Saeed Al-Ghamdi: Anti-modernity, anti-free thinking

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Updated 12 October 2020

Saeed Al-Ghamdi: Anti-modernity, anti-free thinking

  • Al-Ghamdi described the modern world as part of an effort to “promote ideological poisons and instill delusional concepts”
  • Al-Ghamdi wrote a 2,000-page tome that slams modern literature influenced by Western schools of thought

LONDON: Saeed bin Nasser Al-Ghamdi does not present himself as merely a preacher who advocates the Salafi-Jihadi movement Sururism, the intermediate link between the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda and later, Daesh.

Nor does he solely present himself as an extremist activist who incites hatred towards other religious and political schools of thought, such as liberalism, nationalism, leftism and Shiism — which he specifically attacks and loathes.

Al-Ghamdi embodies all of those and more, and his outward hatred of the West, especially the US, is well known through his books, which advocate intolerance, rejection and violence against other ideologies.


“He is being promoted by extremists abroad as a thinker and yet represents a model of contradiction and dual rhetoric which many extremists live through in the Gulf and the Arab World, spreading their hate poisons against democracy, modernity, and freedom,” Extremism expert Hani Nasira told Arab News.

This is clear in his first and most notorious book, “The Decadal Deviation in the Literature and Ideology of Modernity.” First published in 2003, the 2,000-page tome slams modern literature influenced by Western schools of thought. Al-Ghamdi describes modern literature as an ideological deviation from Islam and believes it to be part of a conspiracy against the religion. He claims in the book’s introduction that modern literature is composed of “cultural methods with the facade of literature, poetry, culture, critique, blasphemy, skepticism and hypocrisy at their core.”

Find out what else the Saudi extremist loyalist has said on our website: Preachers of Hate

Born in 1959 in Saudi Arabia, Al-Ghamdi spent several years in the Kingdom and graduated from the College of Shariah in Abha in 1980. He later obtained a master’s degree in 1988 and a Ph.D. in 1998 from the College of Fundamentals of Religion, Al-Imam University in Riyadh. He was then appointed as an assistant professor in the Department of Creed and Contemporary Doctrines of the College of Shariah and Fundamentals of Religion, King Khalid University in Abha. His extremist tendencies are believed to have been influenced by other notorious extremist scholars, including another preacher of hate, Nasser Al-Omar.

In his call to reject modernity, Al-Ghamdi described the modern world as part of an effort to “promote ideological poisons and instill delusional concepts, while opening before the nation’s youth the doors to rebellion in the name of culture, literature and the windows of defiance and correct behavior.”


Al-Ghamdi did not spare a single poet or author famous during the 20th century in his book. He accused them all — whether they were Muslims, Christians, Jews, poets, critics or writers – of blasphemy, apostasy and ideological deviation. He even questioned the integrity of Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz and considered his work a tool to lure people.

“All of these people [freethinkers and writers] are for him rebels against the law of God, or as he himself says ‘their actions, thoughts, and innovations are based on the basis of rebelling against the Law of God’,” Nasira said.

“His inflammatory and expiatory thought shows no mercy and is no different from that of Daesh or Al-Qaeda followers, except in its degree of clarity, consistency, and decisiveness that characterize the others,” he added.


Arab and Islamic literature has known many rebellious movements in its history, but Al-Ghamdi rejects everything that is Western. He describes it as “blasphemy” and “a poison that seeps into the nation’s body.”

In another book, “The Baath Party,” Al-Ghamdi wrote: “Secularism, which is the greatest shirk (polytheism) in this era, manifests at times in the tanks, fighter jets and fire of the Baath Party, and at other times in the pens of modernist intellectuals and writers. It also manifests in administrative and economic institutions.”

Al-Ghamdi joined another preacher of hate, Omar Abdul Aziz, in the formation of the “National Assembly Party,” a political party created by the Saudi diaspora under the guise of opposition, which also includes detained extremist preacher Salman Al-Odah’s son, Abdullah Alaoudh.

Civil Defense teams battle Jabal Ghulamah blaze

Updated 33 sec ago

Civil Defense teams battle Jabal Ghulamah blaze

  • The operation was carried out under the direct supervision of the Asir governor with the participation of all government and civil services

MAKKAH: Teams from Saudi Civil Defense are tackling a fire that broke out in the Ghulamah Mountains in Tanuma governorate, north of Asir on Wednesday night and have the blaze under control, according to a spokesman.

“The fire spread in the bushes and rugged forests due to the fast winds, but the teams were able to cordon off the area,” said captain Mohammed Al-Sayyed, Civil Defense spokesman in the Asir region, adding that no injuries were reported and the fire did not spread to residential areas.

Al-Sayyed said the fire began due to an “accident,” and was in a “very rugged area,” making it difficult to bring in machinery, so the fire was tackled by teams on foot.

The operation was carried out under the direct supervision of the Asir governor with the participation of all government and civil services, as well as teams from Al-Namas and Tanuma governorates.

He pointed out that the rapid intervention teams were deployed in areas close to residential neighborhoods in case the fire spread.

“No field hospital or precautionary measures were needed, as only one house was evacuated in Al-Dhahara village,” said Al-Sayyed, adding that housing units had been set up in a unified field command center for emergency teams arriving from outside the province.

The joint operations room monitored the traffic situation on the road adjacent to the fire, which links the governorates of Namas and Tanuma.

A number of businessmen in Tanuma have offered aid to families affected by the fire.

A member of the Hiking Asir volunteer team, Abdul Rahman Mesfer, told Arab News that an increase in wind speed after 9 p.m. on Wednesday amplified the intensity of the fire, which consequently changed course and spread.

“The efforts exerted by various government entities were great and reconnaissance aircraft established the extent of the fire,” he said. “Meanwhile, the foot teams cordoned off the flames and backup teams from the electricity company and support teams from the telecommunications companies were also present if needed.” He estimated that 85 percent of the fire was now under control.

“The fire has destroyed tens of thousands of perennial trees — including wild olives, neems, junipers and acacias — some of which are over 50 years old,” Mesfer added.