Speaking in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Seyed Hadi Seyed Afqahi, referring to the detention of a person in the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) who had chanted slogans in support of ISIS with a cold weapon, added: Some have noted the timing of the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s Tawaf (pilgrimage) and linked it to that, analyzing it as a symbol of resistance against ISIS which, of course, is a possible hypothesis.
Saying that the ISIS detainee in the Holy Mosque did not speak the local language so that his nationality could be identified based on it, he called the slogans as being fantasy and dramatic and continued: We all know that the ISIS ideological foundation is based on Wahhabism and the fatwas of ISIS scholars and Wahhabism converges to show a harsh face of Islam.
Saudi Arabia, cradle of ISIS thinking
Emphasizing that Saudi Arabia is the cradle of ISIS thinking, the analyst of West Asia affairs said: The thoughts of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the thoughts of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was the founder of both Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) in Syria and ISIS in Iraq, the thoughts of bin Laden, leader and founder of al-Qaeda, is influenced by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and the extremist Wahhabism.
Seyed Afqahi said that about 5,000 Saudi suicide bombers are currently being held in various Iraqi prisons, adding: Those people took such measures with the encouragement and extreme fatwas of Wahhabis who were pro-ISIS and raised money for it in some Saudi mosques. This support is in addition to the fatwas and propaganda support during which various TV channels encouraged public opinion to jihad in Syria and Iraq!
Contradiction in Bin Salman’s approaches
He referred to Mohammed bin Salman’s plans to present a new and gentle image of Saudi Arabia and said: He wants to say that ‘We have discarded other Wahhabi ideas and many Wahhabi scholars are now in prison and we are moving towards Western liberalism!’ In some Saudi cities, liquor stores, clubs and inviting all types of singers are now public, but there is a contradiction in bin Salman’s approach; another point is that during the time of the Democrats, the United States, as Mrs. Clinton testified, announced that the United States had created ISIS!
Recalling the US logistical and intelligence support for ISIS elements to infiltrate Iraq and Syria, Seyed Afqahi explained: How does bin Salman, who is himself affiliated with the US, want to fight the US-created ISIS inside Saudi Arabia! Therefore, ISIS is in the hands of both the Americans and the Saudis as a weapon, and they use it wherever it is in their favor.
He added that the contradiction in Saudi Arabia is sometimes exploded with a spark, noting: For almost 70 years, several generations and several layers of young people in Saudi Arabia have been educated with such extremist ideas. Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s thoughts are still taught in some of their seminaries and Islamic universities in Mecca and Medina! What is the output of this thinking other than ISIS and al-Qaeda and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Abu Muhammad al-Jolani?
Seyed Afqahi continued: Mohammed ibn Salman cannot destroy that underlying Wahhabi ideology of 60-70 years with a few vulgar clubs and serials and supporting semi-naked singers. No matter how much he fills the prisons with those scholars, they will become heroes in the future and will rise up against his Westernist ideas and approach.
Potential for major political, social changes in Saudi Arabia
Referring to the conflicts of the Saudi royal family and bin Salman’s violent treatment of the princes, as well as his performance regarding the war in Yemen and creating insecurity in the Persian Gulf and trying to normalize relations with the Zionist regime, the analyst stressed: All this injustice and adventures is not far from the eyes of the Saudi people. Therefore, if we look closely we see that he may retain his appearance, but in practice he “sits on a branch and cuts off its bottom” and eventually falls.
Saying that Saudi Arabia has now more than 20 religious media, Seyed Afqahi pointed to the country’s special and oriented propaganda in the field of religious issues and said: Nevertheless, there is the potential for great socio-political changes in Saudi Arabia, but by force and by spending huge sums of money and false propaganda they have prevented it.
Explaining the socio-political atmosphere in Saudi Arabia, he said: We are witnessing a large amount of content against Al-Saud being written in cyberspace by the Saudis themselves and the royal family. Both in the Eastern region, where people are massacred, and from time to time, the movements and rallies and demonstrations that are formed against Al-Saud by the Sunni Saudis of Saudi Arabia themselves, not the Shiites, are very important.