Saudi rulers reconsider ties to Wahhabi clerics

(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s ruling Al Saud royal family are trying to adjust their relationship with the country’s strict Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam as they increasingly view the teachings of some of its ultra-conservative clergy as a domestic security threat.

Radicalisation of Muslims in the world’s top oil exporter has led to domestic attacks and the involvement of Saudi citizens in jihadist movements in Iraq and Syria, while extreme religious practices have damaged efforts to boost employment.

Over the past decade the House of Saud has not only put in place measures to control clerics and their sermons, but has started to favour more modern clergy for top state positions.

Saudi rulers are also starting to reform areas once the exclusive domain of the clergy, such as education and law, and have promoted elements of national identity that have no religious component.

Saudi Arabia remains one of the most religiously conservative countries on earth, and the royal family are not cutting off the clergy or ditching Wahhabism’s basic precepts, analysts and diplomats say.

They are instead attempting to foster a reading of its teachings that distances it from Islamist militants such as Islamic State, and which better meets the demands of a modern economy…

Good luck with that!

  • ntt1

    they look like a bunch of psychotic bistro tables

    • Just a thought

      Somewhere, an Italian restaurant is missing it’s linens.

    • You’ll order the bisque, dammit!

  • tom_billesley

    Try as I may, I just can’t take seriously men wearing tea towels on their heads.

  • Barrington Minge

    So even the Soddies are nervous!
    Rag heads to a man

  • Just a thought

    You have to understand, people in that region generally have a very shallow learning curve.

  • When one realises that the mad theocrats crimp one’s style, I guess they have to go.

    This isn’t theological; it’s personal.

  • Mickey Oberman

    The rupture begins.
    Usual Muslim stuff.

  • Pete_Brewster

    “Better meets the needs of a modern economy.”

    In other words, in 15 years Saudi Arabia will be out of oil and into a far more sustainable and profitable scam—fractional-reserve banking. By then any clergymen still insisting that usury is haram had better be doing it in exile, because the House of Saud won’t long tolerate anyone calling for the ritual slaughter of the golden goose.

  • Ed

    So the test of truth in a religion is whether it threatens the house of Saudomy?

  • Blacksmith

    Osama bin Laden…… He was a Saud, that is all.