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Monopoly of TruthINTRODUCTION

Today we are going to analyze a little hiccup that just occurred between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Everybody knows that the city of Mecca is located in Saudi territory. Furthermore, everybody also knows that all Muslims are mandated to pilgrimage to the Mecca at least once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially capable of so doing. This pilgrimage is called the Hajj and typically occurs approximately between the 8th and 12th day of the Dhu al-Hijjah month of the Islamic calendar. Furthermore everybody knows (or at least can figure out pretty quick) that although "once in a lifetime is mandatory" more is more pious. Thus, the Hajj has become something of a cross between an ongoing religious ceremony, a tourist attraction, a holiday and vacations all wrapped in one.

The Hajj is supposed to be a demonstration of submission of Muslim people to the primacy of God as well as a declaration of solidarity between all "brothers" -and may be "sisters"- (in the religion). Consequently, the Hajj attracts a vast number of people to Saudi Arabia within a very short timeframe. There is nothing unusual in this fact. Truth be said, there is nothing out of the ordinary in Hajj if we perform a comparative analysis against rituals and pilgrimages from other religions.

Yet something is rotten between the "brotherhood". The stench of rot stems from this little disagreement between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. This disagreement (as all disagreements between countries) is rooted in money but not limited to any dirty trick and underhanded action any party may come up with and throw to the other.

As such, the Saudis have realized that… the Mecca is located in Saudi territory… and… that in order to get there… people must travel through said territory. Well… well… well... Therefore and in line with this discovery they have enacted a series of "measures" to "regulate" the pilgrimage of "brothers" to the Mecca. Such "measures" include visas, mandated entry and exit points and other assorted "restrictions"…no… scratch that…"control measures"… ahhhh… much better.

Of course, these "control measures" are massively inconvenient to Qatari's… which happens to be a happy coincidence… But don't you worry because the Saudis are only exercising their sovereign rights…

Which is something that Qatar also noticed. Furthermore, even though the Saudis have their very own "flavour" of Islamism (Wahhabism) and the King of Saudi Arabia is the "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" (i.e. Mecca and Medina), this tittle offers very little in the sense of ownership. Technically speaking, this title is referred to as the "Servant of the Two Noble Sanctuaries" or "Protector of the Two Holy Cities", not their owner and proprietor. This title or, more precisely, a "royal style" is, in a word, a style; a fashion used to address a monarch and nothing more. This is believed to be so since Saladin invented it in the 1500's and was transferred from monarch to monarch ever since.

Therefore, if the Saudis own neither the Mecca nor Medina, it stands to reason that those two cities belong to Islam. They belong to the "brotherhood" and not to a specific country… which happens to be Muslim. This is the most common and widespread interpretation and understanding in Islam. The very idea that Mecca or Medina could belong to somebody is tantamount to sacrilege because this would imply that said "owner" conquered those sacred locations… which would instantly inflame the entire Muslim world who would declare Jihad against the aggressor…  this time well within the orthodox understanding of the Islamic religion and not a fringe interpretation.

Now that we understand this background, we return to this little tête-à-tête between the Qataris and Saudis. In order to counteract Saudis' "control measures", the Qatar's National Human Rights Commission levied a complaint with the United Nations against Saudi Arabia claiming that what the Saudis are doing is in “stark violation of international laws and agreements that guarantee the right to worship.”

Aha… uhu… hohum…

So far nothing earth shattering here. These kinds of bureaucratic "complaints" can be found a dime a dozen with the UN. As a matter of fact, if a country has not yet filed some sort of claim with the UN, it cannot be rightfully believed to be country! You must remember that the UN is, primarily, a show; nothing more and nothing less. The UN almost never does anything. It is always one country or another that spearheads some sort of action which is then "legitimized" through the UN, just like a political money laundry operation.

Thus, filing with the UN is tantamount to a political tantrum (redundantly redundant) and nothing more. Everybody knows it is an exercise in propaganda and nobody will ever take any action whatsoever based on it.

Yet, here is where this whole thing gets interesting.

Immediately after the filing became public, Saudi Foregoing Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that "Qatar’s request to internationalize the holy sites is an aggressive act and a declaration of war against the kingdom.”

WOW!

Somebody just went nuclear on a minor discrepancy of pocket change! How is this possible?

Why would the Saudis react to a simple bureaucratic filing in such an extreme manner?

ENTER RELIGION

Religion is the epicentre of the issue. Saudi's flavour of Islam "Wahhabism" is also the state religion of Saudi Arabia. Attacking Wahhabism is the same as attacking the "kingdom". One is the other. They are inseparable… at least for public consumption. However, what is not only for public consumption is the tight control that Saudis exercise on their entire population. They do so because they know that should they loosen the choke chain, the entire "kingdom" will go up in flames. Why? Because the kingdom is riddled with "political opposition" (dormant or… "silenced"… ejem…) and also because Wahhabism counts for only about 30% of the entire Muslim population. In other words, the Saudis are in the minority.

Thus, the Saudis must, at all cost, not only maintain control but also demonstrate that their flavour of Islam is the "correct" one. In order to do so, they must demonstrate that they (and not their counterparts) are the centre of the Muslim world. And they cannot do this if Mecca and Medina become "international", in other words, a free for all Muslim sects and flavours to claim.

Do you now begin to see the problem?

Allow us to summarize:

  1. No control over Mecca and Medina = loss of Wahhabi prestige.
  2. Loss of Wahhabi prestige = loss of Saudi Arabia prestige.
  3. Loss of Wahhabi prestige = prestige gain by other Muslim factions
  4. Loss of Saudi Arabia prestige = prestige gain by other Saudi political views
  5. Prestige gain by other Muslim factions and political views = disintegration of the kingdom
  6. Kingdom disintegration = destruction of the "correct" version of Islam
  7. Kingdom disintegration = privileges for "royal" people are gone

This clear enough?

This chain of rationale has been brought by the Saudis onto themselves. They imposed Wahhabism because it provided a religious power base for the kingdom and also because it suppressed other political views. Problem is, they left the soft underbelly of the core Muslim religious beliefs exposed to… well… Islamism!

Basically, the Saudis want to have their cake and eat it too! Problem is, the cake belongs to "the people".

Thus, the Saudis reacted to this innocent bureaucratic filing in the same manner as if Saudi Arabia would have been invaded by the Qarmatians again (which was a Shia Muslim flavour who invaded and sacked Mecca in 930). From the Saudis' point of view, retaining religious and/or political dominance over Mecca and Medina is of "strategic national value". Period. There can be neither compromises nor negotiations. Full stop.

This is so because the very life of the royal family (and their vast possessions and privileges) is at stake. And we all know how attached to their earthly possessions dictators become, particularly if they believe themselves to be above other people… however ridiculous that notion may be.

And... oh... the "incorrect" version of Islam may take over.

THE OWNERSHIP OF THE TRUTH

In our article Propaganda By Any Other Name we stated that "religious theories are not based on the uniqueness of people but on the iron-clad rules that standardized and centralized powers dictate. This is so because said theories are absolute and as such they cannot accept deviations. Should they do so, the rule-makers would instantly become irrelevant. Why would we need rule-makers is we are able to determine or select rules by ourselves?"

This concept is at the root of the issue. All religions operate based on absolute beliefs (i.e. axioms). These axioms cannot be challenged as the entire religion is based on them. Thus, religions do not require confirmation or empirical experimentation as they do not depend upon reaffirmation (in whatever shape or form you may want to imagine in) but only on belief.

Thus, every religion considers itself to be the True Owner Of The Absolute Truth and as such they exercise absolute monopoly over it. This idea is also at the very centre of the fact that no religions are reconcilable.  This is simply not theoretically possible because absolute axioms cannot be modified and as such, they cannot be molded to accommodate other religions. But we digress…

In the case of Saudi Arabia, physical ownership of Mecca and Medina is part of the Saudi state tradition and, arguably, history. As such, such property is part of Wahhabism and therefore of Saudi Arabia even though it is not in the Quran. Yet, it is within the interpretation of Wahhabism as it believes to be itself the "right" version of Islam as it is the most "puritan" (i.e. strict and/or blessed) of them all. Basically, the physical ownership of Mecca and Medina is nine tenths of the religion...

Thus, only Wahhabism is the righteous owner of the "true path of Islam" and holder of the Monopoly Of Absolute Truth.  

Anything that subverts or attacks such truth is an enemy of Islam…

Or so the Saudis say…

Got it?

A GREAT BIG MESS

As you can imagine, as "the truth" is unique, there can be only one. Thus, all other heretical views must be extinguished. Now, before you jump to conclusions and believe that this is yet another anti-extremist-Islamic rant, let us assure you that it is not.

This is a rant against all religions.

As far as we can tell, all religions throughout the world had their own little "cleansing" operations going on. Some of them thousands of years ago, some as recently as today as they are still in full swing.

  1. Pick your religion.
  2. Do the research.
  3. Reach the inevitable conclusion: at some point in time they all "did it".

There is nothing new in this area under the sun.

A BIT OF ETHIOLOGY AND LIBERTARIANISM

But what is the relation between the Saudi "declaration of war" and Libertarianism? Simple.

We have explained how religions cannot be reconciled. It is this inability to reconcile that creates "purges" and "massacres" even today. It is clear that reconciliation is not possible due to theoretical reasons.

Thus, if you study history you will come to the conclusion that, as expected, any attempt of patching or creating reconciliation between religions has failed miserably.

And before you go off a tangent and state that certain religions have declared "recognition" to others, we would like to remind you that recognition is not reconciliation. All their dogmatic (i.e. axiomatic) declarations remain in full force. Truce is not reconciliation. An impasse is not reconciliation. Mutually assured destruction is not reconciliation.

Thus, all these problems in Saudi Arabia stem from the very simple truth that for as long as truth is considered to be absolute and the absolute property of a given group, irreconcilable points of view will exist and will inevitably clash against each other.

THE WAY OUT

Thus, the solution that Libertarianism offers is to de-couple earthly affairs from religious affairs. It is not the denial of the existence of religions that will enable us to move forward. It is not the denial of the existence of earthly affairs that will enable us to move forward.

It is the realization that only co-existence of multiple religions within a broader framework of earthly rights guarantees survival.

Libertarianism works not because it attempts to somehow limit religion but because it imposes limits to the impact that religions have on other people's lives through voluntary contracts or agreements.

Think of it this way, do you really care if your neighbour believes in Islam, Catholicism, Scientology, Nuwaubianism, The Church of Euthanasia, the Universe People or any other religion if they leave you alone and your property?

Actually you may. However, in a system which guarantees that they won't bug you, you would be much, much more inclined to let them be.

This is the only path to the preservation of an infinite number of Absolute Truths; by letting every person keep his or her own.  There really is no other way.

And just FYI, no, we are not talking about religious tolerance. If you are interested in this topic, read Tolerance Sucks.

CONCLUSION

The so-called Saudi "declaration of war" is nothing more and nothing less than an example of the failure of current political systems to resolve a simple disagreement between points of view. We have showed you how Libertarianism provides the theoretical and practical answer to eliminate such problems.

Now is your turn. You can continue to believe that your religion is better or more righteous than their religion and continue the cycle of mutual destruction into oblivion… or… you can do something about it.

Enlighten yourself.

Think things through.

And above all, don't vote.

But then again, it is your choice. Just remember one thing; as you hate them, they hate you back. As you move against them, they move against you. The best possible outcome is not a zero-sum game; it is the utter destruction of humanity… and getting downhill from there. You decide.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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