Sunday, October 08, 2006

"There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his Messenger."

"There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his Messenger."

I realise Saudi Arabia is an extreme in the Islamic world, and I realise the the media have an interest in uncovering the most vile parts of any society (reporters thrive on bad news) but all in all it sounds like some sort of hell.

Indonesia more has a liberal take(s) on Islam derived from different cultures in the archipelago. By all accounts there have been moves towards more conservatism in Islam in Indonesia. Questions:

1) Is Saudi /the/ role model for ultraconservatives?

2) Do Saudis live more virtuous lives than Indonesians?

3) Isn't fundamentalist Islam itself wrapped up in Bedouin culture? -- just as fundamentalist American Christianity is too wrapped up in American white heterosexual culture...


treespotter said...

i just saw this, and seeing you've no replies yet, lemme try:

1. Saudi as role model. Yes. they teach a particular school of Islam called the Wahabi - you can google for more ref later - that is particularly strict and well, slightly worse than ultraconservatives. In many cases, the most extreme groups come from this school (eg. Al Qaeda etc.). the fact that they're really loaded means they can spread their influence tho in many cases, other groups with different cause receiving support aren't always ideologically aligned with this group (eg. Hamas, in Palestine get a lot of money from the Saudis, but ideologically, they're very, very different). By most definition, the Wahabi school of islam is only practiced in Saudi and few gulf minor state (bahrain etc.)

2. I wouldn't even pretend to qualify to make judgment on anyone's virtue, but they've very stiff rules on what's acceptable in public display in Saudi Arabia. What happened behind closed doors, i guess, is probably the same behind closed doors anywhere in the world. Let's just say Saudi have more closed doors.

3. Wahabi derived its name from the founders of the Saudi Kingdom, much of it yes, are Bedouin tradition and little to do with Islam and you'll be hard pressed to find other examples of people practicing their school there. These princes still go around hunting with their eagles in the dessert, quite fascinating from cultural perspective, a bit sad if you've to live there.

johnorford said...

1) I know about Wahabi -- but now am thinking how far it goes back and how what context did it form in... I have a feeling it isn't all that old actually...

2) That's a v good point! Just more closed doors. But if you read the articles in the links, you'd read that for me a Westerner at least, the rules sound v v biased against women.

A guy beats his wife to death (at least that's how he thinks) and only gets 3 months and 100 lashes. The wife does recover, but loses her job, and has to grant him clemency (or whatever that's called) so that she gets custody of the kids.

And this woman is actually v lucky -- prominent celeb.

3) pretty much answered the q up there -- thx treespotter!