A protester holds a placard during a demonstration against the execution of Shi'ite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London, Britain, January 3, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE)
One hundred and forty Saudi preachers, many of whom are oppositionists to the monarchy, signed on January 16 a petition urging Sunni Muslims to fight “the Iranian aspirations to take over the Sunni Islamic world” through a comprehensive strategy against the Iranian regime.
The preachers praised Saudi Arabia's decision to sever its diplomatic relations with Iran following the riots that took place outside the Saudi embassy there after the execution of the Shi’ite preacher, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, and defined it as a "step in the right direction."
According to the preachers, Iran's growing influence in the Middle East might stem from the fact that Muslims neglect their religious duties and do not practice the Islamic rituals. They state that "this situation can only be changed if all Muslims repent.”
Even though the Saudi Kingdom strongly opposes ISIS, this explanation for Iran's aggression in the region actually reinforces ISIS’ stance regarding the way to vanquish the Iranians and the Crusaders (the Western powers) and establish an Islamic State.
Another central claim of the preachers was that Sunni states should "pay attention to the danger posed by minority groups to states' security, as they aspire to revolt against the state in order to control the majority."
This claim is further evidence of the benefit that ISIS reaps from the escalating conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. While ISIS aspires to create an all-Sunni state in which minorities will be defined as inferior citizens, lacking any rights, the Saudi preachers now call on Sunni states to treat minorities as foreign agents, thus precipitating the exclusion of these groups from the state.