In a discussion held in Paramadina Jakarta, K.H. Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) said that Wahhabi Muslims have a serious inferiority complex. They conceal and trade their inferior feeling with temperamental mentality, violent acts, and condemning others as kafir (infidel). They claimed as the owner of the ultimate truth, and that other groups who differed from them as infidels, dwellers of hell, and therefore must be fought and even annihilated.
Recently, the indicator of such inferiority complex laid in the practice of issuing fatwa that certain group is deviant, which leads to the practice of eviction, terror, and burning houses of the so-called deviant religious sect adherents. Of course, this militant group does not represent the majority of Indonesian Muslim, although they constantly declare to be representing them.
The ideology which developed by the Indonesian Islamists who fond of calling others as infidel and deviant is more or less similar with the Islamic ideology adopted by Saudi Arabia, namely Wahhabism. Many observers argued that almost every militant Islamic movement today is part of, or at least influenced by, Wahhabism. Where trouble is found, Wahhabism may thrive. Taliban in Afghanistan and al-Qaida, which have been launching several terrors across the world for years, have officially adopted this ideology. Wahhabi extremism and terrorism continue to plague Indonesia, although its real supporters in this country are few in number.
Gus Dur regarded Wahhabi Muslims of having inferiority complex since the Wahhabi ideology is originated from the outskirts of Arabic Peninsula, namely Najd. Najd is a region that has never breeds any prominent Muslim leader and intellectual along the Islamic history. People of Najd were also the last community to embrace Islam. Besides, The most well known opponent of Prophet Muhammad, Musailamah al-Kazzab (Musailamah the great liar), was belonged to this region. At that time, Musailamah declared himself as the Prophetâ€™s competitor and therefore challenged his popularity.
Besides Wahhabism, people of Najd have also established the Kharijites (Kharidjites, in Arabic Khawarij , meaning “those that seceded”) a militant ideology in the early period of Islam. Many observers assume that Wahhabism is just a new form of Khawarij ideology. The Kharijites made the concept of takfir — declaring a person to be kafir — of the main body of believers, and even murder whoever disagrees with them. This group had murdered Ali ibn Abi Thalib, cousin and son-in-law of prophet Muhammad, and attacked the Governor of Damascus, Amr bin Ash.
The Wahhabis became destructive power when Ibn Abd al-Wahhab formed an alliance with the house of Saud initiated by Muhammad Ibn al-Saud from Dirâ€™iyyah. Al-Saud was a descendant of Banu Hanifah, a clan who were the main supporter of Musailamah al-Kadzzab. Since then, the Wahhabis launched constant intimidation and terror by condemning others to be Kafir and violently attacking them (non-Muslims, as well as traditional Sunnis, Shias throughout the rest of the world). This is the Wahhabi-Saudi axis, which continues to rule today. Until now, Saudi Arabia become the most sealed and illiberal country in the whole world.
Wahhabism has been regarded anti-knowledge and one of the sources of Muslimsâ€™ backwardness. They refuse to accept any innovation, such as technology and information network, for it is regarded as bidâ€™ah. They refuse democracy. They keep their women at home. They forbid songs. They hate art. Having long beard is an obligation. Sufi and philosophical books, which were the Islamic intellectual heritage, are forbidden. Such social life is apparent within Afghanistan society under Taliban regime that adopted Wahabbi ideology.
Fueled by petrodollar, the Saudi authority has successfully exported their Wahabbi ideas to the world, not only Muslim countries, but also Europe and United States. Hamid Alghar, in Wahhabism: a Critical Essay, asserted that Wahhabism attained about 10% Muslim adherents in the world. Despite of the fact that young Muslims who prepared themselves as suicidal martyrs in Europe and the States were â€œwesternâ€ educated, the Wahhabi ideology has moved them to conduct such terrors.
The dynasty of Saud and Wahhab who dominate both political and religious authority in Saudi Arabia were not pious family either. According to Stephen Sulaiman Schwartz, in The Two Faces of Islam: The House of Saâ€™ud from Tradition to Terror, the house of Saud fond of spending their wealth for gambling and women. No wonder there are about 4000 Saudi princesses today, which indicates that a king with hundreds of wife and mistress is not a mere myth in Saudi Arabia.
Schwartz asserted that the Saudi governmentâ€™s support toward Wahhabism is a form of deception behind their immoral practices. Forms of neo-Wahhabi or Wahhabized ideology have been influencing some Indonesian Muslim who recently fond of declaring others who differed from them as deviant or infidel. In fact, their knowledge about Islam and Islamic history is not profound, and they were not even very religious people. I believe that violence, even conducted in the name of religion, is not a reflection of Muslimâ€™s religiosity. Probably, it is only the matter of their inferiority complex.