Saudi Arabia And The Middle East Essay

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Although rocky at times the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia is extremely important aspect in U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is a major power player within the Middle East due to its massive oil reserves and direct influence on Islam throughout the region. Various culture aspects of Saudi Arabia, its spread of Wahhabism and allegations of terrorist links has led to Saudi Arabia being under direct fire on the international stage. Scott Shane, author of the New York times article Saudi and Extremism: ‘Both the Arsonist and the Firefighter’ uses the phrases ‘arsonist and firefighter’ to draw a connection to the idea that the Saudi’s past and present actions are a direct source to the current problems that the country faces. The Saudi’s secular teachings of Islam, alleged indirect funding of terrorism and spread of anti- western teachings around the Middle East are the highlighted points to what Shane believes makes the Saudi’s arsonist in the region. Moreover, to the same point the Saudi govt. and high-ranking officials attempt to combat the very things that there kingdom has either directly or indirectly contributed towards making them ‘firefighters’. In contrast the counter argument that Saudi Arabia is neither the ‘arsonist nor firefighter’ can be developed due to the limited direct linkage of Saudi Arabia both abroad and in the Middle East.
Saudi Teachings
Saudi’s teaching of Islam focus on a branch called Wahhabism, which is a division of Sunni
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