SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates -- The Saudi curriculum is laced with references faulting any minority that doesn't follow Wahhabi teachings, referring to them as "deviants" and "polytheists." And Iran's continuous support for its sectarian proxies has widened the Shia-Sunni divide and prompted Saudi Arabia to launch its current war against the Houthis. While both sides fuel the flames, ISIS is thriving in the fire.
The shock waves of the Dammam mosque bombing sent tremors through Bahrain. Although in Saudi Arabia, Dammam is only about an hour's drive from Bahrain's capital Manama. Sectarianism hasn't much respect for international borders. Bahrain knows the threat of sectarian violence, from ISIS or elsewhere, is real.
Perhaps with international efforts, ISIS can be contained, weakened and driven back to its stronghold in Syria. But it isn't expected to die an easy death. Even so, its crimes against humanity demand all efforts. The Khmer Rouge, left to their own devices, murdered nearly a quarter of its own population.
There will be photo ops, gifts, and recitations about the leader of the world's largest democracy sitting with the leader of the world's oldest. But substantive matters are also to be discussed: Business. Weapons deals. Counterterrorism. Human rights and regional security issues will also be on the table.
The ISIS term "management or administration of savagery" in fact refers to that hiatus which occurs between the waning of one power and the consolidation of power of another. What is being assumed here is that a certain chaos will pertain, and that the disputed territory will be ravaged by violence as power oscillates back and forth between the "old" power and its incoming successor (the Islamic State). The author of the "Management of Savagery" treatise bluntly states that there is no room for "softness": "Softness" is the ingredient for failure: "our enemies will not be merciful to us, so it compels us to make them think one thousand times, before they dare attack us".
Pakistan's history is soaked in the blood of those who have -- and continue to -- suffer agonizing pains on the basis of their faith. Right in the start, a newborn Pakistan was gripped by sectarian violence when extremist clerics led nation-wide riots against the moderate Ahmadiyya Muslim community.