Interviewed by: Laila Mazboudi, Israa al-Fass
This interview was conducted a week ago, before the latest Saudi developments in Saudi Arabia.
He is one of the political opponents of the Saudi regime’s policies, and he belongs to the “Shammar” tribe that extends from Saudi Arabia to reach Kuwait and Qatar, and is based in Iraq and Syria. The tribe also ruled “Najd” for almost a century before Abdul Aziz bin Saud robbed it to restore his predecessors’ rule backed by the Englishmen who failed to seduce “Shammar”. Al-Jarba is one of those who have strong connections due to the affinity with prominent figures in the kingdom’s authorities such as former Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, and former Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayef, granting him a sort of immunity to express his views.
“Maan al-Jarba’s” name has been emerging lately, dressed with the costume of the Arab island, yet with another speech: he emerged from Damascus where he decided to settle amid the sludge of the political crisis in 2014, for no reason; but to be honest with the stances that reflect his beliefs that defending Syria is defending the Arab resistance feature that is wanted to be changed. The (militants’) bombs at the time were targeting the neighborhood where he resides. One of them hit the same building. He, however, didn’t decide to leave Syria until things started to settle down, when the victory of the Syrian Army and its allies started to be tangible.
Before that time, at the end of 2011 when he was still in Saudi Arabia, a website affiliated with him had been closed for the stances that it showed revealed a sort of supporting resistance. He was offered to have a weekly column in the Saudi Okaz newspaper. He warned of sectarian strife, drawing attention to the dangers of the scheme of partition that was infiltrating from Iraq. At every point he showed support for the choices of resistance, until he was forced to stop writing in 2013 without being held “accountable.”
Two days after leaving the Saudi lands forever in 2014, Maan al-Jarba appeared in a televised interview speaking of ISIL and its Wahhabi reference. From inside a studio in Riyadh, he saluted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and then Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki for supporting the resistant Syria. Saudi authorities closed the studio from where al-Jarba appeared, and since then the counter war against him has started.
From the Lebanese capital, Beirut, Mr. Maan al-Jarba had an exclusive interview with the al-Manar website. He tackled the Saudi inside, clarified the scene talking of the religious formation of the Saudi society and the role of tribes, exposing the possible future outcomes amid an escalating political struggle going on inside, and imminent foreign schemes of partition.
Wahhabism Doesn’t Belong to Sunnah
The Saudi society is composed of 85% of the Sunnis and 15% of Ismaili and Twelver Shia. Al-Jarba says that “Wahhabism doesn’t belong to Sunnah at all, recalling that it is only 300 years old.”
“Wahhabism is a status that is differentiated from other Islamic sects and groups,” al-Jarba noted, rejecting the logic of Takfirism it provides.
According to the Saudi opposer, the Arab island’s families were Sufi Ash’ari Maturidi before Mohammad bin Abdul Wahhab appeared in the 17th century, and they still conserve some of their privacies.
“In the Hijaz areas, for example, besides embracing the Sufi Ash’ari Maturidi doctrine, most of houses there belong to the Hanafi and Shafe’i doctrines, like in the Medina. While the Ismailis weigh in south of the kingdom, the Shafe’i doctrine is the most spread there. Twelver Shias are based in the eastern areas mainly in al-Qatif and al-Ahsaa,” he explained.
“Most of the Saudi families are Sufi and Ash’ari, but the official doctrine is Wahhabi and is imposed on them and taught in the educative curriculum,” al-Jarba sums up this point.
The Al Sheikh Family… the Family of Cheques
“Despite some families’ attempts to preserve their regional privacy, the pattern of the detective state imposed inside the kingdom, and its huge financial power, in addition to the international cover and foreign benefiting, here I name the United States, allowed this religious pattern to spread. Wahhabism has served the American goals in the Afghan war against the Soviet Union, and in Iraq and Syria. It devoted the religious institution inside the kingdom to grant rulers a legitimate cover, a paid one, so that Saudis themselves name the Al Sheikh family the family of cheques, in reference to the money they receive,” al-Jarba added.
Despite the religious power, the relationship between the religious institution and the Saudi inside is under control, as long as no armed appearance against the state was detected by non “Wahhabis”. This reflects the containment the state is intending to use sometimes against some “political” targets, just like what happened in Awamiyah recently.
Yemen, Awamiyah and Qatar… for Compensation
Al-Jarba believes that those incidents are related to Saudi dire efforts to create a victory through which it can prove to the Americans that it is still strong and reliable in playing functional roles in the region. “It is worth mentioning that the setbacks in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria were not compensated by the Kingdom in Yemen, they were rather worsened. Targeting Qatar was also for compensation, it however proved being useless, then they hadn’t any choice but to use their force inside the country and attack Awamiyah.”
Al-Jarba went on to say that “the Saudi media exposed the targeting of Awamiyah as a conquer, and they used words that described it as an operation to liberate al-Qatif from Shias, who are shown by Saudi media as intruders, noting that the al-Mosawara neighborhood existed 400 years ago, which means it is a 100 years older than the first Saudi state. This means that the people of Awamiyah are inveterate and deep-rooted in the region more than the Al Saud’s “inveteracy” and authority there…”
“The fade and sterile “victory” in Awamiyah was used under the official media system’s efforts to boost up the “Iranophobia” and “Shiaphobia.” At some point, we have to confess that they have succeeded in devoting this phobia, the barrier that has been worked on to frighten the peoples from resistance.”
Palestine Is In the Sentiment
Unlike the coldness the ruling system shows towards the Palestinian cause, al-Jarba stresses that the Saudi people sympathize with Palestine beyond imagination.
He considers that “The axis of resistance defends Palestine. Despite this phobia, things are going better everyday thanks to the uncovering of Saudi relations with ‘Israel’ that appeared to the surface, as well as the Saudi efforts to secularize the state and try to use the Emirati model in Saudi Arabia, which awakened people. The state that considered Iran and the Shia in general as a Satan under the titles of religion and defending the country of the Two Holy Mosques, appeared today having reconciliation with ‘Israel’ and allowing mixed celebrations and dances, exposing the real danger to religion and the country of the Two Holy Mosques.”
Normalization is the Saudi Fall
“The flagrant fall of the Saudi regime will happen with normalizing ties with ‘Israel’,” al-Jarba predicts.
“Relationship with ‘Israel’ exceeds a very sensitive redline for those who boast belonging to the country of the Two Holy Mosques. They have a decisive stance against the occupiers of the ‘Muslims’ First Qiblah”, and those committing crimes against the Muslims of Palestine, Lebanon and elsewhere. To these limits in particular, the Saudi regime loses its legitimacy. What would then oppress the Saudi people? Are they the Fatwas that prohibit opposing the ruler unless he commits the bold blasphemy? The bold blasphemy for the Saudi people is the waiver of Palestine. Can the authority preachers justify this waiver?”
In the era of major internal transformations, half of the kingdom’s preachers are in prison. According to al-Jarba, it is not about the stance from Qatar, the issue is deeper and greater.
“Mainly, nothing indicates that they have been detained due to the crisis with Qatar, those are just popular analyses. The crisis with Qatar was just an excuse because they know that they are against the leadership and against secularization, and even against normalization with ‘Israel’… would they tell people that they have detained them because they are against secularizing the state? The best excuse is to purport that it is because of Qatar, which would allow them to silence any voice that would object their new policies, starting with mixed dances to public normalization and others.”
Saudis against Normalization
Maan al-Jarba stresses that the Saudi state is a “perfectly detective state”. However, social media networks became an important scale that is measured through the public opinion’s tendencies. A while ago, ‘Israeli’ media leaked some news about the Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to the occupied territories. Saudi official institutions shut up and the Saudi-funded media didn’t say a word.
“Only Twitter was on fire with the “Saudis against normalization” campaign that ranked the first trend in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world. Hence, there was a need to form an anti electronic army to promote the official campaign under the title of countering terrorism. However, in front of Palestine, the army cannot endure those opposing the betrayal of the Palestinian cause, in front of Palestine, everybody fails,” al-Jarba stressed.
Breaking the Silence
He further considered that there are three factors that would break the Saudi silence:
1. The ruling family’s struggle, which exists and is escalating. It will give the people a chance to take to the streets. Those who are leaking the palace’s news to “Mujtahidd” are members of the ruling family. It is also said that the number of imprisoned princes are five until now, including Mohammad bin Nayef and Abdul Aziz bin Fahd who were put under house arrest. The news of the inner conflict have been known and publicized.
2. Taking off the religious cover and moving towards secularization, in which people would find the direct cause to take to the streets, especially that the Saudi curriculum provides and teaches since 80 years that secularization in blasphemy, and obeying the ruler is a duty unless he commits the bold blasphemy. According to Saudi curricula, disobeying the atheist ruler is allowed, and is even considered a fight in the path of Allah, therefore, the religious factor which the state used as a pillar to immune the ruler will fall as the state heads towards secularization.
3. Pulling the international cover off Saudi Arabia, this is neither difficult nor impossible in the meantime. The Americans need the oil and the money. The US President was clear on this level. In case of any internal chaos and struggle, the Americans won’t leave their interests for any alliances; they would rather have other alliances with any alternative.
Partition is the Inevitable Project
The Saudi opposer assured that the US knows nobody above its interests. Amid the new colonial scheme, the US is working to divide Saudi Arabia into four countries. “Partition is on the table, and it is serious. The map is available at the US Ministry of Defense’s (War) website. Saudi Arabia will be divided into four countries. In the United States itself, there are some wings that support partition and others that oppose it. But everybody wants to play with us.”
The four regions are:
• The Great Jordan: It is composed of Tabouk, Yunbu’ and al-Hejaz, it would be added to Jordan to be the alternative home for Palestinians, in which the crisis that bans the occupation entity from announcing its Jewish state will be solved.
• The Eastern area: It is composed of al-Qatif, al-Ahsaa and al-Dammam, the oil-rich areas that are close to Kuwait and Bahrain, allowing the Americans to enter easily and control oil there. Eastern province sources have previously noted that the Americans have suggested partition, but they have refused.
• Najd: The central areas where the Al Saud’s rule would be limited
• The South: The areas of Assir, Najran and Jizan that were Yemeni areas rented by Saudi Arabia for 99 years, and that period ended in the era of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh who “waivered” in favor of Saudi Arabia.
Al-Jarba considers that the Americans have much benefited from their Iraq experience. They will not deploy their troops to any Arab country unless they would appear as the hero and the savior. This would happen in Saudi Arabia in case the struggle between the ruling family’s princes escalated and turned into confrontation. It will grant the Americans and opportunity to be with more numbers inside Saudi Arabia. On the other side, al-Jarba stressed that the partition scheme is inevitable, and that in 2017 we witness the centenary of Sykes-Picot agreement that divided the Arab region between France and Britain, and that the new centenary is the new division.
Tribes, the Time Bomb
Besides religion, the tribes play a major role in implementing or lacking domestic settlement inside the kingdom, al-Jarba noted.
He further noted the following:
“In 1902, Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saudi returned to Riyadh after he was a refugee in the English-protected Kuwait, to assume power at a time when the northern Arab Island was controlled by the leadership of “Shammar” tribe, and entirely belonging to the Ottoman Empire. “Shammar” was offered to cooperate with the Englishmen but they refused and got engaged in the World War I besides the Ottoman Empire as an Islamic state against the Englishmen…
The Englishmen provided Ibn Saudi with weapons, and they considered that his control of Najd and al-Hejaz will revoke the Ottomans’ religious legitimacy. When the Ottoman state was defeated in the World War I, Abdul Aziz entered the regions and formed the emirate of Najd, he then besieged Ha’el for a whole year during which his army used to hear the calls for prayers from inside the area wondering that “they are Muslims” while others say it is “Prudence”. Ibn Saud’s army killed children inside the mosques. And when they entered al-Hejaz they killed people inside the mosque”
The Saudi oppose uncovered that under the name of religion, Abdul Aziz mobilized tribes that were known at the time as the “brothers of he who obeyed Allah” for his wars against the other emirates.
“When he reached the English-drawn borders, he used English drones to strike the tribes that were looking forward to continue their resistance and restore the entire Islamic world! Until then, Al Saud eye tribes with worry, they respect the position and notability of the tribes, they marry from them and know that the tribes are a time bomb that would decide any domestic conflict that would erupt in the kingdom.
The Worrying Princes
Today, eyes are on the tribes as the struggle escalates between the princes themselves. Mut’ab bin Abdullah, for example, is the most worrying figures to Mohammad bin Salman. He owns a national guard that reaches 150 thousand fighters from the tribes that married from his family, and which are now getting prepared to fight with him until the last soldiers. The national guard on the level of numbers and equipments is a major power that weighs as much as the Saudi Army does.”
Besides Mut’ab, stand Ahmad bin Abdul Aziz, the brother of current Saudi King, and the sons of Nayef, Fahd and Sultan.
Al-Jarba says that “their discontent with the crown prince’s policies has been heard all across the royal palace. There are many letters that were sent to the king demanding to stop the non-qualified prince from reaching the throne,” the last of which was the armed attack against the Palace of Peace in Jeddah.
“The latest attack indicated that the princes’ letters are very serious, which caused Mohammad bin Salman at the time to disappear,” which was detailed in a previous report for al-Manar website.
The Magic Turns on the Magician
Briefly, the Saudi opposer views Saudi Arabia as a country living on the top of a volcano that would erupt anytime. All the factors inside the kingdom are worrying: the princes’ struggle, Mohammad bin Salman’s craving to rule, and the new tendency towards secularization as well as the tribal role amid all of that.
The escalating struggle won’t end but with “partition” in case the keys to deal with everything were handed to the Americans, al-Jarba warns. He further noted that the kingdom won’t be afar from what is taking place in the entire region. The schemes to divide and partition conducted by Saudi Arabia would definitely turn against it. Then, the magic will turn on the magician…
Translated by website team
Source: Al-Manar Website