• Sunday, February 17, 2019

Saudi Arabia's Future: Will Al Saud's Partnership with Wahhabism Hold?

Discussion in 'Arab Defence Forum' started by Daneshmand, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. Daneshmand

    Daneshmand PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Saudi Arabia's Future: Will Al Saud's Partnership with Wahhabism Hold?


    By James M. Dorsey

    Saudi Arabia may be heading into a perfect storm of economic problems, social challenges and foreign policy crises. Tumbling commodity and energy prices are forcing the Saudi government to reform, diversify, streamline and rationalise the kingdom's economy. The government is cutting subsidies, raising prices for services, searching for alternative sources of revenue, and moving towards a greater role for the private sector and women.

    Cost cutting occurs at a time that Saudi Arabia is spending effusively on efforts to counter winds of political change in the region with its stalled military intervention in Yemen, its support for anti-Bashar al Assad rebels in Syria, and massive financial injections into an increasingly troubled regime in Egypt that has yet to perform. Traditional autocratic rule in the Middle East and North Africa is being challenged like never before.

    Despite renewed doomsday prediction about the viability of the Saudi regime, its future however depends less on how it solves any one of these issues individually. Instead, it will be determined by how the kingdom's rulers restructure their Faustian bargain with Wahhabism, the puritan interpretation of Islam in which the Al Saud cloak themselves but which increasingly looms as a prime obstacle to resolving their problems.

    Founded on an alliance between the Al Saud family and descendants of 18th century preacher Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab, modern Saudi Arabia adopted an interpretation of Islam that is in many respects not dissimilar from that of the self-styled Islamic State (IS), the jihadist group that controls a chunk of Syria and Iraq. The Wahhabis' jihadist and expansionist instincts have since dulled and its strict ulama or religious scholars class, has progressively compromised to accommodate the needs of the state and its rulers.

    The question arises whether clerical accommodation of Saudi Arabia's rulers will give the government sufficient leeway to tackle the multiple challenges it confronts or whether the Faustian bargain needs to be restructured to a degree that the very legitimacy of the Al Saud is called into question.

    The Saudi rulers repeatedly bump into Wahhabism as they move to reform the economy, seek to differentiate Saud Arabia from IS, repair a tarnished international image, and ensure that the kingdom is not penalised for its four-decade old global funding of intolerant, anti-pluralistic Muslim communities in a bid to counter the revolutionary appeal of Iran. Moreover, the more the Saudi establishment ulama accommodates the state, the more it sparks militant critics who accuse it of deviating from the true path of Islam.

    In its attempt to differentiate itself from IS, Saudi Arabia has positioned itself as a victim of jihadist violence, taking a tough stance in confronting jihadists at home and abroad with its commitment to introduce ground troops in Syria, and painting Iran as the source of violence and instability in the Middle East. The Saudi effort has been only partially successful.

    The risk the kingdom runs is becoming evident in ever greater scrutiny of Wahhabi and Salafi communities across the globe as a result of jihadist attacks like the ones in Paris in November. For example two major Dutch political parties have asked the government whether there was a legal basis for the banning of Wahhabi and Salafi groups.

    If enacted, such a ban would lead to the prohibition of funding such groups and could prompt the Dutch government to ask the kingdom to remove its attaché for religious affairs from the Saudi embassy in The Hague. Over the years, other countries, including the United States, have moved to curtail inroads made by Saudi-funded religious groups. Ultimately, Saudi Arabia cannot afford to be penalised for the communities it funds and that lend the Al Saud their legitimacy. "Saudi Arabia's strategic vision is, to put it bluntly, whatever is best for the ruling House of Saud," said Saudi Arabia watcher Simon Henderson.

    Similarly, the government will have to free itself from the social restrictions imposed by Wahhabism to rationalise the Saudi economy, bring women fully into the workforce, shift the economy's emphasis from the public to the private sector, and diversify away from a 90 percent reliance on oil revenues.

    Restructuring the economy inevitably will involve renegotiation of the Al Saud's bargain with the Wahhabis and the kingdom's social contract in which the population surrendered political rights for cradle-to-grave economic benefits.

    With an unemployment rate of 29 percent among Saudis aged 16 to 29 who account for two thirds of the population, the government faces daunting challenges at home and abroad at a time of imposed financial austerity. Indulging puritan Islam is a luxury it increasingly cannot afford. Perhaps, the greatest challenge the Al Saud face is what alternative there is to Wahhabism that will legitimise their continued absolute rule. No immediate alternative presents itself.

    James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg's Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog and a forthcoming book with the same title.
     
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  2. Daneshmand

    Daneshmand PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    It is interesting to see the Western experts in countries allied with Saudi Arabia have started to warn that Saudis Arabia is coming off its hinges.

    They are cautioning of the impending implosion. So much has happened in this past few months. History is being made here right now.

    It appears Saudi Arabia has become an unsustainable entity for its Western allies. It is only a matter of time before West will recycle Saudi Arabia into something else more useful to the West.

    Perhaps a military coup or a "spring" or even a Federal Republic. No one can predict now of course, but what is becoming certain and guaranteed is the fact that Saudi Arabia will not survive in its current form for much longer.

    And it is a good news for the world and for the Muslims who suffered enormously keeping a Takfiri order ruling that land as absolute monarchs, whose definition of political transition and transfer of political power happens to be through a sperm having fertilized an egg some decades ago.
     
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  3. Thəorətic Muslim

    Thəorətic Muslim SENIOR MEMBER

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    We're talking about a country that will be recorded in history as wasting the greatest amount of money for leisure.

    A country that could have changed the dynamics of the world, of science/ technology, commerce/trade, cultural exchange due to it's bottomless petrodollars.
     
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  4. beast89

    beast89 FULL MEMBER

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    within in 3 years KSA foreign reserves will be gone and bear in mind a good chunk is reserved for the royals to GTFO and maintain their luxury lifestyle wherever ever they run away to.
     
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  5. Full Moon

    Full Moon FULL MEMBER

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    How about you just wait for 3 years Mr. Economist and enjoy your big laugh? Just wait these 3 years that you mentioned and all of that oil wealth, as you have intelligently predicted, will be lost for ever. Then, your long held grudges, envy, and sever jealousy of the soon to be lost petrodollar will be gone too. The only negative thing is that you had to live among your white English previous masters to try to reach that level of petrodollar which you couldn't get at home.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
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  6. volatile

    volatile SENIOR MEMBER

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    Be Careful while choosing your words for me it doesnt matter ,its a matter b/w Iran and Saudi Arabi (I dont take sides) but for me Saudi Arabia is Haram/Madina two of my favourite places in the world ,so when you say recycle think what you are saying its not a matter of taunting (I agree with you this is happening and very quickly) but as muslim we will not let this happened (it is irrelevant who stays and who runs) inshallah when the time comes we will defend Holy land
     
  7. KN-1

    KN-1 FULL MEMBER

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    its holding till now.. and it will hold till end of Ale Saud or maybe Ale shaikh find new BF...
     
  8. somebozo

    somebozo ELITE MEMBER

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    Having spent 30 years in Saudi i have hearing this goof talk since then....and If i go back to my fathe he will tell me that such goof talk was also order of the day in 1970's...

    Inflows from Saudi Arabia were the largest source of remittances in 2014-15. They amounted to over $5.6 billion in July-June, up 19% from the preceding 12 months.

    Remittances received in July-June from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increased 35.3% to $4.2 billion on a year-on-year basis. Inflows from the UAE registered the largest increase from any major remittance-sending country during 2014-15, SBP data shows.


    Buddy you dont have to stoop yourself so low to fight back a troll...Billions of people in the world do not have the privilege of common sense..to read and analyze..! chill!
     
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  9. beast89

    beast89 FULL MEMBER

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    Saudi Arabia could be bankrupt within five years, IMF predicts | Middle East | News | The Independent

    http://www.economist.com/news/leade...ate-its-region-and-modernise-its-economy-same

    Even the economist doesn't have faith in the new prince. Furthermore Britain ruled most of the world, Pakistan fought for its borders with India......Whilst Your royalty who you are named after (lmao) was decided and gifted by Britain.
     
  10. Desertfalcon

    Desertfalcon PROFESSIONAL

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    This is just my personal opinion and not my governments, or one that most Americans may share, but I think the Saudi monarchy has proven to be one of the most resilient in modern times. It certainly has proven to be a more stable model than many of the Arab republics. Sure, one reason may be Saudi wealth, but I think another important reason is that it is a consultative monarchy in that decisions are made, including the vital decision of ascension to the throne, in a more cooperative manner within the House of Saud. They have avoided the "cult of personality" of many Arab republics that result in the weakness of one man rule. I would also say that there is a high degree of hypocrisy among many Saudi critics given the kingdom's history of massive donations and assistance to their brother Arabs, in the region and even in the West.
     
  11. somebozo

    somebozo ELITE MEMBER

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    Regardless of what the monarchy appears to outsider..it has take up the classic arab style of government inside..the so called Shura at every political level down to direct links between ruling class and the tribal leaders!
     
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  12. Desertfalcon

    Desertfalcon PROFESSIONAL

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    Well, given the volatile history of Arab republicanism and the West's idiotic support for the so-called "Arab Spring", I'm not so sure that that is such a bad thing.
     
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  13. sami_1

    sami_1 FULL MEMBER

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    We are delighted to enter the Saudis in the quagmire of the Yemeni state where lies the doctrine of the Saudi soldier who flees from the battle appeared
    Seeking to enter into Syria in order to be the collapse of the Saudi regime Saudis naive think that they would fight the Russians and easier plunged Iran with weapons that will make Russian Saudis living in private after the horror of what America announced that the Saudis have become a heavy burden on America must get rid of them
    Europe became closer to imposing sanctions on them to replace the West to Iran, Saudi Arabia Saudis created the Shiite-Sunni conflict to consolidate their rule system

    Claiming that they are leading a war against the Shiites and the best solution is to break the Saudis are so busy with their problems are internal, are unable to escape from Yemen without a complete defeat and gangs ISIS they founded turn against them

    Cook tastes it is only natural poison

    Saudis promise to defeat the enemy fights, including tools they immersed themselves in a war against neighboring countries, thus always make fun of fighting directly

    Iran enjoy fighting put the Saudis and their neighbors are losing blood while Saudi Iran in the Security and lose one drop of blood

    texting.jpg
     
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  14. الوكيل بالخصومة

    الوكيل بالخصومة FULL MEMBER

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    أرى أن المملكة باتت تتخبط في ظل حكم الغلمان