Force and Fanaticism: Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and Beyond

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Oxford University Press, Jan 9, 2015 - Social Science - 256 pages
Wahhabism is an Islamic reform movement found mainly in Saudi Arabia. Closely linked to the Saudi monarchy, it enforces a strict code of morality and conduct monitored by mutawa (religious police), and governs every facet of Saudi life according to its own strict interpretation of Shariah, including gender segregation. Wahhabism also prohibits the practice of any other faith (even other forms of Islam) in Saudi Arabia, which is also the only country that forbids women from driving. But what exactly is Wahhabism? This question had long occupied Valentine, so he lived in the Kingdom for three years, familiarizing himself with its distinct interpretation of Islam. His book defines Wahhabism and Wahhabi beliefs and considers the life and teaching of Muham-mad ibn Abd'al Wahhab and the later expansion of his sect. Also discussed are the rejection of later developments in Islam such as bid'ah; harmful innovations, among them celebrating the prophet's birthday and visiting the tombs of saints; the destruction of holy sites due to the fear of idolatry; Wahhabi law, which imposes the death sentence for crimes as archaic as witch- craft and sorcery, and the connection of Wahhabism with militant Islam globally. Drawing on interviews with Saudis from all walks of life, including members of the feared mutawa, this book appraises of one of the most significant movements in contemporary Islam.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Monopolisers of Truth
13
The Man and His Mission
29
3 AlDiriyah the Birthplace of Wahhabism
41
1792 to the Present Day
61
5 Wahhabi Beliefs and Doctrine
75
6 Wahhabism and Women
99
7 Mutawa and Law Enforcement in Saudi Arabia
127
The Iconoclasts of the Muslim World
175
Law Justice and Crime in Saudi Arabia
191
Saudi Monarchs and Wahhabi Clerics
221
Wahhabi Influence Around the World
235
Conclusion
257
Notes
273
Bibliography
335
Index
345

8 Wahhabism and Other Faiths
149

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About the author (2015)

Simon Ross Valentine is a freelance British lecturer and researcher into Islam and comparative religions who has taught part-time at Leeds University and Bradford University. His first book wasIslam and the Ahmadiyya Jama'at: History, Belief, Practice .

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