When: Thursday, May 2 5:00 – 7:00pm. Cash bar and networking at 5, talk begins 5:30.
Where: Hotel Santa Fe. 1501 Paseo de Peralta
Tickets: CIR Members: $10/12. Nonmembers: $12/15. Available here.
Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism and America: Fueling the Jihadi Global Threats
Terence Ward’s new book The Wahhabi Code: How the Saudis Spread Extremism Globally pulls the mask off Saudi Arabia and presents a conundrum. Few global leaders or journalists have connected the dots or understood that Wahhabism — the ultra-conservative doctrine of Saudi Arabia — is also the core ideology of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Boko Haram. As the Saudis have nurtured the spread of Wahhabism and its lethal ideology throughout the world, they have succeeded in silencing most media criticism…until recently.
Ward explores the backlash Prince Bin Salman (MBS) faces from the Khashoggi murder, the war in Yemen, and the imprisonment of women activists. Will MBS bring change and a more moderate Islam? Is he setting the stage for a conflict with Iran that will plunge America and the region into yet another war? Given Saudi history of aiding and abetting extremists while claiming to be their enemy why would America transfer nuclear technology to the Wahhabi nation? If the US wants to eliminate extremism and Saudi Arabia is battling for a dangerous monopoly on Islamic thought, should steps be taken to combat the supremacy of Wahhabi ideology worldwide and cut off the money that funds it?
Terence Ward is a Colorado-born writer, documentarist, and cross-cultural consultant. He grew up in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, and received his BA in political science at the University of California at Berkeley. At the American University of Cairo, he specialized in Near Eastern history and contemporary Islamic political movements. He received his MBA from the International Management Institute (IMI) in Geneva. In Athens, he joined Middle East Industrial Relations Counselors (MEIRC). For ten years, he advised clients across the Gulf—Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia—conducting management consulting projects and seminars designed for the complex issues of the region.
His earlier works include the critically acclaimed Searching for Hassan and The Guardian of Mercy. He is an international trustee for Religions for Peace (RFP), the world’s largest interfaith coalition. He is also a member of ISMEO (Associazione Internazionale di Studi sul Mediterraneo e l’Oriente) the noted Middle Eastern institute based in Rome and on the advisory board of The Markaz (formerly the Levantine Center) in Los Angeles which embraces all Middle Eastern cultures. He divides his time between Florence and New York.