The Shared History of Saudi Arabia and ISIS by Madawi Al-Rasheed for Hurst Publishers.
Crime and punishment: Islamic State vs. Saudi Arabia by Rori Donaghy and Mary Atkinson for Middle East Eye.
Inhuman Monsters: Islamic State vs. Saudi Arabia by Peter Van Buren for We Meant Well.
I am not an expert on Muslim theology and history, but I know enough to know that Saudi Arabia and the so-called Islamic State do not represent original Islam as practiced by the Prophet Mohammad.
The Islamic Caliphate would not have spread as rapidly as it did into Christian Syria, Palestine and Egypt if Islam had been a religion of persecution.
Rather the spread of Islam was to the fact that Muslim rulers were (mostly) more tolerant than the Christian rulers of their day.
Christians and Jews were second-class citizens under Muslim rule. They had to pay a special tax. But they were let alone. They weren’t persecuted for their beliefs, as were Christian heretics in the Byzantine Empire and western Europe prior to 18th century.
That is not to say that most Muslims believe in the American concept of separation of church and state. Islam is a system of law, not just of private belief. I think that mainstream Islam is much the same, in this respect, as Roman Catholicism 60 or 70 years ago.
I don’t accept the concept that “error has no rights” or “outside the church, there is no salvation.” But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t live in peace with my Catholic neighbors back then or with my Muslim fellow citizens now.
I think Muslims in the United States are targets of unfair prejudice. But all in all, I would rather be a Muslim in the USA than a Christian in Egypt, a Bahai in Iran or a Muslim in India.
Religious tolerance is a continuum, not an absolute yes-no distinction. Some of us Americans think it is wrong to have Christian prayers in the public schools. But that is not the same thing, or even the same kind of thing, as the burning of heretics by the Spanish Inquisition.
The harsh punishments under the rule of ISIS fanatics or the Saudi monarchy are exceptional in the Muslim world. Their similarity is not a coincidence. They are the product of the teachings of an extreme Muslim sect called the Wahabis or Salafis, which originated in Arabia and has been spread all over the world by the Saudi government.
It isn’t possible to stamp out movements such as ISIS and at the same time support the power and goals of the Saudi Arabian government