By Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri
April 28, 2019
In every civilization, there have been evildoers who sought to incite violence against others. They used tools such as religious differences to sow divisions. But preachers who create dissent and discord within a single religion have reached a new level of intolerance and heinous immorality, and they set a dangerous precedent.
Al-Hawali is one of the most often-cited of these modern-day preachers of hate. His twisted ideology is evident in his writing, particularly his book “Muslims and Western Civilization,” which expounds his theories on how to handle regional and international turbulence. The book was promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood and by the Sururioon — the followers of the Syrian Brotherhood member Mohammed Surur bin Naif Zayn Al-Abidin.
Al-Hawali claims that he presents a new vision of the world to counter the dominance of Western civilization. He says his book is not the result of superficiality or fanaticism, but of deep reflection and careful study. He calls for establishing ties with Daesh.
Al-Hawali is a member of, and one of the symbols of, the Islamic Awakening movement, as well as a leader of the Sururioon. He has supported the killing by Daesh of soldiers and officers in the Egyptian Army. He wrote in his book about his relations with some tribesmen in Yemen who were allied with Al-Qaeda, and who asked others to join them in this alliance. He told Brotherhood members in Sanaa that they were “stronger than America.”
Al-Hawali criticized the trials of Al-Qaeda members and of those who participated in fighting alongside extremist groups in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan. He has described Al-Qaeda ideologues as “preachers.” He said: “It is jihad to revive suicide operations against the enemy. It indicates the courage of Muslims and their love of martyrdom. It strikes terror into the hearts of the enemy.”
Al-Hawali, a Saudi, believes in suppressing communities, which is totally incompatible with calls by the Saudi leadership and intellectuals for national unity. He dedicated himself to supporting terrorism and defending Al-Qaeda.
He is close to the terrorist Brotherhood, which has joined with the Qatari regime in attacking Saudi Arabia. His book criticizes Riyadh for its reforms, its moderation and its tolerance. He refused to accept the Saudi alliance with the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to fight terrorism, and accused the anti terror quartet of imposing a siege on Qatar, a country which US President Donald Trump described as a historic funder of terror. He has also spread rumors in an effort to destabilize the Kingdom.
What are we to do as a civil society, when we face such poison in our ranks? However much evil this man spouts, we as an Islamic nation will always defeat him through the genuine practice of our peaceful religion.
Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is a political analyst and international relations scholar.