Wahabi Islam has set too much in motion in the past to be able to reverse itself.
"Last month, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman vowed to return the country to “moderate Islam” and claimed that it had become “extreme” 30 years earlier, spurred by Iran’s revolution of 1979. His real message was that before Iran went crazy, Saudi Arabia was a moderate state uninterested in spreading its hard Wahhabi creed.
Prince Salman has staged the big revolution in Saudi Arabia. The world is too shocked at this sudden change — some say not so sudden because it was done in consultation with the United States that has its 5th Fleet in the Gulf — to comment rationally on what is going on. But a reaction is bound to come — and not only from within Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has “funded” madrasas all over the world. They are quiet now but will react negatively, and Saudi Arabia under Muhammad bin Salman can ill-afford this reaction since all sorts of Muslims come for hajj to Saudi Arabia every year. The biggest challenge may rise in Pakistan where the Ahle Hadith clerics enjoy a heft with the state beyond measure.
Pakistan started killing its Shias in the decade of 1990 after reading a compilation of fatwas of apostatisation from all the main Sunni madrasas of Pakistan and India. A book was put together in 1993 titled Khomeini Aur Shia Kay Barah Main Ulema Karaam Ka Mutafiqqa Faisla (Consensual Verdict of the Ulema on Khomeini and the Shia) in Pakistan. The text belonged to an Indian cleric, Maulana Manzur Numani, who claimed that “it is a masterpiece of research”.
Will the Saudi prince ensure that no one like the chief priest of Mecca, Mufti Bin Baz, ever comes to power in Saudi Arabia. Bin Baz first embarrassed the Saudi king by writing a book “proving” the earth was flat rather than round, then funding the great Madrasa Banuri Town in Karachi to get its leader Mufti Shamzai to hound the Shia till the latter was killed in 2004.
General Zia began the war in Afghanistan with big US-Saudi money and began killing Shias on the side. He was supposed to fight the Soviets, but he “legislated” Pakistan into an anti-Shia state through Saudi persuasion, routinely killing Shias in many parts of Pakistan.
...the Iranian voter is tired of hardline governments and has elected another “moderate” president, Hassan Rouhani, who has signed peace with America and has actually forced hardline spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei to announce the doctrine of narmish-e-qaharmananan (heroic flexibility) to prevent the revolution of Imam Khomeini from destroying Iran. It is time Saudi Arabia too took the olive branch between its teeth and declared peace in the world.
New winds in Saudi Arabia