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The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role in Terrorism (2002)

av Stephen Schwartz

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1532137,948 (2.94)1
Since its formation in 1932, Saudi Arabia has been ruled by two interdependent families. The Al Sa'uds control politics and the descendants of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab impose Wahhabism--a violent, fanatical perversion of the pluralistic Islam practiced by most Muslims. Stephen Schwartz argues that Wahhabism, vigorously exported with the help of Saudi oil money, is what incites Palestinian suicide bombers, Osama bin Laden, and other Islamic terrorists throughout the world. Schwartz reveals the hypocrisy of the Saudi regime, whose moderate facade conceals state-sponsored repression and terrorism. He also raises troubling questions about Wahhabi infiltration of America's Islamic community and about U.S. oil companies sanitizing Saudi Arabia's image for the West. This sharp analysis and eye-opening expose illuminates the background to the September 11th terrorist attacks and offers new approaches for U.S. policy toward its closest ally in the Middle East.… (mer)
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http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1385147.ht...

The two eponymous faces are fanaticism and moderation; the book's subtitle is 'Saudi fundamentalism and its role in terrorism', and the whole thrust of the book is to expose Wahhabism and its linkage with the Saudi monarchy as a driving force in Islamic terrorism worldwide. The tone of the book is offputtingly polemical at times, but there were a couple of good sections - Schwarz is pro-Shi'ite, so his take on Iran is much more sober than one usually gets from US sources; and his account of the failure of Wahhabism to make much headway in Bosnia or Kosovo is almost comical. However, he has a painfully unconvincing page on Iraq (I guess to try and exploit the 2002 market) and also numerous other surprising asides - that the Yugoslav wars might have been planned from the Kremlin, or that Trotsky's assassination was the most famous terrorist act of the 20th century (the latter particularly surprising from someone who knows Sarajevo as well as Schwartz does).

However, despite the weaknesses of the argument, the case is well made that if the US is actually serious about fighting terrorism through regime change, there are worse places to do it than Saudi Arabia. Also Schwartz's call for more intense monitoring and intervention by US authorities in their own domestic Islam religious and educational discourse is probably well-founded, and it has to be said that the recent incidents of home-grown extremism in America rather prove his point. But I would be interested to read a more sober and detailed account of the relationship between Wahhabism and Saudi money; the indications are all there but the details didn't quite join up for me. ( )
  nwhyte | Jan 25, 2010 |
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Since its formation in 1932, Saudi Arabia has been ruled by two interdependent families. The Al Sa'uds control politics and the descendants of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab impose Wahhabism--a violent, fanatical perversion of the pluralistic Islam practiced by most Muslims. Stephen Schwartz argues that Wahhabism, vigorously exported with the help of Saudi oil money, is what incites Palestinian suicide bombers, Osama bin Laden, and other Islamic terrorists throughout the world. Schwartz reveals the hypocrisy of the Saudi regime, whose moderate facade conceals state-sponsored repression and terrorism. He also raises troubling questions about Wahhabi infiltration of America's Islamic community and about U.S. oil companies sanitizing Saudi Arabia's image for the West. This sharp analysis and eye-opening expose illuminates the background to the September 11th terrorist attacks and offers new approaches for U.S. policy toward its closest ally in the Middle East.

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