Posts Tagged ‘Salafi’

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Qatar aids Al Qaeda and Hamas in Gaza

December 2, 2013

In order to obtain “billions of dollars” from Qatar, Hamas has agreed to ease restrictions in Gaza on its rival Al Qaeda.  Dozens of Al Qaeda fighters have already been released from prison by Hamas officials to meet Doha’s demands.

Qatar is probably emboldened by the influence and traction it has gained by backing Islamist fighters in Mali, Syria, and the Arab Spring countries.  Its monarchy senses that this is the perfect time to expand their influence in the Palestinian territories where old guard terrorist groups are short on cash.  Judging by the relative lack of media coverage of this development, they’re getting away with it.

From World Tribune (h/t Global MB Watch):

Hamas eases up on Al Qaida in hopes of securing Qatari cash

Special to WorldTribune.com

GAZA CITY — Hamas, desperate for new allies, has ended its crackdown on Al Qaida-aligned militias financed by Qatar.

Palestinian sources said the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip has released scores of Al Qaida-aligned militia members, known as Salafists.

The sources said the restrictions on the militias were eased amid Hamas’ crisis with neighboring Egypt over the revolt in the Sinai Peninsula.

“Qatar has promised billions of dollars to Hamas, but the money was held up until the policy against the Salafists changed,” a source said.

Al Qaida-aligned militias, including Army of Islam, Army of the Nation, Jaljalat and Swords of Righteousness, had long been regarded as a strategic threat by Hamas. In 2009, Hamas killed 22 Al Qaida fighters in a raid of their stronghold in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Over the last two years, however, the Al Qaida militias were bolstered by tens of millions of dollars in cash and weapons supplied mostly by Qatar. In May 2013, a delegation of leading Sunni clerics from Kuwait and Qatar, including Yusef Qaradawi, arrived in the Gaza Strip and urged the Hamas leadership to release militia fighters.

Since then, the Salafists have sought to draft an agreement to define the activities of Al Qaida militias, most of them armed with rockets that could strike deep into Israel. The sources said Qatar signaled it would intensify aid once an agreement was signed.

The sources said Hamas has demanded that Al Qaida militias refrain from any attacks on Israel without permission from the Islamist regime. They said Hamas also wanted to control all weapons supplies to the militias and was refusing to return arms already confiscated.

So far, more than 40 Al Qaida-aligned operatives were released from Hamas prisons over the last two months, the sources said. They said Hamas was expected to keep most of the Salafists in prison until a full agreement was reached and Qatar relayed aid…

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Saudi Arabia still head of terror finance octopus

December 7, 2012

Saudi Arabia remains the world’s top financier of terrorism and sponsor of fundamentalist Islam throughout the Arab Spring.  U.S. media and Treasury officials don’t really like to discuss it in public, but a report earlier this fall from France 24 gives further confirmation, if you needed it, of the fact that Saudi petrodollars are behind the latest Salafist inroads in the Middle East.

Read it all:

How Saudi petrodollars fuel rise of Salafism

Since the 2011 Arab revolts, a loose network of underground zealots has evolved into a potent and highly vocal force. Behind the remarkable rise of Salafism lies the world’s leading producer of oil – and extremist Islam: Saudi Arabia.

By Marc DAOU

When protesters incensed by an anti-Muslim video scaled the walls of the US embassy in Cairo on September 11, tearing down the Stars and Stripes, a black flag could be seen floating above the battered compound. From Sanaa, in Yemen, to Libya’s Benghazi, the same black banner, emblem of the Salafists, soon became a ubiquitous sight as anti-US protests spread like wildfire across the Arab world. The 2011 Arab uprisings have served the Salafists well. With the old dictators gone, a once subterranean network of hardliners has sprung into prominence – funded by a wealthy Gulf patron locked in a post-Arab Spring rivalry with a fellow Gulf monarchy.

The ‘predecessors’

A puritanical branch of Islam, Salafism advocates a strict, literalist interpretation of the Koran and a return to the practices of the “Salaf” (the predecessors), as the Prophet Mohammed and his disciples are known. While Salafist groups can differ widely, from the peaceful, quietist kind to the more violent clusters, it is the latter who have attracted most attention in recent months.

In Libya and Mali, radical Salafists have been busy destroying ancient shrines built by more moderate groups, such as Sufi Muslims. Fellow extremists in Tunisia have tried to silence secular media and destroy “heretical” artwork. And the presence of Salafist fighting units in Syria has been largely documented. Less well known is who is paying for all this – and why.

‘Export-Wahhabism’

For regional experts, diplomats and intelligence services, the answer to the first question lies in the seemingly endless flow of petrodollars coming from oil-rich Saudi Arabia. “There is plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that Saudi money is financing the various Salafist groups,” said Samir Amghar, author of “Le salafisme d’aujourd’hui. Mouvements sectaires en Occident” (Contemporary Salafism: Sectarian movements in the West).

According to Antoine Basbous, who heads the Paris-based Observatory of Arab Countries, “the Salafism we hear about in Mali and North Africa is in fact the export version of Wahhabism,” a conservative branch of Sunni Islam actively promoted and practised by Saudi Arabia’s ruling family. Since the 1970s oil crises provided the ruling House of Saud with a seemingly endless supply of cash, “the Saudis have been financing [Wahhabism] around the world to the tune of several million euros,” Basbous told FRANCE 24.

Opaque channels

Not all of the cash comes from Saudi state coffers. “Traditionally, the money is handed out by members of the royal family, businessmen or religious leaders, and channelled via Muslim charities and humanitarian organizations,” said Karim Sader, a political analyst who specializes in the Gulf states, in an interview with FRANCE 24.

Until the Arab Spring revolts upended the region’s political landscape, these hidden channels enabled the Salafists’ Saudi patrons to circumvent the authoritarian regimes who were bent on crushing all Islamist groups. These were the same opaque channels that allegedly supplied arms to extremist groups, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to Western intelligence officials.

Free education

Other, slightly less shadowy recipients of Saudi petrodollars include the numerous religious institutions built around the Arab world to preach Wahhabi Islam, as well as the growing list of Saudi satellite channels that provide a platform for radical Salafist preachers. A large share of the booty also goes to Arab students attending religious courses at the kingdom’s universities in Medina, Riyadh and the Mecca.

“Most of the students at Medina University are foreigners who benefit from generous scholarships handed out by Saudi patrons, as well as free accommodation and plane tickets,” said Amghar. “Once they have graduated, the brightest are hired by the Saudi monarchy, while the rest return to their respective countries to preach Wahhabi Islam”. According to Amghar, the members of France’s nascent Salafist movement follow a similar path.

Direct funding

Exporting its own brand of Islam is not the only item on Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy agenda. “While they see themselves as the guardians of Islamic doctrine and have always generously financed Muslim missionaries, the Saudis’ priority is not to ‘salafise’ the Muslim world,” explained Amghar. “Their real aim is to consolidate their political and ideological influence by establishing a network of supporters capable of defending the kingdom’s strategic and economic interests.”

Since last year’s Arab revolutions, these supporters have benefited from more direct – and politically motivated – funding. “With the region’s former dictators out of the way, Salafist groups have evolved into well-established parties benefiting from more official Saudi aid,” said Sader, pointing to the spectacular rise of Egypt’s al-Nour party, which picked up a surprising 24% of the vote in January’s parliamentary polls.

“The Saudis were genuinely surprised by the Arab Spring revolts,” said Mohamed-Ali Adraoui, a political analyst who specialises in the Muslim world. “Riyadh’s response was to back certain Salafist groups (…) so that it may gain further clout in their respective countries,” Adraoui told FRANCE 24.

Gulf rivalries

The Saudi strategy is similar to that adopted by its arch Gulf rival Qatar – a smaller but equally oil-rich kingdom – in its dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood, the other great beneficiary of the Arab Spring. “When it comes to financing Islamist parties, there is intense competition between Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” said Sader.

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Potsdamer Platz Salafists making inroads

July 13, 2012

The Salafi Muslim group “The True Religion” appears to still be active in Germany as revealed by this recently uploaded video from Russian media:

If the video link doesn’t work, click here to view.

The interesting point is that not only are Saudi-backed Islamists actively proselytizing Germans, but that there is ongoing foreign policy support for the Saudi royal family and the Arab Spring by German officials.

Money talks.  Sharia stalks.

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Sadaqa for Allah’s sake will become a mountain

November 6, 2011

Doing something in Islam “for the sake of Allah,” “in the path of Allah,” or “in the way of Allah” often connotes doing it for jihad.  Spending zakat (Islam’s wealth tax) or sadaqa (voluntary giving) for the sake of Allah implies funding jihad.  Even “mainstream” Islamic charities in the West avoid such language because of its disturbing undertone.

But that doesn’t seem to have impeded the boys at Salafi Audio from spreading their message for sadaqa for the sake of Allah.  This recording refers to Ramadan, which took place in August, but was uploaded to the web by an entity called “LearnToReadTheKuran” in October.  In this less than two minute clip, the speaker says that Allah will turn donated sadaqa, no matter how small its size, into the size of a mountain:

Under Islamic law, sadaqa is distributed to the same eight groups of people who receive zakat, one of which is the mujahideen.

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Another deadbeat mosque

August 15, 2011

Last time it was Halifax, Canada; this time, Lleida, Spain.

A radical mosque in Lleida, Catalonia, has been evicted from its premises for unpaid rent (not to mention repeatedly violating the maximum capacity for the space).

The meaningless lease was signed by a Salafist imam.  This isn’t much of a surprise considering that most of the Arab money coming into Spain has funded Islamist clerics and congregations, and many of those leaders believe it is acceptable to cheat their Western hosts at every opportunity.

Translated (with some loose help from Microsoft) from a Jul. 15 El Pais article:

Eviction against Lleida mosque for five months unpaid rent

The days are numbered for the controversial mosque on Nord Street in Lleida, which has been closed for 10 months for exceeding its maximum capacity. A judge has ordered the eviction of the oratory [chapel] because the entity that runs it, the Lleida and Shire Association of Union and Islamic Cooperation, owes rent for the past five months. The debt claimed by the owner is 9,000 euros.

The Islamic community directed by Imam Abdelwahab Houzi, close to the radical Salafist stream, signed a lease for the premises (an old truck garage situated in the basement of an apartment complex) on July 1, 2010, but it has not paid recent bills, on which grounds the owner decided to lodge a complaint to claim what was owed and urge the eviction.

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