Wahhabis in Kurdish Iraq
Wahhabism is so strong in the US because there’s very little shared memory of what traditional Islam should be. So we’re happy to hold hands with everybody in the interests of Muslim unity. But the article above shows how Wahhabism stands out in stark contrast to the lived Islam of the Kurdish community. Sadly, impoverished as they are, they have little way to resist the flood.
“Islam and Judaism and Christianity have flourished together in this region for more than 1,400 years,” said Mullah Mohammad Akrey, the most senior cleric in the group. “These Wahabis are not Muslims and do not represent Islam.”
“…the mullahs told me that their countrymen had accepted the Saudi mosques for a simple reason — they couldn’t afford to build their own. But Mullah Talat Mantiq bitterly pointed out that in the years before the establishment of the U.N. Oil for Food Program in 1996, when people in the region were starving, the Saudis were building mosques — but were not, however, donating food, clothing or medicine.” Money with big strings attached. Similar is what happened in Bosnia, where centuries-old masjids built by the Ottomans, damaged by the war, were demolished and rebuilt as white-walled pillboxes.