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Saudi Wahabbism

Reader comment on item: Frontpage Interview: Daniel Pipes

Submitted by Robert B. Arbetman (United States), Dec 16, 2003 at 11:46

Dear Dr. Pipes:

I disagree with one remark you made. You said: "On the other hand, militant Islam lacks the backing of a powerful state such as Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia..."

I believe that militant Islam enjoys considerable backing from Saudi Arabia. The Saudi royal family walks hand-in-hand with their Wahabbi clergy in a visible church-state coupling that cannot be ignored. Furthermore, any claim that the Saudis don't represent "a powerful state" ignores the vast financial resources of the Saudi petrochemical lobby.

There is no question in my mind (or your friend Steve Emerson's as this is not MY idea) that the Saudi petrochemical lobby feeds the beast of militant Islam with resources that allow militant Islam to thrive in today's economy.

If we could magically replace oil overnight with some other energy form as the prime mover of our transportation system, Militant Islam might well die of starvation. You might comment on this theory as well as my theory that militant Islam enjoys the backing of Saudi Arabia.

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Daniel Pipes replies:

The Saudi state is powerful, but it is hardly in the league of Nazi Germany, Tojo Japan, or Soviet Russia.


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