Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Maher Farghali
Maher Farghali

How Saudi cleric Hawali promoted anti-Western ideas, terrorism

Tuesday 07/May/2019 - 03:05 PM

A book by Saudi scholar Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali entitled “Muslims and Western Civilization” has largely denounced the west, legitimized excommunication and incited splitting from the community.

The controversial book was widely promoted by Muslim Brotherhood members, Sururis (who combine the organizational methods and political worldview of the Muslim Brotherhood with the theological puritanism of Salafism), and extremists in Saudi Arabia.

Promotional campaign were initially launched in Turkey and Qatar for the book that excommunicates all Arabs, Islamizes Turks and allows terrorism under the context of Jihad (a struggle or fight against the enemies of Islam).

The book’s preface, from Page 1 to Page 75, uses the same language used by Sayyid Qutb, a leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who was hanged to death in 1966.

The book escapes reality by claiming failures within this reality while deeming its intellectuality flawed and highlighting a false ascension, a clear language of extremism, by claiming certainty and salvation.

Al-Hawali’s book claims providing a new world vision after a thorough thinking and contemplation, not mere extremism or radicalism, which affirms that the book held ideas that their writer gave much thought.

In Page 9, Al-Hawali claims that the West holds an inherent enmity towards Islam based on its permanent support to Zionism and fighting Muslims under the context of encountering terrorism.

Al-Hawali’s book alternated the disagreement with the West to a religious conflict and that Westerners seek to get Muslims out of their religion, while disregarding the fact that the West is almost secular and neutral towards religions, therefore, if there is a war, it would be a war of interests and politics, not religion.

The fact that he did not realize is that the fight against terrorism did not get imposed by the West, but through a group of Muslims, who in fact weaken Islamic countries by depleting their money, military, security and politics. They are the same group that defames Islam and threaten the stable existence of Muslim minorities in Europe.

Al-Hawali believes that Muslims have a religious duty to support jihadists, saying: “There is no solution to any crisis or an exit from the dark tunnel except through asceticism and the revival of jihad in this nation.”

He has called for the revival of suicide attacks, calling them “martyrdom operations” that “intimidate the enemy” and “display the courage of Muslims.”

He wrote, “Jihadists should be honored, not imprisoned, and if they do something wrong, they should be corrected.”

He also criticized ways of ruling, he speaks only as the basis of the shura, forgetting that the methods of 

transmission of the rule were not stipulated by Islam in only one way.

Time and again, Al-Hawali pointed to the West as the enemy, writing in his book: “The West is waging a vicious crusade against us and colonizing our lives.” In the book, he supports terrorist acts regardless of the effects on Muslim communities.

He further called for punishing women by beating, utterly unlike what the Islamic law has stipulated regarding the essentiality of compassion and mercy while dealing with women

In his book, Al-Hawali describes Jihad in Page 219 as the pride, prosperity and trade of Muslims, and that Jihad-free plans are lost causes, completely disregarding that Islam only allows jihad for defense purposes only, not to raid like the ‘Age of Ignorance’ in Arabia before the advent of Islam.

He also criticized that the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait allow churches to be built on their lands, deeming this a fight against Islam, completely forgetting that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) allowed Christians of Najran to pray inside his mosque and that Islam did not come to prohibit people from practicing their religions.

Also, Al-Hawali dedicates from Page 239 to Page 256 and from Page 282 to Page 298 to incite opinions and minds against rulers, who he called ṭawāġīt (an Islamic terminology denoting a focus of worship other than Allah, applied to earthly tyrannical power) after excommunicating them.

He also describes terrorists of al-Qaeda, Daesh, Al-Nusra as Jihadists, while commending on the leaders of Boko Haram. He also sees terror actions and explosions as Jihad and that the US confines terrorism within certain individuals Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Ismail Haniyeh and Omar Abdulrahman.