The Mecca Uprising: An Insider's Account of Salafism and Insurrection in Saudi Arabia
Paperback, 208 pages
On 20th November 1979, the Salafi Group, led by a charismatic figure named Juhaiman al-Utaibi, seized control of the Sacred Mosque in Mecca, the holiest site in the Muslim World. The Salafi Group was not trying to establish an Islamic state. Instead, its members believed they were players in a prophetic script about the End of Time. After a two-week siege, the Saudi government recaptured the mosque, threw the survivors into prison, and had them publicly executed.
The Mecca Uprising offers an insider's account of the religious subculture that incubated the Mecca Uprising, written by a former member of the Salafi Group, Nasir al-Huzaimi. Huzaimi did not participate in the uprising, but he was arrested in a government sweep of Salafi Group members and spent six years in prison. In 2011, he published his memoir, Days with Juhaiman, offering the most detailed picture we have of the Salafi Group and Juhaiman. The Mecca Uprising had profound effects on Saudi Arabia and the Muslim world. The Saudi government headed off opposition from religious activists and made efforts to buttress the ruling family's legitimacy as the guardians of Islam. Huzaimi's memoir sheds light on the background of this religious and political landscape, and is the most detailed account we have of the Salafi Group and Juhaiman. The English edition is complete with an introduction and annotations prepared by expert David Commins to help readers understand the relevance of the Meccan Uprising and how it fits into the history of the Islamic World.
1. Saudi Arabia
2. Salafi Group and Religious Beliefs
3. Salafi Group and Society
4. Juhaiman al-Utaibi
Appendix 1: Dreams
Appendix 2: The Sermon During the Uprising
Appendix 3: Interview with al-Majallah Magazine
Appendix 4: Interview with Badr al-Rashid