Thursday, June 7, 2018

PARENTAL ALIENATION: A REASON FOR INCREASE IN CHILDHOOD VIOLENCE? PASS MI HOUSE BILL 4691


HOUSE BILL 4691 IS A COMMON SENSE NON-PARTISIAN BILL THAT NEEDS TO BE PASSED TO BENEFIT

Parental alienation is the process, and the result, of psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent and/or other family members. It is a distinctive form of psychological abuse towards both the child and the rejected family members, that occurs almost exclusively in association with family separation or divorce, particularly where legal action is involved.  the primary cause is a parent wishing to exclude another parent from the life of their child, but other family members or friends, as well as professionals involved with the family (including psychologists, lawyers and judges), may contribute significantly to the process. It often leads to the long-term, or even permanent, estrangement of a child from one parent and other family members and, as a particularly adverse childhood experience, results in significantly increased lifetime risks of both mental and physical illness.  Could this be a reason for the potential rise in school violence?

CUSTODY DISPUTE:  CREATE PRESUMPTION
OF JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY
House Bill 4691 as introduced
Sponsor:  Rep. Jim Runestad
Committee:  Judiciary
Complete to 6-5-17

BRIEF SUMMARY:
Significant revisions of the Child Custody Act by House Bill 4691 include the following:
Ø  Changes the name of the Act to the Michigan Shared Parenting Act.
Ø  Revises the factors that constitute "best interests of the child."
Ø  Creates a presumption of joint legal custody and substantially equal parenting time and defines those terms.
Ø  With some exceptions, requires a court to grant joint legal custody and substantially equal parenting time.
Ø  Requires a "clear and convincing" standard of proof to rebut a presumption of established custodial environment or to demonstrate why joint legal custody or substantially equal parenting time should not be granted.
Ø  Requires, instead of allows, a court to consider certain factors when determining parenting time orders.
Ø  For a child at least 16 years of age, gives predominant weight to the child's preference.
Ø  Prohibits a parent from changing a child's residence over 40 miles (instead of 100) from the child's residence or school unless a court finds that the 40-mile distance negatively impacts the child's access to parenting time and the child's involvement in support groups and extracurricular activities.
Ø  Defines terms.

DETAILED SUMMARY:
Under the Child Custody Act, when a child custody dispute is before the circuit court, the court may take certain actions for the best interests of the child.  These include awarding custody of the child to one or more of the parties involved or to others, and providing for the payment of child support; providing for reasonable parenting time; and modifying or amending the court's previous judgments or orders for proper cause shown or because of a change of circumstances.  The court may not modify or amend its previous judgments or orders, or issue a new order changing the child's established custodial environment, unless there is clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child.

House Bill 4691 revises the manner in which a court will determine custody in custody disputes.  First, the bill renames the Child Custody Act as the Michigan Shared Parenting Act.  In custody disputes between parents, the bill will require parents to be advised by the court of the presumption of joint legal custody and substantially equal parenting time and of the deadlines to preserve a parent's established custodial environment.  If certain circumstances are met, a court would be required to order that it is in the best interests of the child to grant the parents substantially equal parenting time. 
"Joint legal custody" is defined to mean the parents share decision-making authority as to the important decisions affecting the welfare and well-being of the child. 

"Substantially equal parenting time" means the child resides for alternating periods of time with each parent and that the court seeks to provide balance and equality in overnights, with one parent not to exceed 200 overnights in a year unless otherwise adjusted for or agreed to by the parties. 

"Established custodial environment" will mean the environment of a child established over an appreciable time where the child naturally looks to the party for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort.

Factors in determining best interests of the child 
The "best interests of the child" are factors the court must use in making custody determinations.  Under the bill, the current meaning of "best interests of the child" will be replaced with new and/or revised factors and will mean both of the following:

Ø  Maintaining an ongoing relationship with each parent and the right of the child to a substantially equal parenting time arrangement that promotes a strong relationship between a child and his or her parents.
Ø  The sum total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the court, recognizing that both parents, individually and collectively, contribute directly and financially and that parenting includes a division of labor:
o   The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child (this is current law).
o   The capacity and a history of the parents providing for, through financial support or otherwise, the child's education endeavors and health care needs.
o   The capacity and a history of the parents providing, through financial support or otherwise, food, clothing, and other necessities of the child's daily life.
o   A history of the parents maintaining regular and ongoing contact with the child and the impact on the child if regular and ongoing contact with the parents is not maintained.
o   The capacity and a history of the parents to provide age-appropriate emotional and social development.
o   A parent's behavior extending beyond reasonable parenting practices that materially compromises the stability of the home or the health, safety, or well-being of the child.
o   A mental or physical condition of a parent that materially compromises the stability of the home or the health, safety, or well-being of the child.
o   The impact on the child's academics if regular and ongoing contact with both parents is not maintained.
o   If a parent is engaged in criminal activity or substance use that materially compromises the stability of the home or the health, safety, or well-being of the child.
o   The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and other parent or the child and the parents.  A court may not consider negatively for the purposes of this factor any reasonable action taken by a parent to protect a child or that parent from sexual assault or domestic violence by the child's other parent or a person in the child's home.  (This provision is current law; italicized text denotes new language added by the bill.)
o   Any other factor considered by the court that may materially compromise the stability of the home or the health, safety, or well-being of the child.  (The italicized text replaces the phrase "to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.")

Factors being eliminated
The current factors to be eliminated include: 
·         The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.
·         The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of the state in place of medical care, and other material needs.
·         The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
·         The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
·         The moral fitness of the parties involved.
·         The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
·         The home, school, and community record of the child.
·         The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
·         Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.

Section 6a:  Presumed established custodial environment and equal parenting time
Currently, Section 6a requires parents in custody disputes to be advised of joint custody.  The court must consider awarding joint custody at the request of either parent, and state on the record the reason for granting or denying the request.  In other cases joint custody may be considered by the court.  In determining whether joint custody is in the best interest of the child, the court must consider the best interest of the child factors and whether the parents will be able to cooperate and generally agree concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of the child.  The bill will delete this provision.

Instead, if the parents reside together at the time the custody or divorce action is filed, the bill specifies it is presumed that both parents have established a custodial environment for the purpose of determining custody and parenting time arrangements.

If the parents live apart at the time the child custody action or divorce is filed, each party must be given 90 days in which to notify the court and the other party of his or her intention to preserve the established custodial environment.  The court must provide the parent with an opportunity for unification with the child and order that an effort for unification of the child with the parent be made, unless the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that unification is not in the child's best interest.

If timely notification is provided as required above, the court must presume that the parent has maintained the established custodial environment for the purpose of determining custody and parenting time arrangements.

A parent may rebut the presumption of an established custodial environment by presenting clear and convincing evidence that maintaining the established custodial environment with the other parent is not in the child's best interest.

If notification is made after the 90-day time period, the parent must be provided an opportunity for reunification with the child and order that an effort for reunification of the child with the parent be made, unless the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that reunification is not in the child's best interest.

If the presumption is rebutted because that parent was unaware of the parentage or was unable to make routine contact with the child, the parent must be given 90 days from the date of legal recognition of parentage or from the date the court rebuts the presumption to notify the court that he or she is establishing his or her custodial environment.

Except for a rebuttal based on unawareness of parentage or inability to make routine contact, if the presumption of an established custodial environment is rebutted, the court is required to order reasonable parenting time according to Section 7a, which pertains to parenting time orders.

Currently, the act requires that in custody disputes between parents, the parents be advised by the court of joint custody.  Instead, the bill requires the parents to be advised by the court of the presumption of joint legal custody and substantially equal parenting time and of the deadlines described above.  The court must grant joint legal custody to the parents unless the parents mutually consent to another agreement or one parent demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that a child's health, safety, or well-being would likely be materially compromised.  "Materially compromised" means diminished outcomes that exceed minor deviations and that would have a significant and profound impact on the well-being of the child. 

If the court determines that the parents, if awarded joint legal custody, are not likely to cooperate or agree concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of the child, the court would have discretion to do the following:

Ø  Refer the parents to appropriate services until the parents are able to cooperate and agree on important decisions for the benefit of the child.
Ø  Inform the parents that joint legal custody may be revoked if the child's health, safety, or well-being would likely be materially compromised by the parents' inability to agree.
Ø  Order that no changes be made with regard to the child's schooling or other important decisions until the parents are able to agree on important issues for the benefit of the child or agree to a decision-making process or designee to settle disputes for the benefit of the child.
Ø  Any other action the court considers necessary to bring the parents into cooperation for the benefit of the child.

If both parents have created an established custodial environment, a court would be required to order that it is in the best interests of the child to grant the parents substantially equal parenting time unless the parents consent to another agreement or one parent demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence one of the following:

Ø  The child has been exposed to domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child, including violence the child may be exposed to by a family member or an unrelated person whom the parent allows to have contact with the child.
Ø  The child would likely be subjected to child abuse or child neglect as those terms are defined in Section 2 of the Child Protection Law.
Ø  If the relationship between the child and a parent would be materially harmed during the child's time with the other parent due to actions that attempt to frustrate the relationship or alienate the child from the parent.
Ø  A parent has knowingly made false or misleading allegations regarding child abuse, child neglect, or domestic violence in a family court proceeding.
Ø  A child has a strong, genuine, and reasonable preference—if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age and maturity to express preference and that preference is not caused as a result of parental alienation.  Predominant weight must be given to a child's preference after he or she turns 16 years of age.

Sufficient time must be allowed for parents to consider and discuss a parenting time arrangement.  If joint legal custody and parenting time is agreed on, the court must award joint legal custody and the parenting time agreement unless it determines, on the record and based upon clear and convincing evidence, that joint legal custody and the parenting time agreement is not in the best interests of the child.

The court may refer parents who do not agree to parenting time to services to come to an agreement in the best interests of the child or include in its award a statement regarding when the child will reside with each parent.  The bill deletes a provision allowing the court to provide that physical custody be shared by the parents.

Official residence of a child
If the parents have joint legal custody, one of the parents' addresses will be designated by the court as the official residence solely for the purpose of all other state or federal statutes that require a designation or determination of custody or residence without respect to parenting time.  The basis of the determination must be stated on the record or in writing.
Joint legal custody and child support
Currently, joint legal custody does not eliminate the responsibility for child support.  The bill retains this provision and applies it to joint legal custody.  However, the bill adds that if a parent who is responsible for paying support would otherwise be unable to maintain adequate housing for the child and the other parent has sufficient resources, the court could reduce support payments for the benefit of the child.
Allowable actions by a court in a custody dispute
Currently, if a child custody dispute comes before the court, the act specifies certain action the court may do for the best interests of the child.  The bill retains most of the listed actions, but eliminates as an option:  awarding custody of the child to one or more of the parties involved or to others; providing for reasonable parenting time of the child by the parties involved, by the maternal or paternal grandparents, or by others, by general or specific terms and conditions; and a provision pertaining to modifications of a previous judgment or order regarding a change to the established custodial environment.
Parenting time order
Section 7a of the act provides for parenting time.  The bill retains most of the current language, but reorders some of the provisions.  The bill replaces a provision specifying that parenting time be granted in accordance with the best interests of the child with one specify that if the court awards substantially equal parenting time, it shall be granted in accordance with the best interests of the child and the provisions of Section 6a.  If the court orders a parenting time arrangement other than substantially equal parenting time to both parties, the bill specifies certain provisions currently in Section 7a apply.  However, instead of allowing the court to consider certain factors when determining the frequency, duration, and type of parenting time to be granted (such as the existence of any special circumstances or needs of the child), the court would be required to consider the listed factors.

Military deployment
In provisions pertaining to changes in custody when a parent is on deployment, the bill will refer to joint legal custody (instead of custody) and apply the provisions also to parenting time.  The bill adds that in order to ensure and maintain the established custodial environment and stability for the child, the parent on deployment may designate a third party who may exercise the deployed parent's parenting time while that parent is on deployment.

Change of child's legal residence
Currently, a child whose parental custody is governed by court order has a legal residence with each parent, and a parent is not allowed to change a legal residence to a location that is more than 100miles from the child's legal residence at the time of the commencement of the action in which the order is issued.  The italicized text will be deleted. 

Instead, the parent could not change a legal residence to a location more than 40 miles from the child's legal residence or school at the time unless the court determines for the benefit of the child that the distance of 40 miles would negatively affect the child's access to parenting time, parental involvement in the child's school, or the child's ability to access his or her routine support groups and extracurricular activities.  The 40-mile distance would be determined by a vehicle's odometer unless otherwise agreed to by the parties.  The exceptions currently allowed under the act will be retained but applied to the new 40-mile distance. 

Further, before permitting a legal residence change otherwise restricted, the act currently requires the court to consider certain factors with the child as the primary focus.  Instead, the bill requires the parent requesting the change to prove the factors by clear and convincing evidence.  Certain modifications of the listed factors would be made to comport with the bill's provisions and emphasis on established custodial environment.  A factor pertaining to domestic violence would be revised to specify that no domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child is likely to exist in the moving parent's new residence. 

Lastly, instead of requiring each order determining or modifying custody or parenting time of a child to include a provision a provision stating the parent's agreement as to how a change in either of the child's legal residences will be handled, the order could include such a provision.
The bill would take effect 90 days after enactment.
MCL 722.21 et al.
FISCAL IMPACT:
A fiscal analysis is in process.
                                                                                        Legislative Analyst:   Susan Stutzky
                                                                                                Fiscal Analyst:   Robin Risko

Friday, March 23, 2018

Donald Trump Must Veto, Senator Rand Paul Blasts 1.3 Trillion Spending Package

The Omnibus Spending package is $1.3 trillion and is over 2,200 pages of spending.  There is no way one could read this over a period of a few days.  Rand Paul attempted but even he couldn't.  He did see enough to vote on on this ridiculous package.  If it passes he wants Donald Trump to veto the bill.

In a series of social media posts he shows the ridiculousness of this spending bill:











Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Why is St Patrick Famous?



St. Patrick is well-praised and celebrated for his missionary work in Ireland. He spent around forty years converting the native Irish who were entirely pagan and druidic prior to his arrival with his missionaries. This was his calling and his life’s greatest work, which was blessed by God. St. Patrick is clearly a model evangelist because of how he challenged the people of that time. He challenged their demons and their unholy traditions, and Christ ultimately won out the day.


Many legends are attributed to St. Patrick’s exploits in Ireland and, while the validity of some is debatable, one can be sure that before St. Patrick came to the island not a Christian was to be found there, and after he completed his missionary efforts the country’s population became Christian – down to this very day.


Many Roman Catholics are of Irish decent; therefore they have St. Patrick to thank for the conversion of their ancestors and, indirectly, their own Catholic faith. And how many others were evangelized through the missionary work of Irish Catholics around the world? The ripple effects of St. Patrick and his contemporary missionary saints in bringing people to God cannot be underestimated.



Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Walk out 3 / 14: Public Schools Hypocrisy on Free Speech

Novi Michigan- school districts across the country are allowing their students to walk out of class and it's today to protest guns in schools and honor the 17 killed at Parkland Florida one month ago.

The left is using students as propaganda tools to weaken the Second Amendment.

Proof of this is Novi Michigan. The school issued a memo stating that the students have a First Amendment right to protest and to free speech. However that First Amendment right was not allowed by the same district in 2013 when a group of students wanted to honor God and our country by having a group of students pray around a flagpole. The school cited separation of church and state. However the First Amendment does allow for freedom of speech and the free practice of religion.

Does this not seem hypocritical to you?


Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Brief History Of The Bible



The Catholic Church has been know to be the guardian of the Bible, but some say that it added unscriptural books to the Old Testament, namely the Apocrypha.

Actually this is not true. The seven books in question--Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch are properly called the deuterocanonical books. 

The deuterocanonical books are considered canonical (that is, authoritative parts of the Bible) by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and the Church of the East, but they are considered non-canonical by most Protestants.
The label "unscriptural" was first applied by the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century. The truth is, portions of these books contradict elements of Protestant doctrine (as in the case of 2 Maccabees 12, which clearly supports prayers for the dead and a belief in purgatory), and the "reformers" therefore needed some excuse to eliminate them from the canon. However, these books are "unscriptural" only if misinterpreted. It should also be noted that the first-century Christians--including Jesus and the apostles--effectively considered these seven books canonical. They quoted from the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures that contained these seven books. More importantly, the deuterocanonicals are clearly alluded to in the New Testament.


Finally the canon of the entire Bible was essentially settled around the turn of the fourth century. Up until this time, there was disagreement over the canon, and some ten different canonical lists existed, none of which corresponded exactly to what the Bible now contains. Around this time there were no less than five instances when the canon was formally identified: the Synod of Rome (382), the Council of Hippo (393), the Council of Carthage (397), a letter from Pope Innocent I to Exsuperius, Bishop of Toulouse (405), and the Second Council of Carthage (419). In every instance, the canon was identical to what Catholic Bibles contain today. In other words, from the end of the fourth century on, in


practice Christians accepted the Catholic Church's decision in this matter.

By the time of the Reformation, Christians had been using the same 73 books in their Bibles (46 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament)--and thus considering them inspired--for more than 1100 years. This practice changed with Martin Luther, who dropped the deuterocanonical books on nothing more than his own say-so. Protestantism as a whole has followed his lead in this regard.


One of the two "pillars" of the Protestant Reformation (sola scriptura or "the Bible alone") in part states that nothing can be added to or taken away from God's Word. History shows therefore that Protestants are guilty of violating their own doctrine.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Understanding the Origins of Wahhabism and Salafism



The phenomenon of Islamic terrorism cannot be adequately explained as the export of Saudi Wahhabism, as many commentators claim. In fact, the ideological heritage of groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS is Salafism, a movement that began in Egypt and was imported into Saudi society during the reign of King Faisal.

The official ‘Wahhabi’ religion of Saudi Arabia has essentially merged with certain segments of Salafism. There is now intense competition between groups and individual scholars over the ‘true’ Salafism, with the scholars who support the Saudi regime attacking groups such as al-Qaeda as ‘Qutbists’ (following Sayyid Qutb) or takfiris (excommunicators).

The easy explanation for differences within the Salafi movement is that some aim to change society through da’wa (preaching/evangelizing) whereas others want to change it through violence. But as the Saudi example shows, all strains of Salafism, even the most revolutionary and violent, make a place for social services such as education in their strategies for the transformation of society.

Origins of Wahhabism

When Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab began preaching his revivalist brand of Islam amongst the Bedouins of the Najd [1] during the 18th century, his ideas were dismissed in the centers of Islamic learning such as al-Azhar as simplistic and erroneous to the point of heresy.

Ibn Abd al-Wahhab claimed that the decline of the Muslim world was caused by pernicious foreign innovations (bida’) – including European modernism, but also elements of traditional Islam that were simply unfamiliar to the isolated Najdi Bedouins. He counseled the purging of these influences in an Islamic Revival. Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s creed placed an overriding emphasis on tawhid (monotheism), condemning many traditional Muslim practices as shirk (polytheism). He also gave jihad an unusual prominence in his teachings. The Wahhabis called themselves Muwahideen (monotheists) – to call themselves Wahhabis was considered shirk.

Origins of Salafism

Salafism originated in the mid to late 19th Century, as an intellectual movement at al-Azhar University, led by Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905), Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1839-1897) and Rashid Rida (1865-1935). The movement was built on a broad foundation. Al-Afghani was a political activist, whereas Abduh, an educator, sought gradual social reform (as a part of da’wa), particularly through education. Debate over the place of these respective methods of political change continues to this day in Salafi groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

The early Salafis admired the technological and social advancement of Europe’s Enlightenment, and tried to reconcile it with the belief that their own society was the heir to a divinely guided Golden Age of Islam that had followed the Prophet Muhammad’s Revelations.

The name Salafi comes from as-salaf as-saliheen, the ‘pious predecessors’ of the early Muslim community, although some Salafis extend the Salaf to include selected later scholars. The Salafis held that the early Muslims had understood and practiced Islam correctly, but true understanding of Islam had gradually drifted, just as the people of previous Prophets (including Moses and Jesus) had strayed and gone into decline. The Salafis set out to rationally reinterpret early Islam with the expectation of rediscovering a more ‘modern’ religion.

In terms of their respective formation, Wahhabism and Salafism were quite distinct. Wahhabism was a pared-down Islam that rejected modern influences, while Salafism sought to reconcile Islam with modernism. What they had in common is that both rejected traditional teachings on Islam in favor of direct, ‘fundamentalist’ reinterpretation.

Saudi Arabia Embraces Salafi Pan-Islamism

Although Saudi Arabia is commonly characterized as aggressively exporting Wahhabism, it has in fact imported pan-Islamic Salafism. Saudi Arabia founded and funded transnational organizations and headquartered them in the kingdom, but many of the guiding figures in these bodies were foreign Salafis. The most well known of these organizations was the World Muslim League, founded in Mecca in 1962, which distributed books and cassettes by al-Banna, Qutb and other foreign Salafi luminaries. Saudi Arabia successfully courted academics at al-Azhar University, and invited radical Salafis to teach at its own Universities.

Saudi Arabia’s decision to host Egyptian radicals hinges on three factors: the need for qualified educators, Faisal’s struggle against Egyptian-led pan-Arab radicalism, and Saudi openness under King Khaled. Between the 1920s and 1960s, Saudi Arabia was emerging as a modern state. Increased oil production required technical infrastructure and a bureaucracy, resulting in a demand for educators that outstripped the administration’s capacity. [2] The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood represented a source of qualified educators, bureaucrats and engineers, many of them anxious to leave Egypt.

During the late 1950s and the 1960s, the Middle East was gripped by a struggle between the traditional monarchies and the secular pan-Arab radicals, led by Nasser’s Egypt, with the pan-Islamist Salafis an important third force. [3] By embracing pan-Islamism, Faisal countered the idea of pan-Arab loyalty centered on Egypt with a larger transnational loyalty centered on Saudi Arabia. During the 1960s, members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots, many of them teachers, were given sanctuary in Saudi Arabia, in a move that undermined Nasser while also relieving the Saudi education crisis. [4]

Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy concerns eased in 1970 with Nasser’s death. But in the 1970s, the Saudi education system was awash with Egyptian Muslim Brothers and other Salafis, much as Berkeley was awash with Marxists. Under King Khaled (r.1975-1982), some of the most important proponents of Qutbist terrorism, including Abdullah Azzam, Omar Abd al-Rahman and Muhammad Qutb, served as academics in the Kingdom. Qutb, an important proponent of his late brother Sayyid’s theory, wrote several texts on tawhid for the Saudi school curriculum. [5]

A generation of prominent Saudi citizens was exposed to various strains of Salafi thought during the 1970s, and although most Saudi Salafis are not Qutbist revolutionaries, the Qutbists did not miss the opportunity to awaken a revolutionary vanguard.

Wahhabi-Salafism

Although Salafism and Wahhabism began as two distinct movements, Faisal’s embrace of Salafi pan-Islamism resulted in cross-pollination between ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teachings on tawhid, shirk and bid’a and Salafi interpretations of ahadith (the sayings of Muhammad). Some Salafis nominated ibn Abd al-Wahhab as one of the Salaf (retrospectively bringing Wahhabism into the fold of Salafism), and the Muwahideen began calling themselves Salafis.

Today, a profusion of self-proclaimed Salafi groups exist, each accusing the others of deviating from ‘true’ Salafism. Since the 1970s, the Saudis have wisely stopped funding those Salafis that excommunicate nominally Muslim governments (or at least the Saudi government), condemning al-Qaeda as ‘the deviant sect’. The pro-Saudis correctly trace al-Qaeda’s ideological roots to Qutb and al-Banna. Less accurately, they accuse these groups of insidiously ‘entering’ Salafism. In fact, Salafism was imported into Saudi Arabia in its Ikhwani and Qutbist forms. This does not mean that the pro-Saudi Salafis are necessarily benign – for example, Abu Mu’aadh as-Salafee’s main criticism of Qutb and Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna is that they claim Islam teaches tolerance of Jews.[6]

Meanwhile, non-Muslims and mainstream Muslims alike use the ‘Wahhabi-Salafi’ label to denigrate Salafis and even completely unrelated groups such as the Taliban.

Conclusions

Faisal’s embrace of pan-Islamism achieved its main objective in that it helped Saudi Arabia to overcome pan-Arabism. However, it created a radicalized Salafi constituency, elements of which the regime continues to fund. It should be kept in mind, though, that this funding is now confined to more compliant Salafis.

Saudi Arabia still has some way to go. Some will say that a leopard can’t change its spots, but in fact the Saudi Government is capable of serious doctrinal change under pressure. Faisal’s broad introduction of Salafi policies involved such a shift, as did the subsequent rejection of Qutbist interpretations of Salafism by pro-Saudi Salafis.

The Middle East today is clearly in need of alternative models of political change to counter takfiri Salafism. In the West, education has been a major factor in social integration. But as the Saudi case study indicates, we need to be aware of not only the quantity, but also the nature of education. Saudi students in the 1970s learned engineering and administration alongside an ideology of xenophobic alienation. In the long run, the battle against violent Salafism will be fought not only on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in the universities of the Middle East.

Notes

1. A province in the Arabian Desert, now part of Saudi Arabia.

2. Madawi al-Rasheed, A History of Saudi Arabia, Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp122-123. Rasheed observes that most teachers in Saudi Arabia at this time were Egyptians.

3. For a comprehensive account of this struggle, see Abdullah M Sindhi, King Faisal and Pan-Islamism, in Willard L Beling (ed), King Faisal and the Modernisation of Saudi Arabia, London, 1980.

4. Madawi al-Rasheed, p144.

5. Syed Muhammad al-Naquib al-Attas (ed), Aims and Objectives of Islamic Education, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, 1979, p48. Introduction to Muhammad Qutb’s chapter, The Role of Religion in Education. (Proceedings of the 1977 World Conference on Islamic Education, Mecca).

6. Abu Mu’aadh as-Salafee, Exposing al-Ikhwaan al-Muflisoon: the Aqeedah of Walaa and Baraaa’, SalafiPublications.com and As-Sawaa’iq al-Mursalah ‘Alal-Afkaar al-Qutubiyyah al-Mudammirah, SalafiPublications.com, pp48, 50.

Originally published  July 15th 2005

Understanding the Origins of Wahhabism and Salafism
Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 14
By: Trevor Stanley

Democrats Try To Stop The #ReleaseTheMemo Movement On Social Media

According to Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman
Feinstien

Adam B. Schiff, the incredible volume of people on #Twitter & #Facebook typing out the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo are all a bunch of Russian bots paid by the Trump Administration to sidetrack the Mueller investigation into the Trump/Russian Collusion Farce. So, they wrote this sweet letter to #MarkZuckerberg & #JackDorsey of Twitter asking them to #Shadowban these posts.  (See The Letter Below)

House Republicans are hopeful that a four-page memo allegedly containing "jaw-dropping" revelations about U.S. government surveillance abuses will soon be made public.


Schiff
Rep. Dave Joyce, a Republican from Ohio, told Fox News on Monday that the intelligence committee plans to work on releasing the document but warned that once Americans see it, they’ll “be surprised how bad it is.”

The process of releasing the memo could take up to 19 congressional working days which puts its release around mid-March. The document’s release would first need approval from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who can decide to bring the committee back together for a vote. If the majority of the committee votes to release the memo, it would then be up to President Trump.

Nunes

If he says yes, the memo can be released.


Joyce said he’s personally read the memo twice and “it was deeply disturbing as anyone who’s been in law enforcement and any American will find out once they have the opportunity to review it.”