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“The first Islamic state rose upon the Quran, the prophetic [that is, the Prophet’s normative practice], and Islamic principles of justice, security, and equality,” he stated in a lecture in 2011.

“The Saudi state was established on the very same principles, following the model of that first Islamic state.” What is more, the Saudi state is faithful to the The Islamic State makes the same claims for itself.

They pointed out the similar educational curricula used by the two and the shared practice of beheading, among other things.

But for the most part these comparisons are wide of the mark, as Saudi Arabia seeks partnership with the West and does not aspire to global conquest.

Notwithstanding the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, this group’s focus is on the Middle East before the West.

Its slogan, “remaining and expanding,” is indicative of its foremost aims: entrenching itself in its Syrian and Iraqi territories and conquering new ones.

Ideologically, the Islamic State presents itself as the true guardian of the particular version of Islam native to Saudi Arabia—that is, Wahhabism, a variant of Salafism.

Over the past two decades the jihadi-Salafi movement, which encompasses both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, has become more Wahhabi in orientation, its leaders and thinkers rooting their radical ideas in the Wahhabi tradition.

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This revision by the leader of the Islamic State marks a significant change in the priorities of the global jihadi movement now spearheaded by that group.By these means, the kingdom’s rulers have long portrayed theirs as an Islamic state, and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who acceded to the throne in January 2015, is no different.The new king has described Saudi Arabia as the purest model of an Islamic state, saying it is modeled on the example of the Prophet Muhammad’s state in seventh-century Arabia.But certain words and phrases serve to indicate affiliation.Thus the Islamic State addresses its supporters in Saudi Arabia, the historical heartland of Wahhabism, as “the people of ” (association and dissociation), appealing to them via the most prominent Wahhabi theological concepts.

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