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The Amman Blasts – the first shots of the emerging schism between the Wahabis and the Hashemites

The seemingly monolithic Arab Muslim Ummah is cracking up along sectarian and tribal lines. While the sectarian divide along Shiite-Sunni lines is discernable, that along tribal lines is not. To explain this we need to dip a bit into Islamic history.

These schisms are not new. The rivalry of the Saudis and the Wahabis with the Hasemites goes back to the defeat, of the Hashemites by the Saudi Wahabis in the early 20th century which ultimately has its roots in early Islamic history when the descendants of prophet Mohammed were outmaneuvered by the descendants of the pre-Islamic ruler of Mecca Abu Sufyan. Thus the Al Qaeda who is the inheritor of the Wahabi ideology, has a case against the Hashemites with a pedigree going back to 1300 years. *

His Majesty of Jordan King Abdullah - will he be the last Hashemite sovereign?

In the distant future during the build-up to destabilizing the Saudi regime, we would have to use these schisms between the Saudis and the Hashemites and those within the Saudis themselves that would emerge during the final days of the Saudi monarchy.

To understand the depth of the schism between the Hashemites and the Saudis you shall need to read the Addendum at the bottom*. Only then would the above hypothesis make sense.

Photo Credits: fundarabist

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The schism between the Hashemites and the Wahabi Saudis will work its way in the distant future only after Shiite Iran is pacified and we have a friendly regime in Tehran. After that when it is the turn of the Saudis to face regime change, they would use the Hashemite card to save their sinking monarchy. But we need to prepare ourselves to the drama that is ultimately going to be enacted in the heart and center of Islam – Arabia. Setting a time frame for these events will today be hypothetical, but they will come on top of the agenda when the Iranian threat is past and the Saudis move over to the finals for regime change. The Saudi regime will either have to change itself by divesting itself of its Wahabi roots and influences – in effect by de-Saudizing itself, or it will have to be changed as was the regimes of Taliban and Saddam.

It is at this juncture sometime in the future that the Saudis would be pushed to the wall and they would have to decide between surrender or destruction. By de-Saudizing itself it would in effect surrender to American demands; and the other option is destruction through a final war with the US led coalition.

In the event of the Saudi regime making the latter choice, which is quite possible after a portion the regime defects to our side, the scenario we are talking about today will realize itself a few years hence. Although today neither RAND nor Stratfor nor the Pentagon nor the Oval Office would talk about it, this stratagem would work its way in dividing the Arabs of the Saudi Arabian peninsula in to Wahabi Saudis, the reformist Saudis who would switch sides and the Hashemites who are today living silently under Saudi rule – hoping to reclaim their mantle of rulership some day.

In the distant future during the build-up to destabilizing the Saudi regime, we would have to use these schisms between the Saudis and the Hashemites and those within the Saudis themselves that would emerge during the final days of the Saudi monarchy.

To understand the depth of the schism between the Hashemites and the Saudis you shall need to read the Addendum below.Only then would the above hypothesis make sense.

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* Addendum: The sectarian Shiite-Sunni schism has been in existence for over 1300 years since the year 661 when Ali the fourth and last of the rightly guided caliphs was murdered by the followers of Abu Muawiya Ibn Sufyan. This goes back to the early days of Islam which led to the Shiite-Sunni split. While the Shiites followed the descendants of Ali who was Prophet Mohammed’s cousin and so his progeny Hasan and Hussein were descendants of Mohammed, the usurper Abu Muawiya Ibn Sufyan was a descendant of the pre-Islamic rival of Mohammed Abu Sufyan, the ruler of pre-Islamic Makkah (Mecca). The followers of Sufyan within Islam became Sunnis and those of Ali, Hasan and Husein became Shiites.

As the Sunnis were the dominant sect and remained so all through Islamic history, not all followers of Ali, Hasan and Hussein pledged open loyalty to the Shiites branch. They tried to retain their position by claiming descent from Prophet Mohammed and kept the memory of this lineage alive by calling themselves Hashemi (anglicized as Hashemite in the 20th century).

The Muslim community has always been dominated by the followers of the pre-Islamic ruler of Mecca Abu Sufyan who called themselves the Sunnis derived from Sunnah. Those who followed the descendants of the prophet of Islam called themselves Shiites (or Shiaa). But to keep power in their hands there was a section of Muslims who remained within the Sunnis sect and kept alive the memory of their being the descendants of the prophet whose rival was the pre-islamic ruler of Mecca who tried to murder prophet Mohammed and also fought three battles with him at Badr, Uhud and Trench. The followers of Abu Sufyan were forced to become Muslims after their final defeat and later called themselves Sunnis. The Sunnis gave themselves legitimacy by claiming that they had the Sunnah – the decription of what prophet Mohammed did during his lifetime and which was to be the guide for all Muslim for all time to come. The Sunnah is different from the Quran which was Mohammed’s oratory before his followers, although he claimed that it was from a god. After Mohammed died, the followers of Abu Sufyan regained their lost position of pre-eminence in Arab society by claiming that they had the Sunnah which described what the Prophet did and the Sunnah was made equal to the Quran which were Mohammed’s words. This way the pre-Islamic followers of Abu Sufyan regained their dominance for which they used the Sunnah and also murdered the fourth caliph who stood in their way to regain the formal trappings of power – the position of the Khalifah (Caliph)

And within the Sunnis, these Hasemites were those who kept alive the memory of the rivalry that started with prophet Mohammed were his descendants who remained Sunnis and used the direct descendant card to regain the rulership of Mecca intermittently in Arabia. It is this dynasty who was ruling Arabia under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Turks in the 19th and early 20th centuries when global politics of around the first world war pitted the British against other Ottoman Turks and the British thru the talented and resourceful Lawrence of Arabia, fomented a rebellion of the Arab tribes against the Turkish rule. The Arabs who rose in rebellion were the followers of Al Saud whose mentor w the ultra-orthodox Al Wahab preached a puritanical form of Islam in the 18th century. The Saudi dynasty had gradually establishing its power from 1744 displacing the ruling Hashemites who were under the protection of the Ottoman Turks. The 19th century saw a see-saw struggle between the Hashemites and the Saudis. In the year 1924 The defeat of the German-Austrian combine who allies the Ottoman Turks were led to the end of Turkish rule in Arabia and in alliance with the British, the Saudi ruler Ibn Saud strengthened his position.

How the Saudis displaced the Hashemites from Arabia

He maneuvered deftly between the British and the Ottomans as World War I approached, then entered into a 1915 treaty with the British that acknowledged his independence and provided a guarantee against external aggression. In return, he pledged non-interference in the affairs of the British-protected emirates of the Gulf. Although Great Britain’s principal Arabian ally against the Turks was Hussein bin Ali, the Hashemite Sherif of Mecca, the British sent Ibn Saud critical weaponry in 1915-16 and initiated a modest but vital monthly monetary stipend in 1917.The weakened remnant of the Rshidi state to the north of Riyadh, which had supported the Turks in the war, fell to the Al Saud in 1921.

In 1924 after the Ottoman rule was finally ended by Mustapha Kemal Pasha in Turkey, the Hashemite ruler, Sherif Hussein bin Ali rashly claimed the Islamic caliphate for the Hashemites, alienating most of the Islamic world. Hashemite resistance melted before the ikhwan, and by 1925, the Cities of Mecca and Medina were under the control of the Al Saud. Ibn Saud. This marked the departure of Hashemite power from the Arabian peninsula. As the Saudi state expanded to the north, the Hashemites of the Arabian peninsula retreated northwards and took refuge in Trans-Jordan and Iraq where other branches of their family were ruling. The rivalry of the Saudis and the Wahabis with the Hasemites goes back to this defeat, which ultimately has its roots in early Islamic history when the descendants of prophet Mohammed were outmaneuvered by the descendants of the pre-Islamic ruler of Mecca Abu Sufyan.

Story Credits: War on Jihad team

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