Spot The Difference: Salafist Edition

Earlier today, we highlighted comments from the Ayatollah who spoke out yesterday against the execution of prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

The Sheikh was killed by the Saudis for his role in anti-government protests during the Arab Spring. His execution sent shockwaves across the Shiite world as protesters took to the streets from Bahrain to Pakistan in a dramatic outpouring of grief and anger.

On Saturday evening, protests in Tehran turned violent as Iranians firebombed and ransacked the Saudi embassy while police struggled to contain crowds near the consulate in Mashhad where the outcry continued on Sunday. Here’s an excerpt from a statement posted to the Ayatollah’s webpage:

"Strongly criticizing the silence of the self-proclaimed advocates of freedom, democracy and human rights, and their support for the Saudi regime, who spills the blood of the innocent only for criticism and protest, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The Muslim world and the entire world must feel responsible towards this issue. Those who honestly care for the future of humanity and the fate of human rights and justice must pursue these issues and should not remain indifferent vis-à-vis this situation.”

This has become a familiar refrain of late. In short, it’s becoming difficult for the Western world to obscure the fact that the poisonous ideology espoused by the Saudis is virtually identical to that promoted and promulgated by ISIS, al-Qaeda, and many other Sunni extremist groups that the world at large generally identifies with terrorism.

As Kamel Daoud, a columnist for Quotidien d’Oran, and the author of “The Meursault Investigation” put it in an op-ed for The New York Times, Saudi Arabia is simply “an ISIS that made it.” On that note, we present a passage from Daoud’s article followed by an image posted by the Ayatollah on Saturday.

Black Daesh, white Daesh. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia. In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other. This is a mechanism of denial, and denial has a price: preserving the famous strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia at the risk of forgetting that the kingdom also relies on an alliance with a religious clergy that produces, legitimizes, spreads, preaches and defends Wahhabism, the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on.

And for good measure: