Friday, September 16, 2016

'Heretics' - World's leading Sunni clerics declare 'Wahhabism is not Sunnism'.

'Heretics' - World's leading Sunni clerics declare 'Wahhabism is not Sunnism'. (RT).

At the end of August, a meeting of Muslim clerics and scholars convened in the Chechen capital of Grozny to forge a consensus on the subject of ‘who constitutes a Sunni.’

Sunnism, the 200 or so Sunni clerics from Egypt, South Africa, India, Europe, Turkey, Jordan, Yemen, Russia warned, has undergone a dangerous deformation in the wake of efforts by extremists to void its sense in order to take it over and reduce it to their perception.”

The Muslim world is currently under a siege of terror, led by a deviant strain that claims religious authority and kills in the name of Islam.
So the Grozny participants had gathered, by invitation of the Chechen president, to make “a radical change in order to re-establish the true meaning of Sunnism.”
If their final communique was any indicator, the group of distinguished scholars had a very particular message for the Muslim world: Wahhabism - and its associated takfirism - are no longer welcome within the Sunni fold.

Specifically, the conference’s closing statement says this: “Ash’arites and the Maturidi are the people of Sunnism and those who belong to the Sunni community, both at the level of the doctrine and of the four schools of Sunni jurisprudence (Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi’i, Maliki), as well as Sufis, both in terms of knowledge and moral ethics."

In one fell swoop, Wahhabism, the official state religion of only two Muslim countries -Saudi Arabia and Qatar - was not part of the majority Muslim agenda any longer.

The backlash from the Saudis came hard and fast, honing in on the participation of Egypt’s Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb of Al Azhar, the foremost center for Sunni theological study in the Islamic world.

Saudi Arabia has, after all, subsidized the flailing Egyptian economy to the tune of billions of dollars in the past few years, alongside its Wahhabi neighbor Qatar, which has in turn bank-rolled the Muslim Brotherhood – a group also excluded from the Grozny meeting.

While Tayeb did not single out the Saudis in his conference speech, his elevated position in the global Sunni hierarchy lent a great deal of weight to the proceedings. And Al Azhar’s prominence in the Sunni world is rivaled only by the relatively new role of the Al Saud monarch as the custodian of the two holy sites, Mecca and Medina.

Just last year – in Mecca, no less - Tayeb slammed extremist trends during a speech on terrorism, lashing out at “corrupt interpretations” of religious texts and appealing to believers “to tackle in our schools and universities this tendency to accuse Muslims of being unbelievers.”

It is Wahhabism that is most often accused of sponsoring this trend globally.

The radical sect, borne in the 18th century, deviates from traditional Sunni doctrine in various ways, most notably sanctioning violence against nonbelievers - including Muslims who reject Wahhabi interpretation (takfirism).

Saudi Arabia is the single largest state contributor to tens of thousands of Wahhabi-influenced mosques, schools, clerics and Islamic publications scattered throughout the Muslim world – many of them, today, feeders for terrorist recruitment. By some accounts that figure has reached almost $100 billion in the last three decades or so.

In Grozny, conference participants made reference to this dangerous trend, and called for a “return to the schools of great knowledge" outside Saudi Arabia – in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen.

Saudi officialdom took to social media to express their outrage. Saudi royal, Prince Khalid al-Saud, warned that the event represented a conspiracy that openly targets our country and it's religious standing, specifically.” Hmmm..........Could be a good start. Read the full story here.

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