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Attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca - Nov. 1979

The date of the attack, 20 November 1979, was the first day of the year 1400 according to the Islamic calendar; this ties in with the tradition of the mujaddid, a person who appears at the turn of every century of the Islamic calendar to revive Islam, cleansing it of extraneous elements and restoring it to its pristine purity.

The insurgents declared that the Mahdi (the "redeemer of Islam") had arrived in the form of one of their leaders - Mohammed Abdullah al-Qahtani - and called on Muslims to obey him. For nearly two weeks Pakistani special forces SSG commandos advised by French commandos and the Saudi Arabian Army, fought pitched battles to reclaim the compound.

At the time the Grand Mosque was being renovated by the Saudi Binladin Group. An employee of the organization was able to report the seizure to the outside world before the insurgents cut the telephone lines.

Al-Qahtani was killed in the recapture of the mosque but leader Juhayman al-Otaybi and 67 of his fellow rebels who survived the assault were captured and later beheaded.

Following the attack, the Saudi King Khaled implemented a stricter enforcement of Shariah (Islamic law) and he gave the ulama and religious conservatives more power over the next decade, and religious police became more assertive.

Certainly this seismic change on the Arabian peninsula along with the Islamic revolt with the overthrow of the Shah of Persia and the stupidity of  Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski to lead Saudi jihadists through Pakistan's ISI in the fight with the Soviets in Afghanistan, has scarred the global community for the next fifty years. During the Reagan years, multiple foreign policy mistakes sealed the fate of the future of Iran by giving support to dictator Saddam Hussein. Unfortunately after ending the Cold War with Communism, the Western Alliance succeeded in starting a new confrontation with now both Russia and China.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 3rd, 2021 at 10:30:23 AM EST
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