Bandar, the godfather of Takfirism in back

It was premature to write off Bandar when he was relieved of his duties as
the Saudi spy chief in May. He has re-emerged as special advisor to the

Public pronouncements by Saudi officials against the Islamic State of
Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), now renamed the Islamic State (IS, for short),
notwithstanding, the fact is, this monster is a Saudi creation. And it
did not emerge last week or month; the House of Saud has nurtured it for
nearly a decade as part of a long-term strategy to contain the growing
influence of Islamic Iran in the region.

The man responsible for the ISIS file, and indeed the entire Takfiri
project is none other than Bandar bin Sultan, the illegitimate son of
Sultan bin Abdul Aziz who died in 2012 after suffering a long battle
with cancer. Last April when it was announced that Bandar had been
relieved of his responsibilities as Saudi intelligence chief, it was
assumed that this was because of his failure to bring down the Bashar
al-Assad government in Syria. He re-emerged in late June in his new role
as special advisor to and envoy of the aged and ailing King Abdullah.

Bashar’s resilience and survivability have surprised many observers. It
was assumed that he would be overthrown in a matter of months if not
weeks. He has not only survived for three-and-a-half years, he also now
has a strong mandate from the people. In the June 3 presidential
elections, he garnered more than 89 percent of the vote. The choice
before the people was Bashar or the Takfiri cannibals and bloodsuckers;
they chose Bashar regardless of his many faults and weaknesses. Unless
totally consumed by hatred, nobody can deny the fact that he has broad
support among the Syrian masses, at least for now.

The Syrian army has also made steady progress against the mercenaries
that have flooded from 83 countries, according to Asad’s assertion
during a speech on July 16. They have been driven out of Homs province
and local residents have returned to their homes. In Aleppo, too, the
terrorists are under pressure and large parts of the city have been
liberated from their clutches. In a moment of candor, some of the
terrorists have admitted that they thought all that was required to
overthrow Assad was to shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ a few times and raise the
black flag. It has turned out to be a lot more difficult, in fact, well
nigh impossible under present circumstances.

Bandar’s re-emergence on the political scene, however, indicates that
the Saudi regime has not given up on Syria or on mischief making. In
fact, what recent developments in the region indicate is that the Saudis
want to up the ante by unleashing the Takfiris in Iraq, right on the
border with Iran. They may publicly say that they are worried about the
Takfiris but they are cut from the same Wahhabi cloth. The Takfiris are
the Saudis’ dream come true: ruthless, utterly unconcerned about the
sanctity of human life and more important from the Saudi point of view,
they can achieve their objectives without the Saudis having to do the
dirty work themselves.

The Takfiris’ failure in Syria has resulted in intensification of their
brutal campaign in Iraq. The Sunni tribesmen have joined them, smarting
from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s shortsighted policies.
Additional muscle has been provided by remnants of the Ba‘athist army
that lost out in the new Iraq. The emerging scenario has all the
hallmarks of exploding into a full-scale sectarian war with frightening
consequences for the Ummah. The Saudis, however, have never cared for
the wellbeing of the Ummah as long as they can maintain their
illegitimate hold on power in the Arabian Peninsula.

The Saudi (Bandar)-hatched conspiracy to instigate Sunni-Shia conflict
was revealed by Patrick Cockburn in The Independent on July 13, 2014. He
wrote: “Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the
powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence
until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with
the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard
Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: ‘The time is not far off in the Middle
East, Richard, when it will be literally “God help the Shia”. More than
a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.’”

Sir Richard, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, made the revelation
during a speech he delivered at the Royal United Services Institute in
early July and emphasized that Bandar’s words constituted “a chilling
comment that I remember very well indeed”.

Cockburn further wrote how the ISIS thugs killed Shia women and
children in villages south of Kirkuk, and machine-gunned Shia air force
cadets and buried them in mass graves near Tikrit. Mosques and shrines
frequented by Shias have also been blown up to further escalate
sectarian tensions. The Maliki government has resorted to mobilizing
Shia militias playing into the hands of the Takfiris and their Saudi

That the Saudis, Kuwaitis and Qataris are financing the Takfiris is
well established. Money is collected from private donors in Saudi Arabia
and in order to circumvent ‘official restrictions’ on funding such
groups, the money is sent to Kuwait. The regime there has few strictures
about financing terrorists. It is easily transferred to the various
terrorist outfits in the world.

Even leaked documents from Wikileaks confirm Saudi funding of such
groups. In one such document, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
wrote in December 2009 in a cable released by Wikileaks that “Saudi
Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the
Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups.”
Ms Clinton identified the Saudi policy of clamping down on al-Qa’ida
activities as aimed purely at containing domestic threats. Externally,
it has not only turned a blind eye but has actually encouraged and
financed it because it meets the regime’s broader objectives of creating
fitna among Muslims.

The only silver lining in this otherwise bleak picture is that many
leading ‘Sunni’ scholars have spoken out against ISIS’s declaration of
the khilafah and their brutal methods that are further tarnishing the
image of Islam. These range from middle of the road scholars to those
that would be considered extremist, such as the Salafis as well as
former al-Qa’ida operatives. Many al-Azhar graduates have also spoken
out against the Takfiris’ khilafah project although it is important to
note that al-Azhar as an institution has not formally condemned it.

The most prominent ‘Sunni’ scholar to take a stand against the ISIS is
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. He heads the International Union of Muslim
Scholars on whose website he published an open letter stating the ISIS’s
declaration of the khilafah was “void” according to Islamic law.

“A group simply announcing a khilafah, is not enough to establish a
khilafah,” Sheikh Qaradawi wrote. Even Hizbut Tahrir, the Islamic group
that is most vocal in calling for the establishment of the khilafah, has
dismissed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s declaration. “The issue of the
Khilafah is too great for its image to be distorted or for its reality
to be changed merely by an announcement here or an announcement there,”
the group said in a statement on its website.

Rachid Ghannouchi, the Tunisian scholar and founder of An-Nahdha Party
has also lashed out at the Takfiris. He did so during a Jumah Khutbah
early last month saying the Takfiris had made a mockery of an important
Islamic institution.

The Salafis have used even stronger language. For instance the
Jordanian Salafi Abu Mohamed al-Maqdesi (real name Assem Barqawi) who
was released from a prison in Jordan called fighters loyal ISIS as
“deviant.” Al-Maqdesi was imprisoned for recruiting volunteers to fight
against US forces in Afghanistan. Worried that Takfiri cells in Jordan
would create problems for the monarchy, the regime decided to release
the Salafi preacher to counter ISIS threat. Al-Maqdesi is a supporter of
Jabhat al-Nusra that is at war with the ISIS Takfiris. In denouncing
ISIS’s brutal methods, al-Maqdesi said “Is this khilafah a sanctuary for
the vulnerable and a refuge for all Muslims, or a sword hanging over
those Muslims who disagree with them"?

Supporters of the takfiris have claimed that all these scholars are
opposing al-Baghdadi’s khilafah because they have failed to establish
one themselves and in any case, they feel their position is being
threatened. Under Islamic law, Muslims are obliged to pledge allegiance
to a khalifah. These scholars either have to do so or reject it, thereby
avoiding the obligation of allegiance.

Al-Baghdadi’s supporters fail to consider the requirements for
establishing the khilafah and qualifications for a person to become the
khalifah. The process is also important. Al-Baghdadi can at best be seen
as declaring his leadership in the same manner as the ‘mulukiyyah’ that
disrupted the system of the ‘Khulafah ar-Rashidoon.’ The kings did so
at the point of the sword; al-Baghdadi is doing it brandishing a

In any case, if the takfiris’ argument is accepted, then one is forced
to ask, why did they not pledge allegiance to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the
reclusive Taliban leader who had also declared himself Amin al-Mumineen.
To the best of our knowledge, Mullah Omar has not repudiated that claim
even if he does not control the whole territory of Afghanistan. When
the Taliban regime of Mullah Omar first emerged in 1996, three countries
extended it recognition: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the UAE. The US
also dealt with them without extending recognition. No such argument was
advanced by anyone at the time that all Muslims must pledge allegiance
to Mullah Omar, as al-Baghdadi and his cohorts have done.

There is one other point worth mentioning. According to a well-known
hadith of the noble Messenger (saws), if there is a khalifah and another
person comes to claim it, the second person must be killed. Based on
this hadith and the fact that Mullah Omar had declared himself khalifah
nearly 20 years ago without being challenged by anyone, al-Baghdadi
should be executed for violating an important Islamic ruling.

The entire al-Baghdadi khilafah project and Saudi support for it is
meant to demean important Islamic principles and institutions in order
to put off ordinary Muslims from Islam. That is the essential policy of
the Saudis and has been from day one despite claiming to be ‘Custodians
of the Two Holy Cities.’

One could hardly find a better definition of munafiqs

By: Tahir Mustafa

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