FLASH: Saudi Arabia: Clouds over the Saud-Wahhabi Alliance: looking for an enemy

The alliance between Al Saud and the Wahhabi religious institution is the cornerstone of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Is this sacred alliance between sword and scripture still strong enough today or is it at risk?

The issue concerns the balance of power between the two “partners” and the power struggles within the Saudi family and the Wahhabi institution. The House of Saud and the Wahhabi clerics do need each other, as ever before. The Saudi Royal Family needs the legitimacy of the clerics as it needs to keep religion and the Wahhabi apparatus in check to ensure their loyalty and support. Wahhabi clerics need constantly the political and financial umbrella of Al Saud as they need not to lose their formal independence and their room for maneuver.

The balance of power between the two sides is permanently questioned, as suspicion naturally arises… The power struggle within the Royal family and also within the Wahhabi institution complicates even more the relations between the two sides. It’s obviously the case today with the final race for the succession of both the King and his Crown prince and the rivalries between conservative ulemas and less radical clerics. Both parties need an outside enemy. A common enemy. Let it be the Shiites today…

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