Such was the decrepit Moslem world which faced nineteenth-century Europe, energized by the Industrial Revolution, armed as never before by modern science and invention which had unlocked nature's secrets and placed hitherto-undreamed-of weapons in its aggressive hands. The result was a foregone conclusion. One by one, the decrepit Moslem states fell before the Western attack, and the whole Islamic world was rapidly partitioned among the European Powers. England took India and Egypt, Russia crossed the Caucasus and mastered Central Asia, France conquered North Africa, while other European nations grasped minor portions of the Moslem heritage. The Great War witnessed the final stage in this process of subjugation. By the terms of the treaties which marked its close, Turkey was extinguished and not a single Mohammedan state retained genuine independence. The subjection of the Moslem world was complete—on paper.
On paper! For, in its very hour of apparent triumph, Western domination was challenged as never before. During those hundred years of Western conquest a mighty internal change had been coming over the Moslem world. The swelling tide of Western aggression had at last moved the "immovable" East. At last Islam became conscious of its decrepitude, and with that consciousness a vast ferment, obscure yet profound, began to leaven the 250,000,000 followers of the Prophet from Morocco to China and from Turkestan to the Congo. The first spark was fittingly struck in the Arabian desert, the cradle of Islam. Here at the opening of the nineteenth century, arose the Wahhabi movement for the reform of Islam, which presently kindled the far-flung "Mohammedan Revival," which in its turn begat the movement known as "Pan-Islamism." Furthermore, athwart these essentially internal movements there came pouring a flood of external stimuli from the West—ideas such as parliamentary government, nationalism, scientific education, industrialism, and even ultra-modern concepts like feminism, socialism, Bolshevism. Stirred by the interaction of all these novel forces and spurred by the ceaseless pressure of European aggression, the Moslem world roused more and more to life and action. The Great War was a shock of terrific potency, and to-day Islam is seething with mighty forces fashioning a new Moslem world. What are those forces moulding the Islam of the future?
—Lothrop Stoddard, The New World of Islam, Introduction.
Mahommed ibn Abd-el-Wahhab is a name that is not particularly well known today in the West. Conversely, (((Marx))), the founder of Communism as we recognize it, is a man whose name everyone is familiar with. Despite his reputation, and continued influence, Marxism's first child Communism is everywhere dead or dying. Russia and Eastern Europe have openly abandoned it, China has morphed it into a sort of "state capitalism" under the guidance of Deng Xaioping, and in North Korea Communism has morphed into a bizarre cult around the ruling family. Communism has fallen from its perch as the world's most successful revolutionary ideology.
What is replacing Communism's claim to that title is another set of beliefs that bears the name of its founder—Wahhabism.
Wahhab was born around 1700, in the Najd, center of the Arabian Penninsula, where the Turks had not established their authority. It was there in the deserts of central Arabia, where the Bedouin practiced the same way of life and same way of worship as they had for centuries, that Wahhab grew up.
Wahhab was both intelligent and devout, and as a young man set out to learn. His travels took him as far as Iran. Wahhab returned to his simple homeland in much the same state as Luther had returned to Germany after visiting Rome. Wahhab was incensed by the decadence and immorality that he had seen. Outside of the deserts of Arabia, the Islamic world was decadent and decrepit. The Muslim world Wahhab had observed was far from the austerity preached by Mohammed. So Wahhab began to preach a return to the ways of early Islam. Wahhab wanted to be rid of the ceremony and the buildup that had come after Mohammed. Austerity, simplicity, and devotion were the be the watchwords of Wahhabism.
Wahhab achieved only one thing of note in the realm of politics during his life time, and that is the conversion of the head of the house of Saud (yes, that Saud) to Islamic revival. Yet despite this, Wahhab's teachings shook the Muslim world to the core. The Saudis used their influence to turn the Arabian Peninsula into a centre of Wahhabism. Muslims would go on their pilgrimage to Mecca and their encounters with Wahhabist clerics would often turn them into zealots for the cause of Islamic revival and they would return home as preachers of this new but ancient form of Islam.
From then on, all of Western man's material victories over the Islamic world were moral victories for the preachers of Wahhabism. Every loss suffered by the decadent Muslim world awoke the fiery fanaticism that lay sleeping in the heart of Islam. Every defeat was a painful reminder of how far the Islamic world had fallen.
The contrary force that challenges pan-Islamism is Arab nationalism, whose chief standard bearers were the Ba'athist parties. Ba'ath means "revival," and this is what they sought for the Arabs through revolutionary, secular, and socialist one-party states. Ba'athism has been put on the defensive. Libya and Iraq, both former homes to Ba'athist dictators, have now become home to Wahhabi radicalism, including ISIS, thanks to American intervention at the behest of the (((neocons))) and (((AIPAC))). Only the besieged Assad remains in Syria, where it remains to be seen which ideology will triumph.
Both Iraq and Libya should have taught Western leaders what was obvious from the start; imposing Western, liberal democracy on the Muslim world was never going to work. The realistic choice was to support either Ba'athism or Wahhabism.
By joining (((Israel))) and Saudi Arabia against the Ba'athists and the Shias, the United States has de facto sided with Wahhabism even if they officially condemn it. The Shias have rarely attacked the West directly, yet the Western world sides with the Sunnis, including the Wahhabi-promoting Saudis, over the Shias. This is partly due to American ties with Sunni fighters dating back to the Cold War, but it's mostly due to the reality that American foreign policy isn't meant to benefit Americans.
America is effectively opposed to Wahhabism's primary enemies within the Islamic world, and has already done much to ensure that Ba'athism is not the ideology that the Arab world will march into the future under. It increasingly seems like the puritanical Wahhabists will dominate Islam's future.
Wahhabism has not been slowed or weakened by the prevailing centuries between its founding and the current day. The recent attacks in France and Belgium show that there are coordinated cells working inside of Europe. The chaos in the Middle-East has allowed large amounts of weaponry to fall into the hands of Sunni Muslims, much of which has in turn been smuggled into Muslim districts in European cities. Many wealthy Saudis fund these groups. Islamic radicalism is growing not just in the Middle East, but everywhere from Xinjiang in eastern China to Libya to Dagestan to Brussels. Radical Islam is becoming a global force at the same time that Muslims are experiencing a population boom both inside and outside their historic homelands.
The claim that Wahhabists aren't true Muslims is rather laughable when Islamic history is considered. The Wahhabists are a sect of Islam that believes that the only teachings that they can base human activity on are those of the Quran and the hadith. Unlike many Sunnis, they don't go to "saints" or shrines for intercessions; they believe that to be a form of polytheism. They truly emphasise that there is no God but Allah.
Despite this devotion to what is found in the Quran, and a commitment so great that Muslims will suicide bomb their targets, and historical precedent for these behaviours, jihadists aren't real Muslims, you see, because they're only using religion as a cover for.....for uhhh.....uh...profits....that they get from banning luxurious lifestyles....and....uh....you know....
The claim that a reformist group whose stated goal is a return to the simplicity of early Islam isn't really Muslim and that Muslims who believe in liberalism are real Muslims is a pretty lie that Westerners tell themselves to comfort their world-view when it is shaken by fire and death in Paris and Brussels.
It is a claim made by Westerners who are so apathetic and nihilistic that they can't imagine that there are people on the planet who live for something other than material gain.
Radical Muslims in Europe are more likely to be from the educated and wealthy section of society, and born inside the country. Radical views are also more likely to be held by younger Muslims than older ones.
"Radical Islam" isn't going anywhere because radical Islam is the core of Islam. Moderate Muslims are like moderate Catholics; they were born into it, so they call themselves by that title, but they're indifferent to the teachings. A Catholic who believes that abortion and divorce are acceptable isn't a moderate Catholic, he's a bad Catholic.
That is why Wahhabism is the most successful revolutionary ideology on the planet today. It knows no boundaries, no national borders, and its teachings are simple. Islam itself means "submission", and that's what ISIS, and Al-Qaeda, and the Brussels attackers want. They want the submission of the world to the teachings of Mohammed, and this clear and simple message is giving a fiery purpose to a generation of young Muslim men who are having something awoken in them that can't be stopped by democracy, or "love", or peace initiatives, or job opportunities, because it is a reawakening of the driving force behind Islamic civilization.
Wars in the Middle-East have contributed to Sunni radicalism, but they didn't start it. The ongoing Islamic revival has been 250 years in the making.
The rest of the world is going to learn this lesson the easy way or the hard way, but they will learn it. We don't yet have an answer to this force, but we will. The Western world has very little driving force behind it, and nihilism is the most common attitude to be found, but just as Europe's successful incursions into the Islamic world awoke a lethargic civilization that was sunk in hedonism to a state of righteous fury, Europe's revival will come thanks to attacks like those we have seen in the past few years.
Sunni Islam's success is what will eventually stop it. For every advance it makes in Europe it will create a reaction. The number of Muslims inside Europe will continue to grow, and they will become more confident and demanding until Europe can ignore it no longer.
So in a way we ought to be thankful for the principle of action and reaction. Our race could die in its sleep, not with a bang, but with a whimper, killed by demographic collapse and mass migration. The Wahhabists are doing their part to make sure that doesn't happen. As much success as they may have in their countries, every 9/11, every Charlie Hebdo, every massacre in Paris or Brussels rouses the men and women in Western civilization who have slept so long.