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Who is Anahita Hamzei?

Please enjoy the articles that I have enjoyed reading this year.

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*Anahita Hamzei is a two time graduate from the Texas A&M University System. She has received B.A.s in the human sciences and earned a Master of Science degree in Sociology. Mrs. Hamzei is also an award winning speaker and researcher with published works in various fields of human and life sciences. She has been published on many websites, most notably Khamenei.ir–the official website of the Leader of the Iranian Revolution. She has traveled and lived in the Islamic Republic of Iran since 2013, learning the people and the culture. She now journals and writes about her experiences, via news sites and social media, in an effort to educate and to debunk stereotypes and misconceptions spread by the western propaganda machine.

As a writer living in Iran, with a similar mission I decided to share her articles here, with Anahita Hamzei’s permission. Please enjoy the articles that I have enjoyed reading this year! 

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Photo courtesy of Iranianhiker@wordpress.com

Breaking the Wahhabi Cycle: Anahita Hamzei

Will the Cycle of Wahhabism Remain Unbroken?

Western meddling in Middle Eastern affairs, without a doubt, needs to come to an end. Weapons deals, crash training courses, and all funding for ISIS sponsors, like Saudi Arabia, must cease to exist. Most political figures in US, of course, have no intention of putting an end to what they have started; henceforth, these endeavors must be accomplished by the people.

By Anahita Hamzei*

The following article is the final part in a three part series: Part 1/3 and Part 2/3.

Continuation…

Politicians, advocates, and masterminds have incorporated all the right elements into Wahhabi statements of belief, using it to brainwash and control the will of numerous individuals around the globe. Regardless of the dangers, USA has offered up, as a sacrifice, many of their own CIA and militant assets working alongside to help train new warriors, wearing the mask of so-called “Islamic Terrorists” – today’s new “boogeyman.”

Wahhabism Today: The Chickens Will Come Home to Roost

Today, Wahhabism spans across the globe, like the spread of an infectious disease it has been penetratingly on the rise. Based on fictitious doctrine, it captivates followers by manipulating the minds of the downtrodden and naïve, taking claim over the human soul; convincing its members, young and old alike, to accept its risky guidelines and extreme doctrines. And it serves almost as the mother of muse for terrorist groups like ISIS that attract new followers each day.

Ultimately, followers uphold such concepts that most lives are of no value–if not tolerant of their own daunting practices and pursuits. This is a core principle of Wahhabi ideals, members are commanded to have little to no regard for anyone—Christian, Atheist, and Muslims, of any age or gender—whose beliefs do not align with their own, and if they do not accept the strict doctrine, as Taymiyyah would request, they are executed. Subsequently, genocide is a common practice of Wahhabi-centered groups like ISIS today. (17) For that reason, it is without a doubt that Wahhabi Cult, is one of the most dangerous and well-organized Cults of our time–with sub-branches extending outward as hate/terrorist groups recognized by the names of Jabhat al-Nusra, FSA, Al Qaeda, Taliban and so on.

Figure 1. The source and spread of Wahhabism.

ISIS (emerging from leftover Syrian/Libyan/Iraqi “Freedom” fighters) exists as yet another sub-cult of Wahhabism, and they’re all too reminiscent of the Taliban’s brutal past: Like the Taliban, they receive American fighters, trainers, and USA made weapons, even financial and moral support from high paid Hollywood actors and films producers. In fact, USA had numerous ex-military and regular citizens recruited by ISIS and CIA, who fought and died among Wahhabi terrorist groups in Syria.

 One American Wahhabi cult member, Eric Harroun, shortly after returning from combat alongside Jabhat al Nursa died in USA, mysteriously. No one will ever know why or what led him to take up arms with a terrorist organization in Syria (other than having obvious signs of brainwashing, possibly by an institution in USA), but something in his sudden death says that is exactly how US government wanted it.” Eric Harroun was arrested after flying into Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia, returning from the Middle East. Authorities said he had previously made “voluntary” statements to FBI agents about his activities fighting with Al Qaeda in Iraq’s Al Nusra Front as part of an “RPG team” in Syria.” (18)

The list of Westerners recruited to fight with terrorist groups is extensive… one will find. ISIS and similar terrorist organizations continue to use the ideals and doctrines of Taymiyyah or Wahhab to recruit passionate mercenaries, or convince ordinary citizens, through their religious beliefs, it is the only way to go—or else get killed, their cycle of recruitment is everywhere and continuous. This was very much how things have played out in Syria over the past several years; disturbingly, incidents involved the recruitment of young boys under 15. A 31-page report by Human Rights Watch titled, ‘Maybe We Live and Maybe We Die: Recruitment and Use of Children by Armed Groups in Syria,’ “documents the experiences of 25 children and former child soldiers in Syria’s armed conflict. Human Rights Watch interviewed children who fought with the Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front coalition, and the extremist groups ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, as well as the military and police forces in Kurdish-controlled areas.”(19)

As more journalist in Syria, rebels, adult and child survivors reported on the collaboration of FSA and terrorist groups, it became clear: FSA (backed by USA) was no different than that of ISIS. After the world caught onto the fact that FSA and terrorist groups were practically synonymous in Syria, so USA would not be blamed for their soldiers gone rogue, ISIS suddenly sprout up to cover the tracks of FSA crimes in Syria; by this time, with weapons retrieved, they continued to destabilize and terrorize the whole of the Middle East. (20)

Consequently, who is left to blame in all this? Is it the Muslim child who grew up without a father, because of incoming, non-discriminative bombs initiated under western influence, later sent to a Madrassa for training, which was funded by the Saudi-Western Alliance? Is he the one we should blame, the indoctrinated victim, rather than the global powers at the top of the pyramid scheme and their paid puppets who spread Wahhabism? Or should we blame the infamous fame seekers like FSA/Al Qaeda trainer and US mercenary, Matthew VanDyke? –Van Dyke is also known as the “American Osama bin Landen,” is staunchly supported by the political fat kitten Hillary Clinton, and Hollywood actresses for reaping havoc in the Middle East and promoting the Arab Spring—the kick-start of the bloodiest era for some Asian and African countries today. (21)

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Image: Matthew VanDyke “Freedom fighter” from USA, supported by Hillary Clinton and Angelina Jolie, seen here (on public facebook post) trying to encourage support for FSA ( FSA who has now been accused of merging with ISIS, Al Qaeda, & Al-Nursa, terrorizing Syrians.)

Though many factions and individuals are to blame, it is evident that if there was no grimoire of Wahhabism, the culprits might have never gotten so far. Again, terrorist organizations like ISIS were able to manipulate the ideals of Wahhab; thus, in order to strengthen and broaden their might and influence on the battle field in Syria and in Iraq.

ISIS understood that Wahhabism is the perfectly distorted tool of Islam’s enemy, manifested by the powers that be (Saudi Rulers), ripping through the Middle East: dividing, destabilizing, and terrorizing like a tornado; and those involved in this destruction, if not today holding themselves accountable for their own errors, must be held accountable, somehow. Blame must be rested on appropriate instigators. ISIS today remains a treasured faction in handler states that claim to be “fighting against terrorism.”

Public opinion of ISIS in Saudi Arabia certainly remains favorable. “In June 2014, a poll taken in Saudi Arabia showed that 92% believed, “ISIS conforms to the values of their vision of ‘Islam and Islamic Law,’’ Saudi intelligence has taken notice of this level of public sympathy (due in part to pressure from the U.S.) especially of the blatant Twitter campaigns showing support for the Islamic State and pledging allegiance to Al-Baghdadi. However, as the House of Saud wages its condemnation against ISIS, it is clear that the Wahhabi ideology is firmly cemented in the religious culture of Saudi Arabia casting significant doubt on a change in public opinion.” (22) Despite their damage, ISIS–smothered in Wahhabi dogma–remains the cherished centerpiece on a roundtable encircled by cunning networks.

At the moment, many statesmen and politicians have not learned their lesson–or they choose to remain in a state of stupor; enchanted by a disease of the heart most commonly known as Greed. Leaders from the Western world are ever more committed towards their Wahhabi creations and comrades. They depend on them (Wahhabi indoctrinated rulers and fighters) and will back them, if they keep playing by their rules: A good example would be that of Donald Trumps’ relation with Saudi Monarchy, whom he prances around with, sword in hand, oozing over a magical orb with. It is no wonder Iran, one of the few countries earnestly fighting against the Wahhabi indoctrinated groups, has singled out USA and Saudi Arabia for a recent attack on their soil claimed by ISIS. (23) Nonetheless, as this strong support for Wahhabism remains, things are–most certainly–not hopeless. If those involved in such chaos will not take responsibility, there is hope that the people will wake up and take charge; breaking apart the vicious cycle of fear and hate that Wahhabism has instilled, and bringing about some positive change.

Preventing Wahhabism: Will the Vicious Circle of Wahhabism Ever Come Undone?

“If we try to resolve terrorism with military might and nothing else, then we will be no safer than we were before 9/11. If we truly want a legacy of peace for our children, we need to understand that this is a war that will ultimately be won with books, not with bombs.” Greg Mortenson (24)

One hang up that must be challenged is this almost universal ignorance or unawareness of Wahhabism. Ignorance is an issue on both sides of the pendulum: Both sides of the pendulum, including the individuals who become spellbound by obscurity and those spellbound by Wahhabism. In the Western hemisphere, a majority of people are completely ill-informed when it comes to separating Islam from Wahhabism.  There is an unawareness of Wahhabism’s very existence: For instance, unlike the attention that other followers of extreme ideologies, and dangerous cults have received in the West, Wahhabism has received the ‘Royal Western Flush’ or media black-out.

Take note: Wahhabism is there. It is empirical. It takes hold of those we love–with little warning or recognition. And it has stood protected, loyally supported by millions of people and billions of dollars. It lingers on to claim hundreds of thousands of lives–innocent, not so innocent. (25, 26) As previously discussed, ideologies that spread and gave rise to this cult can be found in books: or on the tongues of peers and scholars; they are in some schools; and possibly implanted in the minds of those we love and trust. It is with certainty that solutions initiated by the West have been ineffective towards containing the issue; addressing the problems arising from terrorism or Wahhabism will never be resolved with bombs and violence. So just how do we resolve things?

Preventing or curbing the spread of Wahhabism will be no easy feat; however, many people have tried to combat this concern peacefully and managed by simply educating others. Education is key. Education is a simple, fruitful, and peaceful solution that can prevent the spread of extremist ideology like Wahhabi doctrine, it can bring to light all the warning signs of corrupted sources–which humanity must collectively reject and peacefully decline. Yes, educating and writing about Wahhabism entails so much skill and dedication. At times it can be like walking on eggshells; educators, advocates, and writers must not make the same mistakes as Taymiyyeh or Wahhab: Many individuals have become overwhelmed with bitterness, anger, and hatred over the devastating results spread by Wahhabism, in turn, they react just as harshly as the oppressors. Everyone, in the fight against extremism, must keep in mind that people indoctrinated by Wahhabi ideologies are not sub-human, they are human; but, they have taken a path wide off the mark, and they must be awakened from their trancelike state. Those who’ve walked into the web of Wahhabism are not incorrigible. The majority of Wahhabi cult members, do not even realize who they are, and have not committed actual crimes themselves–unless taking up arms to fight and terrorize with ISIS—then yes, it is another story. For many, however, like young children and women trained to fight or deceived by male partners, their only mistake is being misled and brought into a cult as vulnerable, sought out victims. (19)

Healing and changing the mindset of hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, indoctrinated by Wahhabi ideology will take a considerable amount of undoing and awareness; just as it was once done, and in some cases continues for children growing up in racist institutions, or for those raised in homes disconcerted by Zionism and Nazism. If we recognize Wahhabism for what it is–an extremely large cult-like organization permeating literature and educational systems around the world—the human community may be able to act better and faster on awareness and education. While educating and learning about the subject, people must also be aware of what Wahhabism is not, and refrain from categorizing people most likely to become followers of Wahhab, like the singling out of Sunni Muslims. There is much distortion and uneducated guesses concerning the ideology, which only creates more friction among Sunni and Shi’a (some only wish to embolden the rift): choose words and collect data wisely. Furthermore, conquering the misconceptions that all Muslims support terrorism must be put to rest: This is sheer ignorance, which in due course escalates hatred; ultimately, leading to fear and often irrationality. Many Muslim communities, Sunni and Shi’a are working hard to undo the effects of extremism more than any other groups these days. (27)

A final point to be taken seriously is, as Ayatollah Khamenei’s website ambassadors recently tweeted, “Terrorism in the Middle East has American roots”: Western meddling in Middle Eastern affairs, without a doubt, needs to come to an end. Weapons deals, crash training courses, and all funding for ISIS sponsors, like Saudi Arabia, must cease to exist. Most political figures in US, of course, have no intention of putting an end to what they have started; henceforth, these endeavors must be accomplished by the people. The people can manage to educate themselves and can educate others. They can also set aside their fears by becoming more involved. Americans, specifically, must stop pushing away Muslims with arrogance and ignorance, and invite them into their lives. Muslims cannot get too cozy either, they have a responsibility to stand strong against those spreading hateful rhetoric wherever that may be. Be aware of those who distort Islam, try to help them cope and understand where the danger lies; it is one of the most human things a person can do to help save another: Involve yourself.  Largely, Wahhabism ends where it began, with education and knowledge.

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2011–VanDyke “Freedom Fighter” in Syria, collecting money from big names, to kick start a bloody revolution and US made “Arab Spring” that has caused much instability, brutality and violence since being kick-started.

Conclusion:

To close, terrorism is nothing new, humanity has had their share with it, time and time again. They manage with what they know of it–in their familiar zones– often without thinking or realizing what they’ve endured is terrorism or extremism. The problem lies, therein, when it is a type of extremism that many are oblivious to. The wave of Wahhabi extremism comes with many unfamiliar elements, and instead of learning about it, for many, it’s easier to be lazy and rest blame all Muslims rather than get to the heart of it. This collective misconduct only stirs up greater calamities, as it has done in Western countries with the rise of Islamophobia–in such a noxious environment the hate filled circle of extremism shall never be unbroken. This analytical, and hopefully informative, series was intended for that reason: A guide to awaken and enlighten, to inject hope where it is lacking; thus, the acrimonious circle of Wahhabism may someday be broken. And, since humankind has dealt with extremism before and conquered it too, Wahhabism is hardly different from other forms of extremism; therefore, it’s important to keep in mind: Wahhabism is not going to end our world. We are going to end Wahhabism, Insha’Allah.

Works cited:

17. Why Don’t We Hear About the Persecuted Christians? Moore, Natasha. Ney York, NY : ABC.net , 2014.

18. Ex-U.S. soldier accused of joining Al Qaeda-linked group in Syria. Serrano, Richard A. Los Angeles : Los Angeles Times , 2013.

19. Syria: Armed Groups Send Children into Battle. Staff. New York  : Human Rights Watch, 2014. 978-1-62313-1425.

20. FSA brigade ‘joins al-Qaeda group’ in Syria. Staff. Doha : Al Jazeera Media Network, 2013.

21. Iran blames US for creating ISIS amid worsening Middle East tensions. Griffiths, James and Alkhshali, Hamdi. Atlanta : Cable News Network, 2017.

22. Wahhabism, ISIS, and the Saudi Connection. Clapper, Lincoln. Toronto : Geopoliticalmonitor Intelligence Corp, 2016. ISSN 1927-3045 .

23. VanDyke, Matthew. MatthewVandyke.com Events. Matthewvandyke.com. [Online] 2013. http://www.matthewvandyke.com/events/.

24. Mortenson, Greg and Relin, D. Oliver. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace – One School at a Time. s.l. : Penguin Group, 2007. 978-0-14-303825-2.

25. Dozens of Iraqis killed as Isis targets Baghdad during Ramadan . Chulov, Martin. Baghdad : The Guardian, 2017.

26. Storyline: Isis Claims Kabul Hospital Attack, Taliban Remains Main Threat. F. Bruton, Brinley and Mengli, Ahmed. New York : NBCnews.com , 2017.

27. How to Stop Extremism before it Stops. Stephan, Maria J. and Beyerle, Shaazka. s.l. : Foreign Policy , 2015.

Other sites where this article has been published:

http://ijtihadnet.com/will-cycle-wahhabism-remain-unbroken/#comment-2257

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/4920/Will-the-Cycle-of-Wahhabism-Remain-Unbroken

http://aassak13.ir/post/Will-the-Cycle-of-Wahhabism-Remain-Unbroken

The Wild West and their Tango with Wahhabism: Anahita Hamzei

The West and their Tango with Wahhabism: Western Role in Augmenting Extremism

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“Why would the Western World even consider spreading dangerous ideas of Ibne Taymiyyah and Wahhab? And didn’t they take into account the immeasurable destruction that could result from injecting Wahhabi fanaticism into these regions? USA’s entanglement with Saudi Wahhabism has definitely been one heck of a tempestuous tango–so to speak.”

By Anahita Hamzei*

The Following is the continuation of last week’s article titled, “The Roots of Wahhabism, What Everyone Should Know,Part 1/3.

Click here to read part 3/3.

Continuation… The Long Dark Shadow of Wahhabism:

The alliance was strong, on the brink of something phenomenally dangerous and disastrous.  And this occurred on a greater scale than Taymiyyah or Wahhab could’ve ever imagined. Wahhabism since has been emboldened, because of a Global Clique–US, Israel, Saudi, and Britain–nurturing its development and productivity, viewing Wahhabism as effective doctrine for taming human subjects; thus, molding several Wahhabi practitioners into militant-controlled extremists, used to fight on behalf of the Global Clique’s material interest and political agendas in the Middle East.

Part II:

The Wild West and their Tempestuous Tango with Wahhabism:

With Wahhabism in effect as the “opiate of the masses,” Saudi Arabia had been molded into the perfect test site for its (Wahhabism’s) future expansion. A model society it was. Easy to manipulate and extremely micromanaged: The conditions were favorable for monitoring the potentiality and ease of spreading Wahhabi concepts into large communities. The end result would be a desirable one for Saudi Monarchy, who yearned for the adoration of people everywhere, cleverly disguising the infusion of cultish ideals into targeted domains through “charitable pursuits.” Oil was their bread-and-butter to achieve set goals. Using the disguise of “zakat/charity” they found a way to spread the Wahhabi tentacles of influence through every nook, crevice and cranny—with their Western partners by their side.

Poor, rural areas were first introduced to the Wahhabi Cult dogma–outside of Saudi Arabia; they were shadowed as the next of regions on a long list to implement strict, intolerant, fascist Wahhabi ideology: Saudi’s plans happened to coalesce with US government’s intent to combat the Soviet Union in the 1970’s. Afghanistan had been invaded and occupied in the midst of the Cold War by the Soviet Union. Coincidently, USA’s agendas amalgamated with that of Saudi Arabia’s; henceforth, they became greater allies in supporting the indoctrination of Wahhabi ideologies (7). The Wahhabi initiative commenced as planned. Training and conditioning through Wahhabi-centered manuscript and literature, funded by Saudi Arabia’s “charitable” printing press, took off as an extensive campaign in this region. USA, by way of CIA and other secretive military operations, took part in promoting Wahhabi doctrine to raise a strong “Mujahidin” front with their Saudi partners in fascism.  It was a desperate and greedy attempt. USA could not fathom a strong Soviet Union, especially while on the brink of war–and this is not to say what the Soviet Union did was right, as well.

 “In the 1970s, with the help of funding from petroleum exports and other factors, Saudi charities started funding Wahhabi schools (madrassas) and mosques across the globe and the movement underwent “explosive growth”.  The US State Department has estimated that over the past four decades Riyadh (alone) has invested more than $10bn (£6bn) into charitable foundations in an attempt to replace mainstream Sunni Islam with the harsh intolerance of its Wahhabism. EU intelligence experts estimate that 15 to 20 per cent of this has been diverted to al-Qaida and other violent jihadists.” (8) But, Why? Why would the West even consider spreading dangerous ideas of Ibne Taymiyyah and Wahhab? And didn’t they take into account the immeasurable destruction that could result from injecting Wahhabi fanaticism into these regions?

USA’s entanglement with Saudi Wahhabism has definitely been one heck of a tempestuous tango–so to speak. They needed familiar dogma, to appeal to a wider audience: You could not radicalize Christians in a predominant Muslim environment and expect favorable results. These achievements could not be accomplished in the way that Judaism and Christianity were used to defend Madeline Albright’s and Bush’s reasoning, respectively, for butchering children in the Middle East. (9) What worked for US and Israel could never work in the Middle East, where people, for most part, speak the religiously dominant language of Islam. Recognizable ideologies that Muslims could relate to were a prerequisite for attracting potential fighters. Vulnerabilities among the poor were played upon, raising a new breed of warriors who could culturally and spiritually connect with the people; and, they did this during some of the most trying and detrimental moments of these people’s lives; thus, mercenaries were easily provoked under the influence of Wahhabism to fight on behalf of the axis of evil. The West, for most part, disregarded potential disastrous consequences laid out by mathematical calculations—if ever applied–they most certainly had the intelligence to foresee a formidable outcome.

In addition, many people denied that Western nations were schooled on the dangers brewing in Asian countries through the promotion of Wahhabi ideologies; while, in fact, U.S., UK, and other powers concentrated in the West, who have dirtied up their hands using the Wahhabi initiative, were just as guilty as the Saudi government ever was… perhaps more. Western powers and their Middle Eastern allies were made aware of the dangers triggered by the spread of Wahhabi doctrine: regardless, they recklessly used elements of fanaticism that worked towards their own advantage. When this network of global powers realized how Taymiyyah-Wahhab ideals controlled certain actions and thoughts of humankind, effectively–right down to what hand and foot to begin the day with–for them it seemed the perfect apparatus–necessary to control their RoboMercenaries. It would also seem to be the most beneficial stratagem for the West, in terms of efficiency–they preferred to kill more of “the others” rather than “their own kind.” Furthermore, during those times, Westerners would never agree to terms of war if they knew the truth, or if more of their “own” were sacrificed for another bloody war… Wahhabwashed pawns were the easiest bet to wager on; especially, after Americans endured one long hard fight to pull out of another failure–Vietnam.

On the other hand, Western powers and politicians were not the only ones aware of sinister plans brewing in the midst of Wahhabism’s rising.  American advocates on the ground, Asian countries in particular, took note of these proportionally epidemic-like findings. They fought the spread of the massive Cult—blacked out by mainstream media–lurking as a secret WMD (Weapon of Mass Demoralization). They brought their knowledge of Wahhabism straight to congress. Activists, like Greg Mortenson, led many attempts to warn US congressmen on undermining this mounting matter. Beginning with the educational system, he recognized that in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Saudi funded schools were creating young extremists in militant centered madrassas (Arabic word schools): This can be found and fully explained in his book Three Cups of Tea. (10) Although his work was well intended, insightful, and could have saved many lives, he was virtually shut down: Silenced and ridiculed. Ethnocentric critics and those with their own agendas labeled his works as “Pro-Islamic”—as if there is nothing prejudice in that objection—despite his rigid fight to expose militant training of children in Wahhabi-centered schools. Nevertheless, those overwhelmed by ignorance refused to accept the validity and practicality of his work: They rejected Mortenson’s sincere warnings and slandered him instead. The CIA (USA’s Central Intelligence Agency) would not back Mortenson, as an alternative they probed him. The capitalist nation had ultimately shamed him; since, men like Greg Mortenson came with no profit: It would have taken an entire act of kindness to enter the initiative Mortenson called for, which is something they knew little of.

As they frowned on the Mortensons of that era, USA sponsored Wahhabi loyalist like Osama bin Laden. They pledged their allegiance to Bin Laden and the Taliban’s mission. US media was also on the Bin Laden fighting side.

An article from USA newspaper, The Independent, praising Osama Bin Laden in 1993

USA’s very own Frankenstein: Osama Bin Laden

Subsequently, Osama Bin Laden became USA’s own version of “Frankenstein” taking Wahhabism to daring new heights, using the doctrines to create Kamikaze like combatants among the people of his realm. It was no secret, Bin Laden was a fan of Ibne Tamiyyah: “Al Qaeda former leader, Osama Bin Laden famously quoted Ibn Taymiyyah’s Fatwa of Madin as justification for civilian and Muslim casualties in his terror attacks.” (11) Bin Laden was one of leading “gurus” on Taymiyyah-Wahhab ideals and implemented them wherever he laid his turban. He was the western labeled “Freedom Fighter,” whom, ironically, stripped away at any freedom in regions where his “Midas touch” stretched. What seemed like a promising mission of glittering wealth and prosperity for the sordid Saudi-Israelican (Saudis, Israelis, & Americans all bunched up in one) alliance would form an everlasting dark cloud, lingering over the Earth and her inhabitants–one that dampers our doorsteps today. Osama bin Laden with CIA, helped manage and create the most treacherous Taliban tribes of his time, which also gave rise to Al Qaeda and Jundallah. Little did Osama realize, or maybe he did, that he would be a scapegoat for an event bigger than Pearl Harbor–in the making…

The W Factor: 

By the time the 90’s rolled around, at the start of the Bush-Clinton dynasty rule, the US, seemingly immune to the division and damage caused by Wahhabi loyalist in Asia, continued with praises for Saudi Arabia and stuck to their rock solid alliance. They clung to their terrorist creations and plans for future destruction in the Middle East–where leaders not only rejected Saudi Israelican policy, but also the imposition, destruction, and suppression that Wahhabi inspired cults and groups had forced upon their lands and people.

The Bush dynasty, especially, had a common goal with the Saudi dynasty in securing control over countries like the Islamic Republic of Iran, to increase their own political power and wealth. Politicians, like former president George W. Bush appeared to completely adore their equally brutal and gluttonous Royal Saudi friends. “W” (pronounced: Dub-Yuh) brought and welcomed Wahhabi doctrine disguised as Islam, throughout media, into the US; which contributed towards its upsurge on US soil and in some (not all) US masjids. His test subjects were easily available in US prisons. He was passionate about Wahhabism as a form of “therapy” for criminals in US corrections facilities. Some criminals later became terrorists and passionate Wahhabi indoctrinated scholars. (12) Bush was the Bin Laden of the USA, carrying on Osama’s torch in his part of the world. In fact, Bush rested so much faith on the “promising effects” of Wahhabism that he was one of the most open and aggressive US presidents to promote the illusive dogma.

An actual scholar of Islam explains how in Bush’s time a “radicalized Islam,” which the writer recognized as Wahhabism, made its way into the US prison system. Daveed Ross writes for The Weekly Standard in 2005: “BEFORE ENTERING THE COUNTERTERRORISM FIELD, I worked for a radical Islamic charity called the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation. In this capacity, I gained some familiarity with the kind of Islamic extremist literature that often finds its way into the U.S. prison system and thus influences inmates’ religious education. I was, after all, one of the people responsible for distributing this literature. He further informs the reader: “THE INTERNATIONAL AL HARAMAIN ORGANIZATION was originally formed as a private charity in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1992. (13)

Alternatively, a more liberal American writer, Linday West, argues: Bushes’ views on Islam were “progressive,” simply because he praised Islam, or seemed to. (14) Little did the writer delve into the content and material of what Bush was actually encouraging; and, it was not Islam he encouraged: it was Wahhabism. Moreover, she seems to shrug off the influence that he was under at the time, his “open-minded” behavior was enthusiastically appreciated. Uhum, thanks… but, no thanks. West did not even, courageously, scratch the surface of what Middle Easterners, mostly Muslims, endure, because of Wahhabism’s existence. Many fell for Bush strategy in the past, and many have regrets today. He was truly a, “Man of Words and not Deeds.” W and OBL were analogous in the sense that both could spellbind the public with their layman’s tongue, steering those captivated by their enchantment away from truth. His plans, eventually, seemed to fall into place for what was soon to hit the American people hard on the catastrophic day of 9/11.

From a fanatical Western position, Wahhabism may have worked as a great tool for militarization—then. But as many have witnessed, now and then, the fascism and hatred Wahhabism promoted would come back to haunt everyone. Shortly after, as 9/11 struck fear in Americans, the USA’s CIA—convincing the public and most politicians oblivious to anything Wahhabi-centered–implemented one of their own operatives with a familiar name, Osama Bin Laden, as the mastermind behind the 9/11 attack.

US then led what seemed to be a faux aggression against the perpetrators of the 9/11 disaster. They used the questionable event as a scapegoat to situate their aggression on a region where the money was. Iraq. The Western nations, acting on this so-called aggression of war, despite claims of an inside job, set up the entire globe for the backlashing consequences of Wahhabism to be felt on their own soil, to inject fear and paranoia into the hearts and minds of their own people–just as some Middle Easterners felt under the umbrella of USA… Terror networks would manifest from east to the west, north to south, embracing Wahhabism as a weapon under the pressure of a belligerent US led invasion…To Be Continued

Works Cited

7. The Saudi Connection: Wahhabism and Global Jihad. Choksy, Carol and Jamsheed, Choksy. Washington, DC: World Affairs Institute, 2015.

8. Staff. What is Wahhabism? The reactionary branch of Islam said to be ‘the main source of global terrorism’. Telegraph. [Online] March 26, 2016. [Cited: April 17, 2017.]

9. Blum, William. Madeleine Albright Ethically Challenged. Williamblum.org. [Online] February 2001. [Cited: April 17, 2017.]

10. Mortenson, Greg and Relin, David Oliver. Three Cups of Tea. New York: Penguin Group, 2007. 0-670-03482-7.

11. Islamic Philosophy. WordPress. [Online] December 9, 2015. [Cited: April 6, 2017.] http://islam.hilmi.eu/ibn-taymiyyah-the-founder-of-isis/.

12. Prison Islam in the Age of Sacred Terror. Hamm, Mark. S. 5, Oxford: The British Journal of Criminology, 2009, Vol. 49. 667-685

13. Ross, Daveed. Prison Jihad. The Weekly Standard. [Online]  [Cited: April 21, 2017]

14. West, Linday. The US Debate around Islam Makes George W. Bush Look Progressive. The Guardian. [Online] November 22, 2015. [Cited: April 21, 2017]

*Anahita Hamzei is a two time graduate from the Texas A&M University System. She has received B.A.s in the human sciences and earned a Master of Science degree in Sociology. Mrs. Hamzei is an award winning speaker and researcher with published works in various fields of human and life sciences. She has traveled and lived in the Islamic Republic of Iran since 2013. She now journals and writes about her experiences, via news sites and social media, in an effort to debunk stereotypes and misconceptions spread by western propaganda.

Other sites where this article has been published:

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/4898/The-West-and-their-Tango-with-Wahhabism-Western-Role-in-Augmenting

http://ijtihadnet.com/west-spreading-dangerous-ideas-ibne-taymiyyah-wahhab/

https://anahitahamzei.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/the-roots-of-wahhabism-what-everyone-should-know-by-anahita-hamzei/

Women of Iran’s Revolution, by Anahita Hamzei

This article was originally published and written by the author, Anahita Hamzei, on the Supreme Leaders website Khamenei.ir, titled, “A Retrospect on the Iranian Female Collective: Women shaping the Islamic Republic of Iran”. The article has since been shared to or published by many other sites and or used for references as it is a very good and well written article in those of good search for scholarly articles on the subject.

A Retrospect on the Iranian Female Collective: Women Shaping the Islamic Republic of Iran

“In the collective and feminine rise against the Pahlavi machine, a regime that held no merit for their traditional values, many women gave more than the articulation of their voice: They gave their blood.”

By Anahita Hamzei*

     Much can be said about Iran’s legendary revolution of 79’ which established the nation of morals — we know it today as the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Strong, intelligent, courageous men of the revolution are often recognized all over the globe: their brave actions opened innovative portals to freedom for the Iranian majority. However, what of the women? What roles did the women of Iran play, if any, to ignite a revolution and succor in the defeat of the oppressor? There is no doubt that Iranian women played a strong role, collectively, in a society that was stretched on the brink of a revolution. This article will familiarize you with brave Iranian women; their active roles, struggles, and in some cases the fate of women who brought the revolution of 79’ to victory. Women endured and overcame for the love of humanity, in the pre and post revolutionary era of Iran; thus, women played a crucial role in shaping the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Figure 1. “A spiritual transformation took place, a change in attitude.  With tenacious resolve, all segments of the population, from small children to older men, from small girls to older women, rose up together obeying the call to “rise up for God, it may be in pairs or it may be singly” (Qur’an 34:46), and stood fast.[1,2] 

Planting the Seeds of a Revolution

    The vigor and dedication of the Iranian women should come as no surprise — if you are familiar with Iranian culture. Women of Iran are predominantly Muslim. They believe one of the best attributes of their honored, historical, and religious martyr, Hazrat Zeinab(ra), who many Iranian women emulate, was that of judging the government (during her time) of wrong doing and rising against them.[1]  It was, in fact, religious figures like Hazrat Zeinab (ra) and spiritual scholars that the women relied upon, in those times especially, for strength, motivation, and assurance of their freedom. They planted the seeds of thought within the minds of Iranian men and women, young and old, which led them to struggle against oppression. The Shah exhibited oppressive behavior, reminiscent of everything that women of Islam have fought against. He showed immense disdain for spiritual women, particularly, when his regime infringed laws upon women forcing them to pull away from their respected traditions.[3] When immense objection towards  his horrific treatment began to emerge, so did a glimmer of hope, one that aided and nurtured the seeds of  rebellion. Ayatollah Khomeini, then Leader of the movement, countered the Shah’s, Mohammad Reza,  misogynist laws and beliefs: He showed duel support for women, in matters of equality and respect towards religious traditions; rightly so, his movement attracted women from both sides of the spectrum.[6, 13]  Imam Khomeini (ra) sent a message, while exiled in France, stating, “Any nation that has women like the Iranian women will surely be victorious”.[4]  He asserted that his comment served as encouragement: He asked Iranian women to be proud of self and to have no fear of martyrdom.[4] Hereafter, like their religious role models, many Iranian women took it upon themselves the struggle or jihad, along with its many responsibilities and consequences, sometimes death, in order to bring the Pahlavi dynasty down. In the midst of this collective, almost feminist jihad – for straightforward rights over their bodies, social progress, and religion – many women were maimed, tortured, raped, humiliated and killed by the brutal Pahlavi regime; ultimately, they blossomed into martyrdom.  [16]

Figure 2. Ayatollah Khomeini, then leader of the movement, countered the Shah Mohammad Reza’s misogynist laws and beliefs: He showed duel support for women, in matters of equality and respect towards religious traditions; rightly so, his movement attracted women from both sides of the spectrum.[6, 13] 

The Women Bringing Revolutionary Ideals to Life 

  The movement and revolution, alike, consisted of a conglomerate of women from all social sectors: liberal and secular, literate and illiterate, metropolitan and rural: this diversity, by far was one of the most phenomenal and contributing aspects of women in the movement.[4, 6] In the collective and feminine rise against the Pahlavi machine, a regime that held no merit for their traditional values, many women gave more than the articulation of their voice: They gave their blood. They gave their lives in a passionate effort to pave the way for a new Iranian government, the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the late 1960’s, Bakhtar Biglari was one of the earliest female martyrs that triggered the movement: she was murdered, about ten years before major events of the revolution unfolded. Bakhtar is revered as the Martyr of the Mountains.[5]  At only thirty years old Bakhtar’s entire family and fellow villagers were massacred,  for their involvement in a well organized attack on one of the shah’s military post.[5] After the attack Biglari, her family, and some villagers fled, ascending into the mountains. Later, she was deceived by agents of the shah, in an operation to pull Biglari and her people out of hiding. It is reported that nearly three hundred people were martyred in the revengeful and bloody operation against Biglari and her colony. [5] Tales began to spread, far and wide, across Iran of Biglari’s heroic movement against the shah: other brave feminstas began to follow suit. Among some of the other brave women, who retaliated against the Shah’s regime, was Marzieh Hadideche Dabbaqh.[5]  In 1972 Marzieh and her fourteen year old daughter Rezvaneh, were both captured and severely tortured by the Savaak (the Shah’s CIA of that time).[16]  Her daughter was tortured and humiliated in front of her; nonetheless, Marzieh was fortunate enough to escape with her young daughter and relay her story to the public.[5, 16]  Shortly after her escape she went back “full swing” to join the movement, becoming one of the right hand women, so to speak, of Ayatollah Khomeini.[11]

Figure 3. Among some of the other brave women who retaliated against the Shah’s regime was Marzieh Hadideche Dabbaqh.[5] 

Her activities included spreading the ideologies of the movement among other Iranian men and women. The deaths and sacrifices of these women emboldened an already fiery movement of men, but also their unrelenting devotion paved the way for more women to rise up and join the movement. The movement reached its apex over time. Women came to their feet, as never before, joining protest and demonstrations, expressing their disproval of the Shah, assisting one another “shoulder to shoulder” as the Supreme Leader often described their devotion in his speeches. [8] “Our sisters, who were previously occupied with other matters, today shoulder-to-shoulder with the brothers, indeed leading the brothers, concern themselves with the destiny of their people and their country.  They make plans, form views and criticize. This is a change that God the Blessed and Exalted, who is the changer of hearts, has brought about.”[8] As the movement progressed, into a full blown revolution, more and more women took to vocal positions in denouncing the shah; thus, more and more women were martyred. On September 8, 1978, the shah’s tanks and helicopters opened fire on thousands of protesters in Tehran, killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children. [15] Iranians refer to this massacre led by the Shah’s government as Black Friday.[7, 14] The first woman martyred for the revolution was Mahboubeh Danesh Ashteyani, she was only seventeen years old when the shah’s military gunned her down, on Black Friday.[5]  Her mural is positioned at Heftda Shahrevar (seventeen square); her youthful face prevails as a reminder of the braveness and courage that one woman can embody, during some of the most testing times. Black Friday was an immense phase of climax for the revolution, one that would mark the beginning of the end for the Shah. [7,14]  After the devastating events of Black Friday, the number of martyred females mounted, like Bonu Nerzhe, Tayibeh Zamane, to name a few.[5]

Figure 4. ] The first woman martyred for the revolution was Mahboubeh Danesh Ashteyani, she was only seventeen years old when the shah’s military gunned her down, on Black Friday.[5] 

  

Once and for Allah

     The actions of the shah became more brazen: they tore at the hearts of Iranians; they tore at the hearts of the women. Times were intense. Women from all walks of life, rich and poor, liberal and secular, amplified their revolutionary roles and activities.[6] Support for the Islamic Revolution among women increased, as the shah’s brutality increased. Women became ever more instrumental in the days leading up to the success of the Islamic Revolution. However dreadful the storm was, it was the women who bore the brunt – as Ayatollah Khamenei often indicated,  it was the women who carried the heaviest burdens in those times.[1]

Figure 5. An unidentified brave female revolutionary, 1979: Shah’s police deliberately run her down for participating in demonstrations.

Some of the responsibilities women took upon themselves, during the revolution, were as follows: educating others on the religious ideologies, which facilitated the revolutionary process; others shared pamphlets written by great scholars like Ali Shariati, Ayatollah Khomeini, a young Ayatollah Khamenei, and other intellectuals who contributed; women also took to writing and expressing themselves, by way of their own female-centric pamphlet and magazine publications; asides from taking part in the demonstrations, they also spread word on events that were to take place against the shah. [6, 16]  As further matter, a religious enlightenment paralleled with the struggle for women’s rights led many women to adopt Islamic values; additionally, to show their disdain for the shah and support of the revolutionaries. They took to chador, as a symbol of their support – for and with the revolutionaries. Ayatollah Khomeini’s own wife refused to remove her chador when demanded to. [12] She is revered as the Mother of the Revolution, for her unconditional and moral support of her husband, the late Imam Khomeini (ra). Although, the unwavering support of women for their families was, without a doubt, a great effort to succor the revolution, women helped in every way possible.[16] In those troublesome times, it was the women who nurtured the Islamic Revolution of Iran; men of the Revolution honored and respected them.  Nurturing, middle-class women aided the sick and the poor among the villages, which received no government support, withstanding the brunt of the Shah’s negligence and brutality – in an effort to solidify the Revolution of Values. [4, 10]  These fearless women were often praised for their devotion and hard work, from dusk till dawn, before and after the revolution. [10] “The actions of those sisters who took part in the movement were more valuable than those of the men; they came out (into the streets) in their veils of modesty and shouting in unison with the men brought about victory. Now, with the purest of intentions, what they had accumulated during their lives they donated to the needy. This is worth much, were the affluent to donate millions it would not match this in value.”[10]

Figure 6. An unidentified brave female revolutionary, 1979

Women were defiant and at the forefront of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. No act too small, by the women, would go unnoticed in those times. They found a voice: they found hope; and they discovered their own worth with a degree of freedom; moreover, they went with it, gracefully in those times. “In a short period of time, a people whose conduct was to haggle with one another in all transactions underwent a transformation and they began to act benevolently towards each other.  One of the gentlemen said that during the demonstrations he saw a woman holding a bowl of coins in her hand.  At first he presumed she was a poor beggar, but as he got closer to her he heard her saying that she had brought coins along because the demonstrators may need to make telephone calls, as everywhere was closed that day, they may have difficulty finding change.  This was a small, but great act; it showed that a transformation had taken place, the magnitude of which was great indeed.” [8]  Thanks to the unwavering devotion of women, during the pre and post-revolutionary era, the impious Shah fled Iran. [13]   On February 1, Ayatollah Khomeini returned from his exile, greeted by millions of his supporters with millions of female faces among the mass. [15] “This is a change that came about in everyone and led to our respected brothers and sisters feeling a sense of responsibility. This in turn brought you all out into the streets and with your cries you drove your enemy out.  This was your direct involvement in politics.”[1] With the help and bravery of many notable Iranian women, the Shah and Imperial rule over Iran had been beaten, once and for all.

   By the time Iranian revolutionaries gained success, it was reported that over a hundred thousand women became empowered through their participation.

The End with a New Beginning

   By the time Iranian revolutionaries gained success, it was reported that over a hundred thousand women became empowered through their participation.[12] Women like Marzieh Hadideche Dabbagh, served as commanders during the Iran/Iraq war; furthermore, she held political positions in parliament, something that could’ve never been accomplished if not for women holding up the fort during some of Iran’s most trying times.[11] Women created new opportunities for other women in Iran, due to their revolutionary roles. Just as women nurture and guard their children vigilantly, yet lovingly, women of Iran fought for and loved their people, as they would their own children; moreover, they succeeded in giving birth to a new nation, one with a new perspective towards the rights and roles of women in Iranian society. Presently, many nations are withstanding the same moral decline as the Islamic Republic once did under the corrupt reign of the Shah; women are fighting for the same level of respect  – in places like USA, England, and Nigeria – as Iranian women did in pre-revolutionary times. Perhaps these oppressed women can learn from the courageous women who gave rise to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Works cited and Resource list:

1. Khomeini, Syed Ruhallah Musavi, translated by Shaw and Arezoo. The Position of Women from the Viewpoint of Ayatollah Khomeini. The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works.2001

2. Saffarzadeh, Tahere. Translated Qur’an in Persian and English (Bilingual). Iran. 2001. (Qur’an 34:46 Surah Saba)

3. Reese, Lyn. “The Age-Old Modesty of the Veil.” In Women in the Muslim World: Personalities and Perspectives from the Past Berkeley, CA: Women in World History, 1998 (pp. 71–72).

4. Girgis, Monique. “Women in pre-revolutionary, revolutionary, and post-revolutionary Iran Chamber Society” Iranian Chamber Society. 1996.

5. Mohammadian,Safeyeh. شهادت، شهید زن، شهدای زن انقلاب (Women Martyrs of the Revolution) http://zananebehsht.persianblog.ir

6. Linn Abbey, When Motherhood Meets Social Protest: Fatima through the Lens of Ayatollah Khomeini and Ali Shariati. Brown University.2015

7. Bhagi, Emad Al Deen. “A Question of Numbers” http://www.emadbaghi.com/en/archives/000592.php

8. Khomeini, Syed Ruhallah Musavi. The Position of Women from the Viewpoint of Ayatollah Khomeini; The https://www.al-islam.org/position-women-viewpoint-imam-khomeini-ra/great-women-world#16-may-1979

9. Muslim Journeys | Item #96: Veiling and the State in Iran, 1930s to 1979″, July 25, 2016 http://bridgingcultures.neh.gov/muslimjourneys/items/show/96.

10. Status of Women in Imam Khomeini’s view. http://www.aimislam.com/status-of-women-in-imam-khomeinis-view/

11. Iran Data Portal. “The Association of the Women of the Islamic republic” http://irandataportal.syr.edu/the-association-of-the-women-of-the-islamic-republic

12. Hill, Richard. “Women and the Revolution” https://msu.edu/user/hillrr/161lec27.htm

13. History. “This Day in History 79: Ayatollah Khomeini Returns to Iran”.  History, USA. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/ayatollah-khomeini-returns-to-iran

14. Rauh, Elizabeth. “The Graphics of Revolution and War: Iranian Poster Art”. Library @ University of Chicago, USA Division of Special Collections Resource Center Online. https://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/iranianposters/

15. Klevemen, Lutz. The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia. Grove Press, NY.2003

16. Raihaneh “Iranian Women Central to the Revolution: Periphery in History, III”. International Network of Muslim Scholarly Women. 2013. http://raihaneh.com/news/2599/Iranian-women-central-to-the-revolution,-periphery-in-history-%E2%80%93-part-three-3-

Sites where this article appears:

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/4614/A-Retrospect-on-the-Iranian-Female-Collective-Women-Shaping

http://changenews.tk/news/A-Retrospect-on-the-Iranian-Female-Collective:-Women-Shaping-the-Islamic-Republic-of-Iran

http://myconscience.org/scholars/ayatollah-khomeini/348-a-retrospect-on-the-iranian-female-collective-women-shaping-the-islamic-republic-of-iran

 

The Roots of Wahhabism, What Everyone Should Know: Part 1 of 3

“In order to diminish the violent effects resulting from Wahhabist ideals, ideals that essentially operate like a disease captivating the human psyche, we must learn it–acknowledge its history and origins. In the first part of a three-part series on Wahhabism we will address the roots and origins of this extremist cult.”
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Just how deep are the Roots of Wahhabism?

By Anahita Hamzei*

Prelude to the Unfolding Nightmare:

An ultra-treacherous cult unfurls throughout the globe, devouring its prey like an indiscriminate wildfire. Political “experts” have loosely tried to equate this out of control cult to “Radical Islam”; some people call it “Jihadi Islam”; and some call it “Fundamental Sunni Islam”: Yet, all of these designations are a stretch–if not an intentional lure, or sheer denial–from the bitter truth. The truth is that this cult bears a name beyond any label or recognition of those titles mentioned prior, in fact, it is quite distinct from Islam altogether: the Cult of Wahhab, is one of the oldest, most dangerous, and well-organized cults of our time.

The genesis of this exceedingly vast cult can be traced back to Saudi Arabia, where it emerged and initially manifested with a little help from friends loyal to the Royal Saudi family (1); its branches radiating outward, through concepts rooted in what is commonly known as “Wahhabism.” Henceforward, like any other weed that smothers life surrounding it, Wahhabism must certainly be dug out by the roots before it spreads any further. Thus, in order to diminish the violent effects resulting from Wahhabist ideals, ideals that essentially operate like a disease captivating the human psyche, we must learn it–acknowledge its history and origins. We must get to know its {Wahhabism’s} depth and impact–everywhere: how it is utilized by certain global powers and political entities to control and influence bands or individuals affected by its doctrines–groups like ISIS; and how it spreads. Finally, remaining in a state of complacency towards the alarming rate at which Wahhabism spreads is a reminder, complacency against a prevalent crises never resolves; but, it only aids in the development of a more serious problem. Therefore, preventing the spread of Wahhabism must be addressed.

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Setting the Record Straight:

What is Wahhabi, or Wahhabism? By most definitions: “Wahhabi is any member of the Muslim reform movement founded by Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab in the 18th century in Najd, central Arabia, and adopted in 1744 by the Saʿūdī family. Today Wahhabism is prevalent in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.” (2) This is how Wahhabism is commonly defined, but is it really as meek as that? Rarely is Wahhabism described for the gargantuan cult it really is, as the definition states it is delicately referred to as a movement: “the efforts and results of a group of people working together to reach a common goal: the civil rights movement.”  (4) However, the deeper you delve into this series analyzing Wahhabism—the roots, its impact on humanity, the movers and shakers–as well as completing independent fact searching on data surrounding it, the more one can visualize how a dangerous cult transpired from a movement.[1] Furthermore, there is a common misbelief among copious scholars that the late Mohammad Ibne Abdul al-Wahhab was the Father of Wahhabism or Wahhabi doctrine. Contrariwise, he was not the true founder of Wahhabi creed: although, the cult of stern thought and spurious religious ideology has earned his name–for carrying on and leading the Wahhabi reform movement progressively… and aggressively. At the core of Wahhabi ideology lies a deeper, yet still, sinister past–dating back to almost 700 years ago–beginning with a man on a tumultuous mission, a man named Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah: If ever a father had been named for sowing the Wahhabi seeds of thought, it should be this man. Ibn Taymiyyah is certainly an early link in a sinister chain of forged dogma, playing a pertinent role in corrupting the minds of millions who stand against Islam, captivating lost souls who fell victim to his doctrines and admired his legacy for centuries on.

The Long Dark Shadow of Wahhabism:

Aḥmad ibn Taymiyyah was born January 1263 – in his time he was considered to be a provocative scholar within the sphere of the Islamic World. (3)Taymiyyah was schooled in a rather religiously aggressive environment, according to historians. He attended an institution founded by Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Hanbali fiqh (jurisprudence) was beheld as the most conservative out of four orthodox systems of Islam—Hanabli, Hanafi, Maliki and Shafii–because it was “suspicious of the Hellenist disciplines of philosophy and speculative theology.” (3) Unfortunately, as the years progressed, it seem Ibn’s behavior transgressed: “Ibn Taymiyyah, together with the help of his disciples, continued with efforts against what, he perceived to be ‘un-Islamic practices’ and to implement what he saw as his religious duty of commanding good and forbidding wrong”(5)–and he did so violently. This is, within Wahhabism, at the core of the Cult and its follower’s discipline, which has led groups like Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Taliban (enforcers of strict Wahhabi codes) to carry out some of the most grisly acts against their captives.

It was Taymiyyah who first viewed all other religious practices that strayed from his perception of the Prophet’s “true” Sunnah as punishable—sometimes by death: According to his own distorted logic, “he was returning Islam to what he viewed as early interpretations of the Qur’an and Sunnah” (the codes of life that Prophet Muhammad {pbuh} lived by written in hadith). He drew many critics and opponents, even from among his colleagues of the Hanabli fiqh, because of his own innovations and fanaticism; especially, after leading ruthless undertakings against Shi’a, Alawite, Jews, and Christians.  Acceptance of Imamate, Saints, and holy sacred traditions he condemned; namely, graveyard visitations were viewed as false worship–“shirk” and “bid’ah”–as so many are accused of today by the Cult of Wahhab. One could say, Ibne Taymiyyah was the leading “shirk, bid’ah police” of his time: The innovator of an unscrupulous tradition adopted by the Wahhabi cult and their devout followers hundreds of years later. As he spiraled out of control creating the very bid’ah that he feared himself, at the age of 63, he was imprisoned in the Citadel of Damascus, prohibited from issuing fatwa any further. (6) Disappointingly enough, this would not be the end of Taymiyyah; the peak of his legacy would be born into another era, centuries later, with a man named Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab.

Centuries after his death, Ibn Taymiyyah ideologies would linger, building up a storm in the minds of his successors, having a profound influence over Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s own beliefs–whom would revive some of his most aggressive dogma. In the early-mid 1700’s, the well-known Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb would extract the beliefs of Taymiyyah and inject them once again into society; like Taymiyyah, his ideas were rooted in the Ḥanbalī School of law; and like Taymiyyah, they were rejected by local Ḥanbalī officials. His ideals earned him expulsion, first from the towns of Ḥuraymilāʾ and then from ʿUyaynah. (2) Nevertheless, these initiatives to silence Wahhab would not mark his downfall, it was only a stepping stone towards a greater accomplishment in the life of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Soon enough, visualizing the effectiveness of Wahhabism for control over the masses, The Emir, Muhammad ibn Sa’ud, inserted himself as Wahhab’s “saving grace” and a great source of financial support plus encouragement for Muhammad Wahhab. In 1744 the Saudi dynasty would begin funding the Wahhab movement. Emboldened and fuming with the same hatred, for non-Muslims and Muslims alike, left behind by Taymiyyah’s legacy, Wahhab along with his new collaborator would set the pace for the development of a well-organized and dangerous cult, on oil fertile grounds, throughout an entire nation.

At the turn of the 19th century, “they had brought all of Najd under their control, attacked Karbalāʾ, Iraq, a holy city of the Shīʿite branch of Islam, and occupied Mecca and Medina in western Arabia.” The Cult of Wahhab manifested and had been fully revived under the guidance of the Saʿūdī Fayṣal I. As one source describes: “The activities of Ibn Saʿūd in the 20th century eventually led to the creation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932 and assured Wahhābī religious and political dominance on the Arabian Peninsula.”(2)

Simultaneously, the Western world had their sights set on good ol’ – lustrous! — Arabian Black gold (oil) more so than Saudi’s infamous violations against humanity. They turned a blind eye then (towards oppressive rule), precisely as they do now. Westerners walking on Saudi Arabian sands sneered past the beheadings, the degradation of females from all age groups, and other violations… just as long as they–the men in fine black suits–could shake hands with the men clad in fine white thobes—Saudi monarchy. Western rulers would waste no time on inserting their fat cats as defenders and financers–via petrodollars from cheap oil purchases, linking all these elements together for a continuous cycle of dependent diplomacy–of the Saudi social system for decades to come… To Be Continued.

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Look for Part II of the Series Next Week!

*Anahita Hamzei is a two time graduate from the Texas A&M University System. She has received B.A.s in the human sciences and earned a Master of Science degree in Sociology. Mrs. Hamzei is an award winning speaker and researcher with published works in various fields of human and life sciences. She has traveled and lived in the Islamic Republic of Iran since 2013. She now journals and writes about her experiences, via news sites and social media, in an effort to debunk stereotypes and misconceptions spread by western propaganda.

 

 

References and Citations

1. Frontline – Saudi Time Bomb? PBS-Frontline. [Online] WGBH educational foundation, November 9, 2001. [Cited: April 15, 2017.](1) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/saudi/interviews/ahmed.html.

2. Wahhābī Islamic Movement. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopædia. s.l. : Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2017.(2)

3. Short Biography of Imam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah. Anonymous. s.l. : IslamWeb.net. 21707. (3)

4. Thorndike, E.L. and Barnhart, L. Clarence. Advanced Dictionary. Scott, Foresman Advanced Dictionary. Glenview : Scott Foresman and Comapany , 1993. 0-673-12377-4.

5. Islamic Philosophy . WordPress. [Online] December 9, 2015. [Cited: April 6, 2017.] http://islam.hilmi.eu/ibn-taymiyyah-the-founder-of-isis/.

6. The Info List-Ibn Taimiye. The Info List . [Online] 2014-15. [Cited: April 6, 2017.] http://www.theinfolist.com/php/SummaryGet.php?FindGo=Ibn%20Taimiya.

7. Laoust , Henri . Encyclopædia Britannica, Ibn Taymiyyah, . Encyclopædia Britannica. [Online] Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. , 6 23, 2014 . [Cited: April 14, 2017.] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ibn-Taymiyyah.

8. Staff. What is Wahhabism? The reactionary branch of Islam said to be ‘the main source of global terrorism’ . Telegraph. [Online] March 26, 2016. [Cited: April 17, 2017.] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/03/29/what-is-wahhabism-the-reactionary-branch-of-islam-said-to-be-the/.

9. The Saudi Connection: Wahhabism and Global Jihad. Choksy, Carol and Jamsheed, Choksy. Washington, DC : World Affairs Institute , 2015.


[1] Cult- a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader (s).


Originally published on Khamenei.ir

Lady Fatimah (as) molding women of Iran into an extraordinary force

“Women’s day in Iranian society and culture is incomparable to other places, in terms of the spirituality and charity in the atmosphere, because it cherishes and shares the sacred moments of welcoming Hazrat Fatimah (as) into this world with all virtuous women. It is at best a selfless day for Iranians. It is a day for character building. Overall, it is a day for expressing the capabilities of the Divine Creator’s brilliance through femininity.”

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Photo taken by Iranianhiker@wordpress.com for Miss Anahita Hamzei

By Anahita Hamzei*


Spring is on its way, bringing along with it some of our most cherished holidays this joyous time of year. When the early spring flowers of primrose, lilies, and hyacinth begin to blossom, thus do the hearts of the Iranian people as they prepare for a special holiday. As rare as the womanly flower that this special occasion symbolizes, Women’s day in the Islamic Republic of Iran transpires, while conveying a unique cultural twist and spiritual message.
The most important element of this occasion, which sets it apart from the way others celebrate Woman’s day, is that it coincides with the birthdate of a great Islamic figure–Lady Fatimeh Zahra (as). This convergence of two great occasions: the celebration of womanhood, femininity, and fertility; and Fatimeh’s (as) birthday brings about brilliance to the meaning of Women’s day in the Islamic Republic.
Therefore, in honor of all the lovely women–mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, and all the mothers before them–who deserve the utmost respect, let’s observe Hazrat Fatimeh’s (as) birthday and Women’s day by reminiscing on the wonderful history of this Islamic centered event and the traditions surrounding it.

Who was Fatimeh (as)?

     The celebration of womanhood in Iran goes beyond pretentious adornment and flattery; this day, in particular, draws from the recollection of one alpha female–whom of which beheld the best attributes and highest achievements mankind could obtain. Women’s day, Iran’s way, signifies the inner strength and beauty of a woman who stood bravely for the Islamic nation; namely, an icon for all women—Muslim, Christian, Atheist–Lady Fatimah Zahra (as). To explain how Lady Fatimeh’s (as) birthday and Women’s day became “one” we must delve deeply into the past, exploring whom this icon of the divine feminine was and what she stood for, beginning about 1400 years ago…

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Inscribed on the right of the beautiful shrine, lady Fatimeh’s name in arabic

On the 20th day of Jamadi Al Sani (referenced from the Arabic calendar), in the second year of the Be’esat (the 5th year anniversary of Mohammad’s prophethood declaration), from the sacred matrimonial union of the prophet and his honorable wife Khadija (pbut), an extraordinary infant was brought into this world; it was as if Allah reached into this world Himself to deliver this glorious blessing upon humankind. They would name their child Fatimeh (as). Immediately, after her emergence, to everyone’s unbeknownst, this little blessing of joy would make such a significant impact on humanity that in Islam she is held to the same status of Imam Ali (as), and all other infallibles. However, the only one who realized her value and significance would be the one touched by the Divine Creator himself, Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).

Ayatollah Khamenei so sweetly phrased in one of his speeches: “The spiritual positions of Fatima (as) are among the best spiritual positions, which belong only to a few individuals: she was infallible. Infallibility is particular to a few individuals who are chosen by Allah, and the great Hazrat Fatima Zahra (as) is one of these few individuals.” (1)

Hazrat Fatimeh (as) is held to such a high degree in Muslim societies, because she is viewed as the “cradle of the divine feminine”: encompassing everything pure, sacred, and positively innate that a woman possesses. She epitomized all the qualities of femininity and humanity so perfectly–without error. One example of those phenomenal traits occurred while Fatimeh Zahra (as) was a child. Immaculate Fatimeh’s (as) ability to love greatly and fearlessly arose at a very young age. For instance, about five years after Fatimeh’s (as) birth, her own mother, the first Muslima, Khadija (as) passed away. Fatimeh (as) was without a mother; but, it never held her back from her commitments to Allah and her loved ones. She was so attentive towards her father, more than the average child, Mohammad (pbuh)–a man without a mother and one who lost his wife–referred to her as his own mother; henceforth, he called her “Umme Abiha”– which translates to the mother of her father. (2)  At a young age she understood what many grown women could not. She was like an old soul of a thousand years wise, even as a child, with a divine blessing of wisdom and knowledge beyond her years, her abilities came effortlessly. This is but one great example of the many documented characteristics of Fatimeh (as).

As the years passed, and as the prophet’s (pbuh) lineage extended, Fatimeh (as) was the root of Imamate and Wilayat. She was the sublime blossom that gave rise to Ahlul Bayt, as it might be, reviving the bloodline of the prophet Mohammad (pbuh); hereafter, connecting all twelve of the great infallibles to the many living Shi’i Marjah and Sayyid birthed through the sowing of her lineage. Her own descendant, Imam Khomeini, spoke the following words of the woman who gave rise to the continuum of the divine prophet’s household:

“A woman in a small room of a humble home nurtured humans, their light shone from the vast expanse of the earth to the highest heavens from this world to the next. May blessings and peace from God, the Exalted, be upon this small room where the light of the divine majesty manifested and served as a nursery to the elite children among humankind. “(4)

Her life, and how she gracefully lived out her servitude to Allah was so influential that Lady Fatimah (as) continues to inspire today. Fatimeh’s (as) greatest inspiration was perhaps upon the women of Iran who helped, as equals to men, to abolish the Second Age of Ignorance–Imam Khomeini referred to this second age as a time of immense humiliation and degradation for women living under the Pahlavi dynasty (4).  It would be from her lasting impression that women of Iran would emerge as an extraordinary force: the recollection of this empowered momentum is projected through what Iranian women celebrate as “Women’s day” today.

“Fatimeh (as): a light at the end of a tunnel for women and a reason to fight.”

      The torch of Fatimeh’s legacy, was the light at the end of a tunnel for Iranian women prepared to fight against injustice. Imam Khomeini believed women (like men), throughout time, experienced phases of progression, ascending out from ignorance. A great spiritual enlightenment. Imam Khomeini, like many other Muslims, believed Hazrat Fatimeh Zahra (as) was the first Muslim female to break through a human phase of unawareness and into transcendence. She evolved into perfection; therefore, it was she, the necessary pillar that would carry women through a Second Age of Ignorance almost 1400 years later after the first age of ignorance. During the Second Age of Ignorance the women of Iran needed a charismatic role-model to emulate in order to free them from the chains of oppression. They required a woman who knew their struggles; one they could relate to, yet was just as powerful and influential as the male role-models, like Ali and all other infallibles (pbut).

“She [Fatimeh (as)] was a young woman who enjoyed such a lofty position of spirituality which was equal to saints, prophets, and the like. Besides this spiritual position, each outstanding characteristic and each important role in the personal life of this great lady is a lesson.”(1)

Thus it was Fatimeh’s (as) spirit they leaned on, her traits were adopted and manifested by the Iranian women during challenging times. Her simple recollection was the strength that helped Iranian women rise from the ashes. Like Fatimeh (as), whom–during the Age of Ignorance–fought against oppression, women of Iran learned from her (as) to struggle against government oppression; this is one of the reasons why Women’s day, introduced after the shah’s removal, belongs to Fatimeh (as) and all women of Iran. Fatimeh’s (as) legacy was the light that would guide them out of the Shah’s dark era. Therefore, it is this remarkable day that connects kindred spirits of the faithful. Fatimeh (as) is the portal that stands between then and now. Her birthday, expressed as a day for all women, unites the recollection of a legend and women in Iran as a sisterhood that must continue to struggle–In the way of Allah–for their own self-worth; their place and value in society. Moreover, this amalgamate gives the Iranian Women’s day its authenticity; standing on its own with great significance for the women of the nation. One that deserves greater honor and appreciation from this point of view. This is often mentioned by scholars like the great Ayatollah Khomeini, who was known for opposing and rejecting the humiliation of women, often seen in the West. In a sense, through his broad scope, women’s day needed a symbol that could embrace everything that encompassed that spirit of braveness and elegance Iranian women often displayed in those times. It also deserved its own signature to protest everything wrong with imperial and tyrannical governments. Once again who better to name represent the occasion than that of Fatimeh (as)? It was established by Imam Khomeini who made the following statements:

“Tomorrow is Women’s Day. It is the day when (the birth of) a woman is commemorated of whom the world is proud. It is the day commemorating a woman whose daughter stood against tyrannical governments, who recited that sermon and uttered those words, of which you are all aware.” (4)

“The history of Islam testifies to the limitless respect the Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him and his descendants, showed this noble infant, so as to demonstrate that woman has a special greatness in society, and if she is not superior to man, she is certainly no less than him. So this day is the day of woman’s revivification, and the day to establish her honor and the great role she plays in society” (4).

Although the juxtaposition of Fatimeh Zahra’s (as) birthday and woman’s day was never appreciated or considered by the overthrown Iranian shah, who amped up the influence of western culture in Iran, it would be shortly after the Iranian Revolution of 79’ that Ayatollah Khomeini established Lady Fatimeh’s birthday, once and for all, as Iran’s significant hallmark for Women’s day. The first to be celebrated on the fifth of May 1980.

Women’s Day in the Islamic Republic Today     

      As one who realizes it is best to place the integrity of a Holy occasions first, rather than the plethora of commercialized elements, rarely mentioned and important facts about Women’s day and how it is celebrated in Iran must be presented. Celebrations for Fatimeh’s (as) birthday take place around the world wherever servants of Allah might be, but these “celebrations” focus less on superficial or material matters than anything else. It is a day for recognizing some of the best attributes of a woman–as displayed by Fatimeh Zahra (as). Women’s day is truly a day that is meant to bring out the best and the best to come from a woman trying to perfect her soul and purify her heart; an effort that is priceless and cannot be bought.

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Women gathering outside a village for a Woman’s day event; photo taken by IranianHiker@wordpress.com

Hazrat Fatimeh (as) was not a “material girl”, and that is expressed through details of her life. For instance, she was more than willing to give away her material possessions if it eased the burdens of others. In fact, it is narrated: “On the night of her wedding, when Fatimeh Zahra (pbuh) was making her way to her husband’s home, wearing a new wedding dress, a poor woman approached her and asked for clothing to cover herself with. Rather than giving her the old dress which she had, she actually gave away her brand new wedding dress and wore her old clothes on her wedding night!” (5)

She was selfless. So, less emphases on the material matters the better for women who accept their heritage, culture and traditions in Iran. It must be established that Iran’s Women’s day is spent largely reflecting on who Hazrat Fatimeh (as) was and women might ask, “Who am I?” They might take advantage of this day to resolve their own jihads (struggles), by asking less self-absorbed questions like, “How can women improve on their own characteristics, self-worth, and adopt attributes that would lead them down the enlightened path of Fatimeh (as)?” or “Where do women need to improve on their own being and among their sisterhood, and how?” There is so much to think about and reflect upon, our beloved Lady Fatimeh (as) stood for so much. Institutions, female scholars, and political leaders, women all over the Islamic Republic of Iran hold daily seminars and activities that center on these important subjects.

Together or alone in contemplation, women must try to channel all the great aspects of Fatimeh (as): her level of intelligence; her modesty; her genuine and honest character; her pursuits to maintain the ties of kinship and happiness among her loved ones; her will and ability to care for all people, as if all people were her children; and her qualities as a mother and engineer in the home. Women’s day serves as a reminder to all women that we do have some great shoes to fill. We must continue to grow and fill into these shoes over time.

Imam Khomeini put it best when he said: “Strive to purify your character and to make your friends do likewise. Strive so that you react to the outrages committed against you. In your attempts to uphold all the qualities that make up the great character of woman, be as that unique woman, Hazrat Fatima Zahra, upon whom be peace, was. All of us should take our exemplar from Islam by looking at her and her children, and being as she was. Strive to acquire learning and godliness, for learning is not the preserve of any one person, learning is for all, godliness is for all, and striving to acquire learning and achieve godliness is the duty of us all. “(4)–and it is from her we build character and learn.

Naturally, we can never escape the fact that people–men, family, and children–in the lives of women do want to make them feel loved and appreciated;  the material elements of the occasion are not totally absent. Women are adorned with flowers and gifts. Sacred offerings of flowers line the streets for Hazrat Fatimeh (as) and all women of Iran. Additionally, Women’s day among Iranians is definitely a day to reflect on the immediate women in our lives too. Women are appreciated, especially, every step they took in the direction of Hazrat Fatimeh (as).

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Small and typical gift in Iran for ladies on the occasion of Mother’s day: sweets and flowers.

In my own experience with Women’s day, I sat about as a guest of honor in a school for all girls. Poets sang their hearts out for beloved Lady Fatimeh (as), women elaborated, in beautiful cascading voices, the details of her life story. The presentation area was decorated in bright colors and flowers. Sweets and teas were passed around to children and women enjoying the charitable event. After viewing a brilliant display of emotion for Fatimeh (as), the lights went back on, and the blinds were drawn open revealing the sun once again. I made many new wonderful friends that day, and scholars that left me with a gift of greater knowledge on Hazrat Fatimeh (as). Best Women’s day ever, at that point!

     Overall, Women’s day in Iranian society and culture is incomparable to other places, in terms of the spirituality and charity in the atmosphere; because, it cherishes and shares the sacred moments of welcoming Hazrat Fatimah (as) into the world with all virtuous women. It is at best a selfless day for Iranians. It is a day for character building. It is a day for expressing the capabilities of the Divine Creator’s brilliance through femininity. Finally, one must also keep in mind, women’s day or a day to honor and respect your mother, wife, and daughter is actually every day. After all “paradise lies at the feet of your mother “(6)–a maxim that certainly calls for continuous respect of all women.

Works Cited:

1. Khamenei.ir English Fatima Zahra, the young lady with a lofty position equal to saints and prophets. Khamenei.ir . [Online] Khamenei.ir , April 19, 2014. [Cited: March 8, 2017.] http://english.khamenei.ir/news/3516/Fatima-Zahra-the-young-lady-with-a-lofty-position-equal-to-saints.

2. Leghaei, Mansour. Fatima (A.S.): the Mother of Her Father. Imam Reza (a.s.) Network. [Online] Imam Reza (a.s.) Network, 1998. [Cited: March 9, 2017.] https://www.imamreza.net/eng/imamreza.php?id=4609.

3. Khamenei, Ayatollah and Staff. The Sayyid Network. Getting to Know . [Online] The Sayyid Network, 1 5, 2013. [Cited: March 8, 2017.] http://sayyidali.com/viewpoints/fatima-as-is-representative-of-god-among-the-infallibles.html.

4. Khomeini, Ruhollah. The Position of Women from the Viewpoint of Imam Khomeini. Tehran : The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works (International Affairs Dept.), 2001.

5. Bhimji, Saleem. Fatima as the Perfect Role Model. s.l. : Al-Fath Al-Mubin Publications.

6. Al-Adl, Ansar. What Does Islam Say About Mothers? s.l. : IslamWomen.com.

*Anahita Hamzei is a two time graduate from the Texas A&M University System. She has received B.A. degrees in the human sciences and arts. She earned a Master of Science degree in Sociology. Mrs. Hamzei is an award winning speaker and researcher with published works in various fields of human and life sciences. She has traveled and lived in the Islamic Republic of Iran since 2013. She now journals and writes about her experiences, via news sites and social media, in an effort to debunk stereotypes and misconceptions spread by western propaganda.


The views, opinions and positions expressed on Op-Ed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Khamenei.ir . Article was posted with permission of author.