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The rise of the Islamic State has led to remarkable growth in Western criticism of Saudi Arabia. Often, these critics go far further than simply claiming that the Gulf kingdom, one of the West’s most important allies in the region, is not pulling its weight in the fight against the Islamic State.

Instead, they argue that the very theology upon which the Saudi state depends — an ultraconservative brand of Islam dubbed Wahhabism — is the same as the apocalyptic distortion of Islam that drives that group to terrible acts. They argue that, far from being two enemies opposed to each other, the two powers are hopelessly intertwined.

Continue reading:  What Saudi Arabia is (and isn’t) doing in the fight against the Islamic State

Related story:  Saudi Arabian executioners are having an unusually prolific year

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