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Guest Opinion Articles

The Reality of Wahhabism

Winners and losers!

“There’s nothing called ‘Wahhabism’ ”
that’s the normal reflection you would get from every adult Saudi citizen.
The question is why?

Anormal person would identify his enemies by their use of fake names, negative terms and the distorted concepts they deliberately exchange around and about him. Saudis have an amazing awareness about their history and they can easily distinguish their enemies, especially the cowardly kind who fear to show themselves directly.

The famous Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud, the founder of the first Saudi State, chose to support Mohammad Ibn Abdul Wahab in order to ignite the first spark of the Saudi nation in the modern era and restore Arab glory after a long period of absence from the international scene.

The Ottomans did everything in their power to destroy the Arab dream. The war of terms and concepts was one of their dirty tools. That’s how the term Wahhabism came to be; it was meant to separate the Arabs from the Islamic world religiously, emotionally and culturally and make sure they were unable to take the initiative.

Saudi Arabia does not embrace ideologies. It has always been open in terms relating to lifestyle and the world as well as intellectually.  Saudis have a broad ability to coexist with the other and accept millions of foreigners from different religions and cultures.

We can clarify throughout history that it became easy for states to fall apart through embracing rigid ideological values. This could easily affect the whole future and prevent consistency with human and geopolitical variables. Thus the wheel of evolution stops while the roots of the state are eroded and collapse accelerates.

Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and Venezuela are examples that help us visualize how rigid ideology could bring down nations and how states turn to failure.

Saudi Arabia represents the opposite approach. The state project has stood firm since 1744 despite huge stormy hurdles, challenges and external threats that still continue. Saudi Arabia has achieved steady development rates over the last 90 years. Change has always been fundamental in the Saudi state, where life expectancy rates have sprung from 37 to 70 years in one generation. The illiteracy rate dropped from 95% to 0% during the same time period. Female education was completely non-existent but within a generation female students came to represent 55% of the total.

People around the world might be surprised to see that Saudi citizens enjoy a distinct lifestyle with almost no taxes, free education with allowance, free scholarship with allowance and free healthcare. Even resident foreigners enjoy an effective health insurance system, and Saudi Arabia ranks second globally in number of immigrants received according to United Nations statistics.

The Saudi political system is unique in that it represents social and cultural values such as family, culture, traditions and religion. It also represents the interests of all economic parties in close association of partnership, making stability essential for all without exception.

Contrary to what many believe, the Saudi Monarchy is not a dictatorship at all. The nature of the political system is based on Islam, where meeting the needs of society is essential to political legitimacy.

The King, as head of state politically, economically, socially and judicially, is able to make necessary changes at every point in the process in direct communication and understanding with Saudis. The King receives citizens weekly and provides modern communication techniques connected to the Royal Court, where any citizen can communicate directly with the King.

The structure of the Saudi state is based on Institutions and Separation of Powers, which are highly conducive to transparency for development and wellbeing. The Allegiance Council, the Royal Court, the Council of Ministers, the Shura Council, the Supreme Court, and the Anti-Corruption Commission are independent institutions.

I would like to remind you that Saudis carry in their hearts and minds an endless loyalty to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who attach great importance to the dignified life of Saudi citizens.  Saudis also are loyal to the House of Al-Saud, which has made Saudi Arabia a strong force in the new world.

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