In the wake of September 11th instant theories have emerged that try to root Osama Bin Laden's attacks on Wahhabism. Muslim critics have dismissed this conservative interpretation of Islam that is the official creed of Saudi Arabia as an unorthodox innovation that manipulated a suggestible people to gain political influence. David Commins' book questions this assumption. He examines the debate on the nature of Wahhabism, and offers original findings on its ascendance in Saudi Arabia and spread throughout other parts of the Muslim world such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. He also assesses the challenge that radical militants within Saudi Arabia pose to the region, and draws conclusions which will concern all those who follow events in the Kingdom. The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia is essential reading for anyone interested in the Middle East and Islamic radicalism today.
David Commins is Professor of History at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania. He was a visiting scholar at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh. He is the author of 'Islamic Reform: Politics and Change in Late Ottoman Syria' ( 1990) and 'Historical Dictionary of Syria' (2004).
* Preface * Acknowledgements * Map of Arabia * Introduction * Islam Began as a Stranger and Will Return a Stranger * Holding Fast Against Idolatry * Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud and the Taming of Wahhabi Zeal * Wahhabism in a Modern State * The Wahhabi Mission and Islamic Revivalism * Challenges to Wahhabi Hegemony * Conclusion * Al al-Sheikh * Chronology * Glossary * Notes * Bibliography * Index *