Saturday, October 20, 2018

Schism needed

In his justification for his favourable stance towards Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia MBS, Tom Friedman explained as follows:

It had to do with how I defined our most important national interest in Saudi Arabia since 9/11. And it is not oil, it’s not arms sales, it’s not standing up to Iran. It’s Islamic religious reform, which can come only from Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam’s holiest cities, Mecca and Medina.

And that becomes his basis for saying that whatever the complicity of MBS in the Khashoggi murder and his eventual fate in royal power politics, that agenda has to continue.

So the analysis is that the state is the means to reform the religion.

Among the revealing sights in the news today is a long list of obsequious statements from "official" Islamic bodies praising the way that the government of Saudi Arabia has handled the Khashoggi revelations (e.g. Muslim World League, Organization of Islamic Cooperation).

So is the problem that the religion has contorted the state, or that the state has contorted the religion?

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