Why the west is supporting political Islam?



  • During the Soviet-Afghanistan conflicts, the west is supported Islamist groups against the secular government in Afghanistan.

    During the 1970s and sometimes later, Western and pro-Western governments often supported sometimes fledgling Islamists and Islamist groups that later came to be seen as dangerous enemies. Islamists were considered by Western governments bulwarks against—what were thought to be at the time—more dangerous leftist/communist/nationalist insurgents/opposition, which Islamists were correctly seen as opposing. The US spent billions of dollars to aid the mujahideen Muslim Afghanistan enemies of the Soviet Union, and non-Afghan veterans of the war returned home with their prestige, "experience, ideology, and weapons", and had considerable impact.


  • During the 1980, the military coup in Turkey is supported by the US which turned political Islam in this country a real power. The west also had very good relationship with Islamist Erdogan from the begining.

  • During the Chechenia-Russia conflicts, the west is basically supported Chechenia.

  • The west is supporting Islamist movements in Umrumqi in China.

  • The secular Baath rule in Syria is still the "enemy" of the west, the support for opposition ended up with the power of Islamic State. The west is actually claiming "IS" as enemy as well, but on the second hand, they keep supporting Ismalic militias such as Al Nusra or Al Qaida which they call as "modorate".

  • While Syrian Government was declared as "evil", nobody pay attention against Saudi Arabia, which is an absolute monarchy, effectively a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamic lines. But Western countries have a deep relationship to Saudi Arabia.

So I wonder, why the western world is still supporting political Islam, directly or indirectly by trading with countries like Saudi Arabia.


Posted 2015-12-16T09:02:02.000

Reputation: 203

Question was closed 2015-12-25T00:59:09.257

2This question needs at least some prooflinks for statements declared within. Otherwise, you will end up with many answers denying these statements and not answering the question as it is. In general, religious views of certain political groups do not appear to be the key factor for their support by the West. – bytebuster – 2015-12-16T09:18:39.230

1What kind of prooflinks you need? "The Green Belt" project against "communism" is a very basic information. And I don't think that if there are still people who don't know the relationship between mujaddins and USA in Afghanistan during the USSR-Afghan war. The relationship of Saudi Arabia and USA is also a very basic information which doesn't require prooflink? – cem – 2015-12-16T09:46:14.390

Also in Syria issue, Syria was one of the most secure countries in the world just several years ago. And years before, why this country declared as "Axis of Evil" and why the western media didn't pay attention while "freedom fighters" (Islamist militias) executing Syrians during the begining of the confilict? – cem – 2015-12-16T09:53:59.217

2There is no such thing as "the political islam". Reality is far more complex than that. There are tons of islam-influenced governments and islamist groups with even more splinter-groups and factions within them. Each one has individual political goals and individual methods they use to attain them. You can not just lumb all muslims in the world together and claim that they have anything resembling an unified agenda. – Philipp – 2015-12-16T11:39:26.243

I voted to close this question as too broad, because I think each of the bullet points posted above would be more than enough material for an individual question. If you choose to post some of them as new questions, you might want to clarify who you mean with "the west" in each particular case, because "the west" is not a homogeneous group with an unified agenda either. – Philipp – 2015-12-16T12:03:52.197

4I've done the same as Philipp, but there are more problems than the breadth of the question. You've made several obviously incorrect statements such as Western support for Al-Qaeda, and you've also assumed that there's an overarching intention to support Islamism, which is quite frankly ridiculous. – PointlessSpike – 2015-12-16T14:47:58.670

32 one-word answers: "realpolitic" and "geopolitics". – user4012 – 2015-12-16T17:38:51.527

1I have many other information to say about it, but I guess you will find them "ridiculous" as well. The first of all, "the west" means NATO countries, what you can see on TV, what you can read on newspapers are almost same in all those countries on major stream. Political Islam has two major distinction, Iran's and Saudi Arabia's political Islam. Libya's Islamist socialism destroyed, now the aim is Iran's. And nobody pay attention against the small ones. Secularism in Moslem countries are only supporting by Russia. – cem – 2015-12-17T08:43:06.403

The lead of the west is the USA, that country has a "two party regime" which are not really different from each others. The parties in Europe with the label of liberal, Christiran democrat, social democrat or even socialist are acting same as well. – cem – 2015-12-17T08:46:10.657

I think it's misleading when you label terrorists as "political Islam". These Takfiri Terrorist groups have hijacked the Religion of Islam and try to use it for their evil plans with support from western countries. Saudi Arabia has been spreading the ideology of Wahhabism throughout the world and Daesh etc. follow the same ideology, which is far away from Islam. – Noor – 2015-12-17T20:01:40.533

3@Noor I think, labeling the terrorist organizations "non-moslem" such as "Daesh", "Al Qaida" is a huge problem in Islamic world. Those guys are really Moslems and what they are doing is in the name of Jihad as they claim. If we would not diagnose this and not critize ourselves (instead of denying it), we cannot find any solution against violence. I think Islam should seperate from the state and it should be free from politics, the states should be secular, Islam shouldn't be in the laws because it is just a religion and not a political tool. – cem – 2015-12-18T07:41:36.137

@Philipp By the way, if you'd research Wahabism, you'll see that it is something created by the UK. – cem – 2015-12-18T07:43:57.553

@cem The solution against violence and tools for our self development can be found in the religion of Islam itself. There is nothing wrong with Islam but unfortunately a lot of Muslims are separated from its true teachings. Do you agree that the prophet of Islam was sent to be a perfect role model for the people in all aspects of life? He was the leader of the Muslim state, he united Arab tribes who had been arch foes to each other before and a lot more and everything he did, was based on the divine revelations. At that time, Islam was not free from politics and it worked. – Noor – 2015-12-20T11:35:05.333

1@Noor Islam is a religion and whenever a political order gain power from Islamism, they claim opponents as "infidels". The story started battle of Siffin, that Moawiya put Quran to his soldiers spears and that really worked. Whenever a leader or a politician hides behind Allah, that corrupts both the religion and the state. – cem – 2015-12-23T11:20:39.390

@cem Wahhabism appeared in 19th century or even earlier. Not of the British influence, then. And the British actually supported the non-Wahhabi Arabian king that was there before the Saudi (hence, Wahhabi) takeover in the 1920s (?), which was supported by the US (or Allen Dulles, which is the same). Info from the book "The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed The Jewish People: John Loftus, Mark Aarons: 9780312156480". – Genli Ai – 2015-12-28T00:55:04.597

@Noor mainstream sharia (no takfiris!)--prescribed death penalty for "apostasy" is not much better than terrorism, from the point of view of the Western (aka "Free") world. --- Also, when you're talking about "the (true) Islam", you're talking about your understanding of it; there are many many variants of Islam today, I'm sure. Each claims to be "the true Islam". Most probably support the idea of the imperative to reclaim the lost lands of Caliphate, from Al Andalus to Greece and Palestine. – Genli Ai – 2015-12-28T01:03:03.290

@Will Ness The British influence was there at the beginning of Wahhabism in the 18th century, when M. ibn Abdul-Wahhab fell under the control of one of Britain's many spies sent to Muslim lands, who brainwashed him with the help of gifts, money and the false claim that Wahhab would be the deputy of Prophet Muhammad by establishing a new Islamic sect to "reform" Islam. The 1. Saudi-Wahhabi state (1744-1818) was built by the union between Mohammad al-Saud and Abdul Wahhab and British provision of money and weapons. 2. Saudi-Wahhabi state (1843-1891) revived with help of British colonialism. – Noor – 2015-12-30T20:54:52.407

@Noor interesting, thanks. will dig through some wikipedia. :) any influence though can only nudge, it can not create mass movements, surely you agree? – Genli Ai – 2015-12-30T20:58:40.503


  • Saudi-Wahhabi state was established with British support, money and weapons in 1902, which enabled Abdulaziz to capture Riyadh. During World War II, US replaced Britain as dominant power in the Arab world, accordingly " the Wahhabi House of Saud turned the holy land of Islam into a virtual American colony." See article of Dr. Abdullah Mohammad Sindi, "Britain and the Rise of Wahhabism and House of Saud"
  • < – Noor – 2015-12-30T21:39:09.877

    @Will Ness Maybe influence is not the right word as the British role was more than a nudge. Dr. Sindi states: "....without British help neither Wahhabism nor the House of Saud would be in existence today." Of course on the other side you need enough misguided people to follow this ideology. This leads me once again to the "true Islam", which are the authentic teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. Even though the majority of Muslims claim to follow the Prophet, in fact they follow the changes which were brought into Islam by the first three Caliphs after the death of the prophet. – Noor – 2015-12-30T22:18:07.677

    @Noor that's your opinion, and of your specific variant of Islam, right? (is it shi'a?) I can respect that, but surely all those "misguided" Muslims think they follow the "true" Islam too, so for the outsiders, whether this is "true" Islam or not, is irrelevant. The relevant questions are: is apostasy punishable by death? must Al Andalus, the Balkans, Greece and Palestine be reclaimed? etc. Practical questions. -- About Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, looks like his conquest of Hejaz ca. 1925 was against the British will; and he gave first oil concessions to the Americans. -- thanks for the reference. – Genli Ai – 2015-12-30T22:36:25.680

    @Noor Mohammad's life can be a role model for an individual, but whenever a state or a political movement uses this role model, the life of Mohammed can even modificate into a person who is good for the state. Saudi family can be a typical evil example for that. Political Islam never worked, 3 of 4 earliest khalifs killed. Using Islam for politics ist just a swearing against Islam. – cem – 2016-01-04T07:35:06.487



    Supporting Islam against Russia and China? Easy. They're the enemy of our enemy.

    For a non-Muslim example, the USA, Australia and (I suspect) Japan are supporting Vietnam in its dispute with China. All three countries have fought or invaded Vietnam last century: the USA and Australia in the Vietnam war, and Japan during WWII.

    Andrew Grimm

    Posted 2015-12-16T09:02:02.000

    Reputation: 12 460

    @MohammadSakibArifin Which? There are 80+ in Syria alone. To name a few of them: YPG, PKK (Kurds), Hezbolla (Lebanon), Zenabiyon Brigade (Pakistan), Al Quds Force, 313 Brigade, Mukhtar al Thaqfi Brigade (Iran), Fatmiyon Brigade (Afghanistan), Al Quds Brigade (Palestine+Syria), Ansar Allah, Hauthis (Yemen), Desert Hawks, Scorpion Brigade (Syria). I am not mentioning state-level genocide committed by Assad and Maliki yet. – Failed Scientist – 2018-04-10T15:47:53.293

    what is takfiris? – user4951 – 2018-11-27T02:28:57.450

    2Unfortunately China is not an enemy of the west like you describe. It is a giant child labour reserve that without it our economies would collapse. – Bregalad – 2015-12-16T19:54:05.663

    1China is not an enemy of the west but it is for sure that China has a great industry without any domestic energy resource. Controling Middle East and Afghanistan means controlling China's energy resources. – cem – 2015-12-17T08:59:15.997

    @Bregalad two countries having close economic ties doesn't necessarily mean they won't go to war with each other, unfortunately. – Andrew Grimm – 2015-12-17T11:01:09.953

    Better not generalising and speaking about Islam as a whole when you mean Takfiri Terrorist Groups. – Noor – 2015-12-17T19:46:45.163

    4@Noor It's not just Takfiris who engage in terrorism. – Andrew Grimm – 2015-12-17T21:30:13.123

    @AndrewGrimm which non Takfiri Muslim group engages in Terrorism? – Sakib Arifin – 2017-04-14T06:11:59.663