyed the cemetery where members of the Prophet’s family were buried. They ransacked the holy Shia city of Karbala in Iraq, mass-murdered women and children, and pillaged the tomb of Husain, the Prophet’s nephew and the spiritual leader of the world’s Shia.
In more modern times, the Saudis have spent upwards of $100 billion building madrassas around the world. In Pakistan, once a relatively liberal country, the number of Saudi-funded fundamentalist madrassas went from 900 to 32,000 in over a decade. These madrassas did not produce engineers and doctors but religious fanatics. Some of the students in these madrassas became leaders of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Simply put: You do not get today’s Sunni-Shia war without the Saudi Royal Family exporting Wahhabism, an ideology with conflict and plunder inherent in its core.
The legacy of Saud and Wahhab continues, though now with a Las Vegas bent. Makkah–Islam’s holiest city and the destination of the Hajj pilgrimage which attracts over 3 million Muslims annually–is surrounded by cranes and construction facilities building hotels and luxury shopping centers that loom over Islam’s holiest sites. In recent years, the house of Khadijah, the Prophet’s wife, was destroyed to build toilets. The house of Abu Bakr, the Prophet’s companion, was razed to build a Hilton hotel.Over 98% of Arabia’s religious heritage sites, and thus Islamic history, have been destroyed. If all of this sounds eerily like ISIS it is because ISIS and Saudi Arabiashare the exact same ideology. The Saudis just happen to be our friends.
The man who gave Yale that $10 million check hails from the most totalitarian country on earth, second perhaps only to North Korea. Enforced as official dogma in the Kingdom are the two most fundamental and ancient forms of totalitarianism: Man’s control over the bodies of women and his control over the thoughts of all citizens. Women live under a segregationist, sexist, apartheid state. The thought-murdering ideology of Wahhabism criminalizes dissent before it can even germinate in individual consciences. The law is not supreme; the House of Saud is. The purpose of the law is not to serve and protect but to preserve the Family and destroy the minds and bodies of its enemies, beginning with the Shia.
The study of Islamic civilization is desperately needed in the West. The writings of ancient Greek philosophers were translated and preserved by Muslim philosophers and scientists in the great libraries of Baghdad. Our numerical system is owed to Persian and Arab mathematicians. Much of our current understanding in physics, calculus, philosophy, political economy, medicine, indeed, the scientific method itself, is owed at least in part to Islam’s golden age. Try and get to the Renaissance and Enlightenment without Islam’s discoveries and you will find yourself stuck in the Dark Ages. Islamic civilization was open, tolerant, diverse. Wahhabism and the Saudi Royal Family inverted all of that, built a sectarian empire, and with their oil money, bought off those who could be bought, and imposed themselves on everyone else.
The Yale gift makes a mockery of this rich history. Saudi money should not be funding any more programs in the United States or elsewhere because the money is stained with both blood and oil. It was extracted from the ground, but the extractors got to where they are by stomping upon the bones of their fellow Muslims. Let justice be done, though the heavens fall, goes the ancient quote, but justice will never be done if this organized crime family continued to buy our loyalty. Mr. Kamel’s check should be returned to him and his Saudi patrons with clear instructions that they spend the money making amends for The Family’s many crimes against humanity, their genocide of Islamic civilization.
Sunni Sufi scholars that met Prime Minster Narendra Modi on 27th August 2015 were satisfied with the meeting and to a high degree also thankful to the PM who demonstrated regard for Mashaikh, Sunni Sufi scholars, educators, academics, teachers and leaders included in the delegation.
Hazrat Syed Mohammed Ashraf Kichhowchhawi said the meeting was successful. He said the real changes can be brought in the society only by interacting and seeking intervention of the top level administrators and authority of the country. He mentioned that he was happy that delegates told him separately that they were glad that The Prime Minister was taking keen interest in the demands presented and was personally taking notes. This shows his seriousness towards making real changes. He said the interaction with the Prime Minister was very Positive and friendly. He later said that Sufism is an international phenomenon. It has a following of millions across the world. And India can relate to this International appeal very well As India has rich Sufi background. He appreciated the Prime Minister’s comment that Globally where Sufism is strong ,Peace is strong and where Sufism is weak, terrorism is strong . Prime Minister rightly said that Wherever Sufism is Strong Terrorism could never place foot. Also mentioning Kashmir in his remarks he said When Sufism went weak there Terrorism got strong. And this statement from the Honourable PM was very appreciated by the AIUMB Sufi delegated from across the Nation.
Hazrat Syed Mehdi Miyan Chishty (Dargah Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Ajmer Sharif) said after the meeting that it was beyond comprehension. PM demonstrated courtesy and has extended to the Sufi delegates a sense of being recognized through their philosophy of Unconditional Love and Loving the Country unconditionally. Hazrat Mehdi Miyan Chishty said Shri Narendra Modi was admirably receptive to the Sufi individuals and their ideas. Honourable PM had a considerable understanding of the Sufi Philosophy and he was very comfortable and home to the idea of Sufi Islam and its relevance in today’s India.
Hazrat Syed Jalaluddin Ashraf (Makhdoom Ashraf Mission) said we must thank PM Shri Narendra Modi for the patience he demonstrated while listening to the representatives of Indian Sufi Muslims putting forward their ideas, thoughts and suggestions.
He said this meeting was successful beyond our imagination. PM Shri Narendra Modi endorsed our well established belief that Sufism has contributed to pluralistic culture of India.
Hazrat Shah Ammar Ahmad Ahmadi (Sajjadah Nashin Dargah Makhdoom Abdul Haq Rudauli) said that PM Shri Narendra Modi knew that hardliners can be controlled through propagation of the Sufi Culture in India, as the case is everywhere around the globe.
Syed Salman Chishty (Chishty Foundation) said his insistence on promoting Sufi literature and Sufi music across India is remarkable. As well as sharing the Sufi heritage of India with the world on priority basis is needed to lead the world towards Peace and Unconditional Love for all. He was of the view that the delegation was well received by Honourable PM Narendra Modi sahib and PM was kind enough to listen and learn about the problems on Indian Muslims. We greatly appreciate His keenness of taking notes of connecting leading Sufi cities of India like Ajmer Sharif and Kichchawcha Sharif to Konya in Turkey and Philadelphia in USA.
Hazrat Syed Ahmad Nizami(Sajjadah Nashin Nizamuddin Aulia) said Hope has come to remove despair because Shri Narendra Modi took interest in the problems and also responded well. Hazrat mentioned that the President of AIUMB Hazrat Maulana Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichchawchchvi must regularly meet Honourable PM Shri Narendra Modi and His official representatives to express our gratitude towards his statement about
“The ideology propounded by Sufi saints is integral to Indian ethos but forces of extremism are trying to weaken it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi heard the Sufi scholars with patience who asked him to work for development irrespective of caste, community or religion. Hazrat Nizami said that this truth was never earlier accepted by any Prime Minister of India. We expect to have a regular correspondence with the PMO through the office of AIUMB.
Sheikh Aboobacker Ahmed Musliar (Kerala) said that PM Shri Narendra Modi knew the truth and that is why he clearly said. “The ideology propounded by Sufi saints is integral to Indian ethos but forces of extremism are trying to weaken it,” and this assertion vindicates the much publicized stand and voice of AIUMB.
Mr Nisar Ahmad (Ex President ICSI) was happy from the meeting. He said that as he spoke to the Prime Minister about the importance of educational reforms for the Indian Muslim and also emphasized on Skill development programs for Indian Muslims, he was amazed by the thoughts and vision of Honourable PM Modi.
Honourable Prime Minister gave a lot of Insight on the great Craftsmanship skills Indian Muslim always had. PM said we can use this inbuilt skill to better use by harnessing this talent to make India prosperous nation. He said government will take initiative to make this a reality and government is already launched many policies, schemes and will work on more.
Hazrat M.K. Chishty (Gujarat) said that now our self discovered and practiced mission has at least one backer that is Prime minister of India because in course of discussion, Shri Narendra Modi was candid that we will have to counter such extreme forces through various avenues including on social media, so that the ideology of extremism does not take root in India.
Khawaja Farooq Renzushah from Kashmir said that Prime Minister has rightly diagnosed that tradition of Sufism has kept evil at bay, wherever it has continued to flourish. He was also appreciative of the statement of PM in which Shri Narendra Modi exhorted the Muslim community in India to take maximum advantage of the skill development schemes and programs being initiated by the Union Government. Khawaja Renzu Shah said that the best thing is that Prime Minster was kind and wanted to see Indian Muslims coming up to take part in nation building process and also reap benefits from Government schemes.
Janab Mohammed Salim Ashrafi – Chhattisgarh said the he was very happy to hear from the Honourable PM about the reformations and transformation of the Waqf Board across India giving priority representation to the majority Sunni Sufi Muslims.
Janab Sufi Ajmal Nizami ( Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Delhi ) – underlined the importance of involving youths in nation building activities as the Honourable PM have rightly mentioned that 65% of Indian population in under the age of 35 years and there immense opportunities and possibilities to utilize this huge youth talent pool for state and nation building activities.
- सांप्रदायिक दंगो को लेकर मुसलमानों मे भय पाया जाता है । सरकार इस भय को दूर करे तथा जो बड़े छोटे दंगे हुए हैं उनमें क्या कार्यवाही हुई है इस पर ग्रह मंत्रालय अपना बयान जारी करे ।
- विशिष्ट मुस्लिम धार्मिक स्थलों और हर प्रांत की राजधानी में सूफी केंद्र स्थापित किए जाएं और राष्ट्रीय राजधानी नई दिल्ली में भी एक महान सूफी केन्द्र बनाया जाए जिसमें एक पुस्तकालय की स्थापना की जाए, जिस में बेहतर और विश्वसनीय पुस्तकों का प्रबन्ध हो ताकि सूफिया के समाज सेवा के संदेश को आम किया जा सके।
- सूफिया किराम के आस्तानों पर आने वाले अंतरराष्ट्रीय पर्यटक के लिये ज़यारती (तीर्थ) वीजा की सुविधा व ज़ायरीन के लिए रेल तथा सड़क परिवहन को बेहतर बनाया जाए, रियायती टिकट की व्यवस्था, बिजली और पानी का मुकम्मल बन्दो बस्त और एक सूफी सर्किट स्थापित किया जाए ताकि इसके जरिए भारत के तमाम मह्त्वपूर्ण आस्तानों, खानकाहों और दरगाहों को एक दूसरे से जोड़ दिया जाए।
- जनता की भलाई और कल्याण के लिए चलाई जाने वाली सरकारी योजनाओं के सभी केन्द्रों को दरगाहों, आस्तानों के निकट स्थापित किया जाए ताकि हर धर्म और पंथ के लोग अधिक से अधिक लाभ उठा सकें।
- मुसलमानों की घनी आबादी वाले क्षेत्रों में उच्च गुणवत्ता के शिक्षा के केंद्र खोलने के साथ साथ तकनीकी शिक्षा का प्रावधान किया जाए। इन शिक्षा केंद्रों में पारंपरिक शांतिपूर्ण धार्मिक पाठ्यक्रम पढ़ाया जाए ताकि कट्टरपंथी विचारधारा को लगाम लगाई जा सके। इन शिक्षा केंद्रों में पढ़ाए जाने वाले पाठ्यक्रम को तैयार करने में आल इंडिया उलमा व मशाइख़ बोर्ड हर तरह का सहयोग देने के लिए तैयार है।
- आल इंडिया उलमा व मशाइख़ बोर्ड द्वारा प्रस्तुत संशोधनों को सामने रखकर केंद्रीय मदरसा बोर्ड विधेयक संसद में पेश करके उसे जल्द से जल्द पारित कराया जाए।
- सूफी मत में विश्वास रखने वाले लोगों को सेंट्रल वक़्फ़ परिषद, राज्य और केंद्रीय वक्फ बोर्ड, केंद्रीय और प्रांतीय हज समिति, मौलाना आज़ाद एजुकेशन फाउंडेशन, राष्ट्रीय अल्पसंख्यक, वित्तीय विकास निगम, राष्ट्रीय मानवाधिकार आयोग और अल्पसंख्यक आयोग जैसी संस्थाओं में उनकी संख्या के हिसाब से सीटें दी जाएं और यदि संभव हो तो आल इंडिया उलमा व मशाइख़ बोर्ड से इस संबंध में सलाह भी ली जाए।
- वह मस्जिदें या दरगाहें जिन्हें पुरातत्व विभाग द्वारा संरक्षित किया जा रहा है उनके अंदर होने वाले धार्मिक कार्यकमों के प्रबंधन की ज़िम्मेदारी आल इंडिया उलमा व मशाइख़ बोर्ड या अन्य सुन्नी सूफी संगठनों के हवाले की जाए ताकि वाकिफ की मंशा के अनुसार धार्मिक कार्यकम बिना किसी व्यवधान के सम्पन्न हो सकें और कट्टरपंथी विचारधारा को बढ़ावा देने वाले व्यक्तियों से हमारे आस्ताने सुरक्षित रहें।
- अल्पसंख्यक मामलों के मंत्रालय में एक अलग दरगाह मैनेजमेंट बोर्ड बनाया जाए और इस बोर्ड का पूरा प्रबंधन वक़्फ़ बोर्ड के बजाय देश की बड़ी खानकाहों के प्रमुखों को सौंपा जाए जिनका प्रतिनिधित्व आल इंडिया उलमा व मशाइख़ बोर्ड कर रहा है।
- भारत मे जो भी वक्फ संपत्तियाँ हैं वो सभी सुन्नी सूफी विचारधारा के लोगों द्वारा ही वक्फ की गयी हैं । लेकिन उन पर आज कट्टरपंथी विचारधारा से संबन्धित लोग क़ाबिज़ हैं । जबकि कट्टरपंथी विचार धारा इस देश मे 1855 मे आई है । उस से पूर्व देश में मुसलमानों में दो ही (सुन्नी सूफी , शिया ) विचारधारा के लोग मौजूद थे । वक्फ संपत्तियाँ उन्ही के द्वारा ही वक्फ की गयी हैं । इसी लिए सुन्नी वक्फ बोर्ड और शिया वक्फ बोर्ड के नाम से दो बोर्ड बनाए गये । शिया वक्फ बोर्ड पर तो शिया क़ाबिज़ हैं पर सुन्नी वक्फ बोर्ड पर 1919 के बाद से कट्टरपंथी विचारधारा के लोग क़ाबिज़ होते चले गए और आज चपरासी से लेकर चैरमैन तक लगभग इसी विचार धारा के लोग पाये जाते हैं। जबकि 1919 से पूर्व सुन्नी वक्फ बोर्ड और उससे जुड़ी हुई तमाम सम्पत्तियों, मस्जिदों, मदरसों, और ख़ानक़ाहों का संचालन सिर्फ सुन्नी सूफी मुसलमान ही करता रहा है। अतः बोर्ड मांग करता है कि 1919 के बाद कट्टरपंथी विचारधारा द्वारा वक्फ की गयी सम्पत्तियों को अलग कर के उनका अलग बोर्ड बना दिया जाए और पूर्व की भांति सुन्नी वक्फ बोर्ड को सुन्नी सूफी मुसलमानों के हवाले किया जाये।
- कट्टरपंथी विचारधारा द्वारा सूफी सुन्नी मुसलमानों की मस्जिदों पर कब्ज़ा करने की प्रक्रिया को तुरंत रोका जाए क्योंकि यह न केवल वाकिफ की मंशा का विरोध है बल्कि देश की शांति और व्यवस्था के लिए भी बड़ा खतरा है।
- आल इंडिया उलमा व मशाइख़ बोर्ड इस बात की भी मांग करता है कि मानव संसाधन विकास मंत्रालय, सूचना एवं प्रसारण मंत्रालय और अल्पसंख्यक मंत्रालय में प्रिंट और इलेक्ट्रॉनिक मीडिया के लिए एक निगरानी समिति का गठन किया जाए जो कट्टरपंथी विचारधारा को बढ़ावा देने वाले समाचार, लेख और संपादकीय पर कड़ी निगाह रखे।
- मुस्लिम समस्याओं को समझने के लिए सरकारी प्रतिनिधियों के साथ एक संयुक्त सजेशन एंड एक्शन कमेटी बनाई जाए जिस में बोर्ड को भी शामिल किया जाए।
- मुसलमानों के लिए बैंको से क़र्ज़ और दूसरी सरकारी सुविधाओं को आसान बनाया जाये।
- अल्पसंख्यकों के लिए बनायी गयी योजनाओं में मुसलमानों की जनसंख्या के अनुसार उनका लाभ सुनिश्चित किया जाये।