Talk2Me Radio in United Kingdom invited HH Younus AlGohar to speak on Wahhabism. Below is the written transcript of the full interview.
To hear the complete audio of the interview – click here.
Q: Can you explain what is Wahhabism, please?
Wahhabism has been attributed to a form of Islam; however, if you go deeper into the background information of Wahhabism, Wahhabism is a set of extreme, fanatic belief system in which Wahhabis do not recognise any other form of Islam. Especially, they are really against Sufis and Shia Muslims.
What we see today in the world in form of Islamic terrorism is actually Wahhabism.
Q: As I understand it, broadly speaking there are two main sects within Islam: Sunni and Shia – that is the main divide. Like Catholic and Protestant in Christianity. And then there are sub-divides within them. Where does Sufism fit in that divide?
Of course, Islam has been divided into two main sects of Islam which is Sunni and Shiite. Sunni’s are supported by Saudi Arabia and Shitte’s by Iran. Sufism is the form of islam in which people practise spirituality, like Mevlana Rumi and so many other Sufis in Islam who talked about peace, who talked about love and who never hold a grudge against anybody, who are very tolerant, and they love everybody, they love all the religions.They are the ones who are called Sufis.
Q: They’re kind of esoteric?
Q: What form of Islam were you involved in?
I was born in a Sufi practising family. I practised Sufism and later on, I got tired of religions and I adopted divine love – Sufism. I do not adhere myself to any religion right now.
Q : Having heard some of the Muslim apostates, I heard that leaving Islam is punishable by death. Is that the case? Is that a widely held belief or is it just an extremist belief?
This is very much the thought of the mainstream Muslims. If you leave the religion of Islam, according to the Muslim faith, the punishment is death penalty. That is true.
Q: That is a shock to me. I would certainly not expect that to be the case from a mainstream point of view. If that is where we are at, surely that is something more people should know about. It should be discussed on a mainstream platform, don’t you think?
I have spoken on this subject many times and I can really give a long lecture on this point. But this is what Muslims all over the world understand, that if one leaves the religion of Islam, then he must be killed.
Q: If someone is listening to this conversation who maybe is a Muslim and part of Islam and they want to leave, what is actually the sensible way of going about that without causing problems?
The best thing is to leave the Muslim country where you are, go somewhere else and leave the religion. However if you live in Saudi Arabia or all these Arab countries and you publicly announce that you have left Islam, then you are inviting trouble.
Q: So go quietly, I guess is what we are saying. I want to tackle this word Wahhabism. Some people have a problem with the word, Wahhabism. Don’t they call it Salafist? They have another word for it? Why is it that they have a problem with that word?
Actually, these two different Islamist movements – one comes from Saudi Arabia and the other comes from Egypt. The one that comes from Egypt, Ikhwan ul Muslimeen, they know themselves as Salafis. The Wahhabis come from Saudi Arabia, but they don’t want to be known as Wahhabis. They call themselves Sunni Muslims however they practise the cult of Wahhabism.
Q: So what is the root origin of that word?
Wahhabism comes from Saudi Arabia. There was a guy known as Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhab, he was from the central province of Saudi Arabia. He was denounced by his own father for his extremist views, however later on, people started to like his stand on Islam and his extreme views on Islam. This is how it progressed.
Later on, about 100 years ago, when Saudi Arabia was part of the Ottoman Empire, these Wahhabis with the Saudi royal family, formed an alliance and they defeated the governor of the Ottoman Empire. This is how they gained power in Saudi Arabia in the early 1900s. This is when Wahhabism started to make a stronghold for themselves. Then the oil money, which was like a stamp on their progression. Now they’re spending billions of dollars on widespread of Wahhabism all over the world. This doctrine of hatred has now taken place in the hearts of young Muslims all over the world.
Those who practise Wahhabism do not need to be further radicalised because Wahhabism itself is an extreme radicalisation. Those who practise Wahhabism, inside their heart, they are potential terrorists. They can carry out any atrocity, any act of terrorism anywhere in the world. Because this is the principles of Wahhabism. For except themselves, they do not consider anybody else to be true Muslims. Those who are not Wahhabis, they must be killed and all their properties must be forfeited by them.
Q: Famously, the victims of Islamist terrorism tends to be Muslims statistically more than anyone else. If we could wave a magic wand and remove those ideas of Wahhabism and Salafism and be left with moderate Islam. If we could tackle the problem of Wahhabism/Salafism islam, would we still have a so-called clash of civilisations on our hands? Would we still have a problem in this country?
The civilisation clash is not as severe as the dangers which is caused by Wahhabis. If we can take care of the Salafists and Wahhabis in the UK, we would be saving a lot of lives. We would be saving a lot of peace for ourselves. We have to take care of these Salafists and Wahhabis. I think this is the most dangerous thing. Not just in the UK of GB, but all over the world. These Salafis and Wahhabis must be taken care.
Q: How do you propose to do that? How can people be taken care of who have beliefs with which we disagree?
We have been working on this campaign: Ban Wahhabism. We have carried out this campaign in India, USA and UK as well. Somehow or other, our petition was removed from change.org in India and also USA. People are becoming more and more aware. We have to keep raising awareness of the potential danger of Wahhabism. One day people will come to know what is the cause of this international terrorism.
Q: Let’s hope this conversation is a beginning to that process here in the minds of people listening in the UK.