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Who’s to Blame: Saudi Study on the Presence of Terrorism in Student Activities | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Medina, Asharq Al-Awsat- A Saudi researcher specializing in extremist groups has recently revealed that at a certain point in time, student extracurricular activities, summer centers, Boys Scouts camps and student excursions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were exploited to spread deviant thought in society.

A study entitled “Terrorist and Violent Thought in Saudi Arabia: Sources, Causes for its Prevalence and its Solution” by Dr. Abdul Salam Bin Salim as-Suhaimi, associate professor in the Faculty of Shariah’s Department of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) at the Islamic University of Medina and member of the consultative committee in Medina, examines 19 topics that begin with moderation in Islam.

The study exonerates Saudi curriculums from extremist and terrorist thought and upholds the fundamentals of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’al-Jama’ah [literally the adherent to the Sunnah and the community], which refers to the followers of any of the major schools of Islamic thought within the Sunni sect of Islam.

Furthermore, Dr. as-Suhaimi explores the concept of takfir [Muslims denouncing other Muslims as disbelievers] and cites a wealth of sources, including classical references and contemporary sources, to illustrate his argument. The researcher blames the ideology of Islamist groups that have clandestine organizations and holds them directly responsible for the suffering in Egypt, Algeria and Saudi Arabia. Among these groups, he places the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) at the top of this list and includes all the trends within the organization: the Banna, Qutb and Sorrour approaches.

Dr. as-Suhaimi describes the MB’s secret organization, citing various statements as evidence, including one by Ali al Ashmawi in his book ‘The Secret History of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement’ in which he said that members of the movement should consciously isolate themselves from society and not share or declare anything until they have matured.

The researcher quotes Abdullah Nasih Ulwan, the author of ‘Aqabat fi Tareeq al Duaah’ (Obstacles in the Paths of Preachers), as saying, “When the Islamic movement is plagued with a terrorist; an authoritative and ungodly ruler who detains preachers, the plan should be to restrict dawa [Islamic proselytizing] to secret communication, false affiliations with groups that are concerned with spiritual education, association with Quran-teaching societies, charities, and educational institutions, in addition to operating under their umbrellas, and making steady efforts to assign preachers with the delivery of sermons at mosques, or to teach at schools.”

The study also includes a statement by major ideologue, Salah al Sawi, from his book entitled ‘Al Thawabit wal Mutaghayyirat’ (Constants and Variables) in which he says, “The interest of Islamic action may require some Muslims to undertake some militant acts that are disapproved by others.”

Through his study, Dr. Abdul Salam Bin Salim as-Suhaimi explores a number of compelling questions including, where did terrorist and violent thought in Saudi Arabia come from? In the chapter in which he attempts to answer this huge question, he cites a statement made by Saudi Interior Minister HRH Prince Naif Bin Abdulaziz to the Kuwaiti newspaper ‘Al-Siyasa’ in which he said, “All our problems stem from the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The author pointed out that Saudi Arabia lacked foresight in hosting people who had been persecuted for their religious-masked trends and whose methodological activity had begun to penetrate through student activities.