In 2012, a militant group wielding crude shovels and pickaxes damaged the ancient Sufi shrines in Timbuktu, Mali. The militant group, known as Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), attacked the city's ancient mosques and mausoleums associated with local Sufis, arguing that shrine worshipping is offensive to Shariah.
ISIS, in short, is as Wahhabist -- or more so -- as the Saudi King, Abdullah. There is here, surely, a delicious irony in Obama and Kerry taking upon their shoulders the task of seeking the "delegitimization" of the very doctrine from which the Saudi kingdom is derived. The only upholder of "true Islam" and custodian of Mecca happens to share the "same" Islam as ISIS. How can King Abdullah then denounce it? And how could any Muslim, familiar with the issues, take any such denunciation -- were it to be made -- seriously?
The real time bomb being set by ISIS is the implosion of Saudi Arabia as a foundation stone of the modern Middle East. The real target of ISIS must be the Hijaz -- the seizure of Mecca and Medina -- and the legitimacy that this will confer on ISIS as the new Emirs of Arabia. We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.