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Yaroslav Trofimov's The Siege Of Mecca

1477 words - 6 pages

Yaroslav Trofimov, The siege of mecca: The 1979 Uprising at Islams Holiest Shrine (New York, Anchor Books, 2008), pp. 301.
The Siege of Mecca, a book written by the author Yaroslav Trofinmov, who was a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal is a thrilling historical retelling of the events that took place in the holy city of Mecca, which resulted in the capture of the Grand Mosque in Mecca. He interviewed many Saudi locals who preferred to be anonymous, he encouraged French adventurers to talk and used the freedom of information act to pry loose US documents, including the diary of a Saudi Ambassador, John C. West. This is one of the least understood events in the modern islamic world. The attack was known as “ the first jihad operation of modern times”. The men who invaded and seized the mosque has the goal of reversing the flow of world history, sparking a global war that would lead to Islams total victory. This incidence of take over was against the Saudi Arabian Monarchy and the royal ruling families in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was an isolated place which only received its income from believers who visited every year to pray.After the discovery of oil in 1930's, Saudi was thrust into the world's spotlight and led to it becoming a wealthy country. The Saudi forces were under fragmented leadership and were doomed to failure and capitulated to several ambushes. This arrest of the Grand Mosque horrified and appalled the Islamic World as hundreds and thousands of believers were taken captive and hundreds of military personnel as well as those detained were caught in the crossfire and were killed during the siege. The seige ended two weeks after it started. This attack, resulted in the Saudi state enacting a stricter state. This attack prompted a global crisis, that would spread death and destruction.
This book focuses on many subjects of leadership, but here we will be discussing about Juhayman al Utebi,who led this siege of the Grand Mosque. Juhayman was a forty three year old, bedouin preacher who is described in the book as possessing “black magnetic eyes, sensual lips and shoulder-length hair hat seamlessly blended into a big curly beard.”He was deemed to have a magnetic personality according to his university teachers. At the university he enticed a group of confidential followers composed mostly of local students as well as foreign students. Many of his followers were were bedouins who moved to the big cities from their villages but returned as they were upset about the speed of modernization taking place in Saudi Arabia. Juhayman had the aspiration to do away with the Saudi state and establish a genuine Islamic state. He believed that the Saudi state was breaching the Islamic holy places of Mecca and Madinah. He had authority even though, he didn’t seem the person to possess it. He had the ability to inspire people. He was often times seen as a charismatic leader by many people. Many people were inspired by his uprising,...

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