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Islamic Emirate of Arabia?

Reader comment on item: Arabia's Civil War

Submitted by John Power (Ireland), Aug 5, 2004 at 19:47

In 1978, we saw all the signs in The Kingdom of Iran (or Iranshahr) that the monarchy wouldn't last any longer than 5 years ... It didn't last any longer than 1 year.

At the time, Iran was a major US ally and then - after the revolution - an Islamic/Republic hybrid government took power. To many Westernized Iranians, this became a repressive government lead officially by the 80-year-old Ayatollah Khomeini (but with the real power coming from much younger men, who still control Iran - most notably, Ali Khameini and Hashemi Rafsanjani).

Ayatollah Khomeini's original ideas were based on a combination of Islam and a French style Republic. However, revolutionary confusion and war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq both fanned paranoia and extremism.

However, Iran's Islamic Republic is not the place many westerners think .. Firstly, it was not an original idea: the Islamic Republics of Comoros, Mauritania and Pakistan served as blueprints. While the laws in the IRI were a lot stricter than those of the Shah, they were a lot more tolerant than those of the pro-Western Arabian Peninsula states. Secondly, what made the IRI get a lot more bad press than the other countries was that it became a US enemy. The rest is history.

However, jump to 2004: Saudi Arabia's monarchy is crumbling today. And it is much more scary than the Iranian Revolution. The Iranian revolution saw hostage taking, civil war, etc. but did we see any of the blatant killings of westerners that we see in Post-Saddam Iraq and now Saudi Arabia. No. But, then again, Saudi has ALWAYS been a far more repressive place than Iran. This is because of many reasons, chiefly:

1. That the Iranians are generally better educated and even the most extremist of Mullahs cannot pragmatically introduce things they might be able to in Saudi.
2. The Iranians are more independent/nationalist than strictly religious, whereas the Saudis are fiercely protective of Mecca and Medina and are not tolerant of other religions.
3. The Iranians want to be INDEPENDENT of the West whereas Al Qaeda want to DESTROY all the world that is not Wahabbi Islam.

With the grim prospects of an Arabian revolution in the near future, what is the most likely outcome? Here are some questions and sample answers:

1. What will Osama bin Laden's role be? Probably will not be officially featured at all in government (otherwise, the US will go to war to get him out). He will (if he is still alive) probably be given secret refuge there and a hidden role in govt.

2. What sort of laws/policy/etc. will the country take? Very strict Wahabbi Islam, like the Taliban in Afghanistan but probably much more extreme. Clerical rule. Promoter of Terrorism against enemies (US, Israel, Europe, Russia, Iran, China, and others). Aggressive towards its secular neighbours, and interfering in Iraq. Westerners will be probably (at best) be told to leave, or alternatively will be killed (with the govt. denying it). The end result will of course be war with the US.

3. What will the country's name be? Islamic Emirate of Arabia.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (32) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Response to comments [180 words]Faisal AlotaibiDec 26, 2005 19:5530599
There is a great need for this kind of information (education) [115 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Attilio Capponi, Ph.D.Aug 29, 2004 20:2116575
Islamic Emirate of Arabia? [507 words]John PowerAug 5, 2004 19:4716249
Let them be what they are! [98 words]Glenn KlotzMay 28, 2003 15:339270
"Cosmopolitan" [61 words]S.C.PandaMay 26, 2003 07:019240
Origin of Violence [106 words]A.A.May 22, 2003 11:179179
How the US is supporting dictatorship and terrorism [277 words]Alain Jean-MairetMay 20, 2003 06:019129
Make a deal with the devil? [25 words]AviMay 19, 2003 18:479126
Bad News? [122 words]Alain Jean-MairetMay 16, 2003 09:439104
The complexity of Saudi Arabia's internal situation [425 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Carool KerstenMay 15, 2003 22:499095
Long Over-Due Explanation [76 words]Jacob BurkeyMay 15, 2003 17:589092
Saudi Dilemma [92 words]Irma RochlinMay 15, 2003 15:119090
Women in Islamism [126 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Johanna MarkindMay 15, 2003 13:109088
Saudi Arabia [18 words]Joah MarderMay 15, 2003 10:499086
A better choice [135 words]Tom PensylMay 15, 2003 09:019084
On what basis? [41 words]John GridleyMay 15, 2003 07:309082
The U.S. should stay out of it [197 words]DiannaMay 15, 2003 07:159081
Another Alternative [11 words]Paul M. NevilleMay 15, 2003 06:019080
Oh man oh man................. [78 words]Devon HillMay 15, 2003 01:559079
Sponsorship of Wahhabi organizations abroad [54 words]William KinneyMay 14, 2003 22:219073
USA and the west should stop the war in Arab land. [98 words]Humphrey W.WalelaNov 19, 2008 03:249073
From al Sa'ud to al Thani [286 words]AvrahamMay 14, 2003 20:439072
Confrontation [55 words]Gene BehlMay 14, 2003 20:089071
Thanks [156 words]Annabel FrostMay 14, 2003 18:309070
The end game [373 words]jmsMay 14, 2003 16:599067
Support the royal family again? [54 words]Edmund JamesMay 14, 2003 16:519066
Your article "Arabia's Civil War" [105 words]M.DunskyMay 14, 2003 16:279065
Incredibly good [143 words]Ilona MelstradsMay 14, 2003 15:119062
Hydrogen is the answer [64 words]Lucas J. MeyerMay 14, 2003 15:079061
Neither good [83 words]George El MasriMay 14, 2003 14:439060
The Ikhwan-inspired enemy [38 words]Hank ArtzeMay 14, 2003 13:519058
By What Saudi Acts is the Regime Distinguished from Al Qaeda? [98 words]Brad ClovenMay 14, 2003 12:389055

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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