Wahhabi Hate-Mongers´ Sham "Peace Convention" (GateStone Institute) by Irfan Al-Alawi 04/16/12)
GateStone Institute Articles-Index-Top
The posture of the ruler of Dubai in presenting this Wahhabi
performance as a factor for peace is alarming in its apparent
revelation of the weakness of Dubai...
In one of the most absurd recent exercises in self-deceptive
propaganda by radical Islamists, an "International Peace Convention"
has been announced for April 12 at the Dubai World Trade Center.
The event, which is the second of its kind, will be give a prominent
place to Zakir Naik, an Indian Muslim televangelist whose "Peace TV"
beams from Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Mumbai. Naik, an unapologetic
adherent of the ultrafundamentalist Wahhabi sect of Islam, is barred
from entry into Canada and Britain for exhorting Muslim youth to
participate in terrorism. He has incited Muslims against non-Wahhabi
observances and interpretations, including Sufism and Shiism, and
loudly proclaims his alleged charisma in convincing Hindus,
Christians, and other believers to become Muslims.
Naik was denounced as an apostate from Islam in 2008, by a leading
Indian Muslim jurist, Maulana Mufti Abdul Irfan Qadvi, for supporting
the late Osama Bin Laden. Maulana Qadvi appealed to the Indian
government to ban "Peace TV," and to investigate Naik´s financial
backing. Tens of millions of Indian Muslims who follow the spiritual
Sufi way were outraged when Naik proclaimed their devotions to be
heresy – a remark the television preacher later recanted.
At the same time, however, Naik offended, with apparently deliberate
intent, the Indian Sunni and Shia Muslims by praising the killer of
Imam Husayn, the grandson of Muhammad. Mourning the death of Husayn
is a central component in Shiism; his murder has been traditionally
condemned by moderate Sunni Muslims.
The pretensions of Naik to standing as a Muslim scholar who can
deliver fatwas [religious opinions] via his broadcasts have been
repudiated by other established Indian Muslim authorities. Maulana
Mehmood Daryabadi, general-secretary of the All India Ulema Council,
has stated of Naik: "He is neither an ´aalim´ (scholar) nor a ´mufti´
(one who gives fatwa)… he should not issue fatwas from public
Naik´s habit of proclaiming fatwas and offering Quranic
interpretation, despite his lack of appropriate religious training,
is typical of Wahhabis and their followers. Wahhabis claim that their
improvisation of religious doctrine represents a "reform" of Islam
and a revival of "ijtihad," or individual juristic reasoning. In
practice, such "individual reasoning" has served as an excuse for
Wahhabis to impose unjust punishments for alleged moral infractions,
as well as to support acts of terror previously forbidden in Islam.
"Peace TV" has promoted indoctrination in fanaticism by such Wahhabis
as the virulently radical and racist American Siraj Wahhaj, born
Jeffrey Kearse, and a former follower of the spurious "Nation of
Islam." Wahhaj is a past vice-president of the Islamic Society of
North America (ISNA), which was set up with the backing of the Saudi
Wahhabi clerical establishment. Wahhaj was named in 1995 by U.S.
Attorney Mary Jo White as an unindicted co-conspirator in the plot to
blow up the World Trade Center in New York in 1993. He also testified
in the defense of the convicted terrorist, the "blind sheikh" Omar
Yet another luminary of "Peace TV" is Jamal Badawi, known for his
association with the Muslim world´s most prominent extremist media
figure, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. Badawi, who was born in Egypt and lives in
Canada, serves on Al-Qaradawi´s so-called "European Council for
Fatwas and Research," which is chiefly distinguished by the scarcity
of European Muslims in its ranks; most of its members are Arab or
Badawi is even better known, however, for his misogynistic
interpretation of Islam. In his 1980 volume, The Status of Women in
Islam, Badawi wrote to oppose the involvement of women in
politics: "According to Islam, the head of the state is no mere
figurehead. He leads people in the prayers, especially on Fridays and
festivities; he is continuously engaged in the process of decision-
making pertaining to the security and well-being of his people. This
demanding position, or any similar one, such as the Commander of the
Army, is generally inconsistent with the physiological and
psychological make-up of woman in general. It is a medical fact that
during their monthly periods and during their pregnancies, women
undergo various physiological and psychological changes. Such changes
may occur during an emergency situation, thus affecting her decision,
without considering the excessive strain which is produced. Moreover,
some decisions require a maximum of rationality and a minimum of
emotionality – a requirement which does not coincide with the
instinctive nature of women."
This line of argument conflicts with the experience of Turkey,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, all leading Muslim countries
which have included women among their political leaders. Even Saudi
Arabia under King Abdullah has proclaimed reforms which, if they are
fully adopted, will provide women the right to participate in public
decision-making. By royal order, women will be free from the Wahhabi
requirement for permission from a male relative to vote and stand as
candidates in Saudi municipal elections scheduled for 2015.
On April 13, the second day of the convocation, the regular Friday
preacher at the Grand Mosque (Haram) in Mecca, the Wahhabi sheikh
Abdur Rahman Al-Sudais, will lead collective prayer at the Dubai
Although Al-Sudais claims to be an apostle of interfaith dialogue, he
has been barred from Canada and condemned by Saudi officials for his
extremist rhetoric. He has supported previously-unknown restrictions
on the participation of women in the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Most
offensively to moderate Muslims, Al-Sudais demands that women who go
on hajj be separated from men and required to put on the un-Islamic
face veil (niqab). Such demeaning proposals have never before been
articulated among Muslims, who believe that women living in Mecca and
attending hajj are sufficient in their virtue, and require neither
taking leave of men nor covering their faces.
Al-Sudais has also been an active adherent of anti-Islamic, anti-
historical, and anti-cultural schemes for the desecration of Mecca by
the construction of new high-rise buildings around the Ka´bah, the
most sacred Islamic structure, to which all Muslims turn in prayer.
Saudi Wahhabis, obsessed with a gigantism in construction reminiscent
of Stalin´s in Soviet Russia, have already erected a huge "royal
clock tower" that overlooks the Ka´bah, and has a face even larger
than the Ka´bah itself.
The message of Wahhabis such as Al-Sudais is: Saudi power transcends
and dwarfs the whole of Islam.
Other well-known fundamentalist agitators advertised to appear at the
Dubai "convention" include Yusuf Estes, who regularly appears on the
fundamentalist Islam Channel, and who is a former Protestant believer
of Anglo-Saxon heritage, chiefly distinguished by his thick American
Elements of peace-making, according to the agenda at the Dubai
meeting, are vague. Dr. Hamad Al-Shaibani, Chairman of the Board of
Trustees for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Award for World
Peace, announced: "Peace is the ultimate goal for our Convention --
just as it is the ultimate goal of Islam itself."
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, patron of this disgraceful
spectacle, is prime minister and ruler of Dubai, and vice-president
of the United Arab Emirates.
The "Dubai International Peace Convention," led by Naik and Al-
Sudais, may well have been conceived last year when Al-Sudais visited
India. Regardless of the details of its origin, a meeting in which
radicals such as Naik and Al-Sudais are prominent will do nothing to
advance the cause of peace or of interfaith cooperation. Rather, it
will encourage extremist ideology and violence. The posture of the
ruler of Dubai in presenting this Wahhabi performance as a factor for
peace is alarming in its apparent revelation of the weakness of Dubai
in the face of the money and influence wielded from Saudi Arabia by
the Wahhabi clerical caste. Rather than welcoming and praising these
zealots, Sheikh Al-Maktoum would be better served by following the
counsel of the Indian cleric, Maulana Qadvi, expelling "Peace TV" and
Naik from Dubai for good.
As for Al-Sudais, the trip from Dubai back to Saudi Arabia is a short
one; his deportation would contribute more to peace and good
interfaith relations than any elaborate media masterwork.
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY