Descendants of Saudi Wahhabism founder distance themselves from Qatar

The rift has also prompted authorities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE to block the main website of Qatar-based al Jazeera.

By REUTERS
May 28, 2017 17:22
1 minute read.
Saudi Arabia - Women praying

Saudi Arabia - Women praying in Riyadh. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later



DUBAI - Descendants of the founding father of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi brand of Islam have sought to distance themselves from Qatar's ruling family, according to a statement published on Sunday, in a further sign of a rift among Gulf Arab states.

In the front-page statement, Saudi Arabia's Okaz newspaper said that 200 descendants of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab demanded the renaming of a Qatar mosque named after the 18th-century cleric even though most Qataris practice Wahhabism.

The demands come after Qatari state media last week published purported remarks by the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, criticizing Gulf rhetoric against Iran and US foreign policy.

Qatar denied making the comments, saying its news agency had been hacked, but Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates allowed their state-backed media to continue running the story, angering Doha.

Although the statement in Okaz did not mention Qatar by name, the statement referred to "the emir of one of the Gulf states" who had built a mosque named after Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, claiming that the cleric was his great grandfather. Qatar's state mosque, opened in 2011, is known as the Sheikh Mohammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab mosque.


"We, therefore, demand that the name of the mosque be changed for it does not carry its true Salafi path," the statement said, according to the Arabic-language Okaz.

Other Saudi newspapers have carried similar reports.

Qatar's ruling al-Thani family traces its history to Najd, the central and northern part of Saudi Arabia where Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was from, but it is not clear whether there is a direct family link to him.

The rift has also prompted authorities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE to block the main website of Qatar-based al Jazeera television, which Riyadh and Abu Dhabi see as critical of their governments. The station says it is an independent news service.

Ties between Qatar and some other Gulf Arab states suffered an eight-month breakdown in 2014 over Qatar's alleged support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the political ideology of which challenges the principle of dynastic rule.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Gavel
January 22, 2019
Turkish court sentences journalist serving life another six years

By REUTERS