Volume 79, Number 2

May 2004

From Exclusivism to Accomodation

Abdulaziz H. Al-Fahad

Doctrinal and Legal Evolution of Wahhabism

On August 2, 1990, Iraq attacked Kuwait. For several days thereafter, the Saudi Arabian media was not allowed to report the invasion and occupation of Kuwait. When the Saudi government was satisfied with the U.S. commitment to defend the country, it lifted the gag on the Saudi press as American and other soldiers poured into Saudi Arabia. In retrospect, it seems obvious that the Saudis, aware of their vulnerabilities and fearful of provoking the Iraqis, were reluctant to take any public position on the invasion until it was ascertained whether the United States was willing to commit its forces to the defense of the Kingdom and eventually the liberation of Kuwait.