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Gwenn Oktuhlik - Networks and Dissent : Islamism and Reform in Saudi Arabia

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Political Science
POLI 341
Imad Mansour

Gwenn OkruhlikNetworks of Dissent Islamism and Reform in Saudi ArabiaThe purpose of this article is to first clarify the historical context inner workings and impact of the Islamist movement in Saudi Arabia The reason why the author chooses to study the inner dynamics in Saudi Arabia is generally because Portrayals of internal politics as contests between Unites Statesallied moderates and puritanical Wahhabis are grossly oversimplified So too is a menu that offers two stark choices an absolute monarchy tilting toward the West or a revolutionary Islamist regime hostile to the WestIntroduction y The politics of Islamist dissent in Saudi Arabia have come under intense scrunity since September 11 y Why suspicion over Saudi Arabia The author explains that SA was one of only three states along with Pakistan and United Arab Emirates to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistans legitimate government Perhaps most alarmingly 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian citizensThe internal and external grievances of the Islamists y Internal They involve authoritarianism and repression maldistribution and inequity the absence of representation in the political system and the seemingly permanent stationing of United States military forces in Saudi Arabia y External they involve American backing of Israel UnitedStatesled sanctions on Iraq and American support for repressive regimes in the region particularly Saudi Arabia Egypt Algeria and JordanAlSauds Authority y The AlSauds base their claim to legitimacy on the success of military conquests in the 1920s and 1930s and on their alliance with religious authorities y The AlSaud rule in an uneasy symbiosis with the Muslim clergy This relationship dates to the 1744 alliance between Muhammad ibn Abd alWahhab and Muhammad ibn Saud
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