Thursday, July 27, 2017

American neo-Wahhabi Preaching, Part II

Two friends have responded critically to my post this morning. 

The second simply responded with the quote:
"At the end of my life, I want to be able to say I contributed more than I criticized." Brene Brown
 I replied as follows:
A good point.

However, the great teachers, from Socrates onwards, including most prophets recognized in our scripture, contributed mainly by criticizing.

The first friend had a longer warning:
I certainly share your concern regarding the advice being given, but see no need to avoid the substantive criticism by condemning people based on where they studied, particularly in the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  There are plenty of thoughtful American and Canadian Muslims who have studied in Saudi Arabia, and tarring them with the label of Wahhabis because they studied in the KSA is dangerous and self-defeating. This same strategy can be used tomorrow against any one of us once the identity of the scapegoat is changed.  Let's stick to criticizing or praising ideas, rather than names and places.  We'll be much better off if we do so. 
I responded as follows:
You are absolutely right, ... The problem is that this brand of preacher always make sure to say during their khutab that they studied at Madinah University, and that their teacher taught them this and that… This is an integral part of their own chosen and marketed brandname that lends them legitimacy. 
I agree that the word Wahhabi is counterproductive, but Salafi would be even more misleading, and so on. I am trying to inform them of the alienness of their own teaching to who they are, and use the term neo-wahhabi to describe them… 
In summary, I see your concern about using the term as a pejorative, and understand the dragnet mentality that is ever-present and also dangerous, but my main objective is for families to stop sending their kids to this recruitment school. My guess is that once USG stopped their direct sponsorship of mosques and Imams in the U.S. after 9/11, they started offering these scholarships to indoctrinate American citizens who cannot be kept out. So, I wanted to sound the alarm — not that anyone is listening. 


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