Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
WASHINGTON – Sunni Turkey and Saudi Arabia appear to be on the same page in opposing Iran, but the rise of the Iranian-backed Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is causing a potential split between the two countries, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
While Saudi Arabia gives the appearance of support for the Brotherhood, there are increasing indications that the Saudi family is concerned about its popularity and spread, as has been seen in Egypt, and the threat of its spread of a republican form of Islam that could challenge the Saudi royal family’s status in the kingdom.
The Saudis have maintained a firm control over the spread of Wahhabism, a strict form of radical Sunni beliefs, but the spread of the Brotherhood and indeed the Islamic revolution with its clerical form of Islamic government now poses a direct threat to the Saudis.
This is why the Saudis backed the Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak, who kept down the Brotherhood and had a bad relationship with Iran. Now, all that has changed and the Saudi royal family is feeling increasingly threatened.
It also is concerned about Turkey, which the Saudis have viewed as a strategic counterweight to the spread of Iran’s Shi’a influence in the Sunni Arab countries. However, Turkey has a form of liberal Islamism, stemming from Ottoman religious values and the secularism that followed by the successor to the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who created Turkey’s modern republic.
While the more conservative Brotherhood and liberal Turkey differ on their approach with governance, they both share the view that governance is based on the ideological principles of Islam.
In Egypt, the Saudis backed the Salafists who came in second only to the Muslim Brotherhood in the recent parliamentary elections. However, the Salafists are not expected to be able to overcome the gains of the Brotherhood, even though both are conservative and Islamic.
Salafists also are trying to make inroads into Syria where the Muslim Brotherhood is attempting to topple the regime of President Bashar al-Assad which is backed by the Shi’ite Iranians.
The Saudis are backing the Salafists there over the Brotherhood, which Turkey supports. Analysts, however, don’t see the Salafists edging out the Brotherhood in attempting to run Syria in a post-Assad era.
Given the rise of the Salafists and their Islamist ideology, the Saudis may not have complete control over them, either.
And Saudi Crown Prince Neyef bin Abdulaziz, as the heir-apparent to succeed King Abdullah, will be less inclined to allow for the emergence of a Salafist democratization that is attempting to take hold even in the kingdom because of its possible impact on the dominance of the Saudi monarchy.
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