Posts Tagged ‘Wahhabi’

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Germany scorns Saudi-funded mosques

February 15, 2016

This report is dated (from December), but even then it was old news that Saudi Arabia funds terrorism.  The tantalizing aspect of this story is that public officials in Western democracies are actually starting to talk about it openly.  From The Telegraph:

German vice-chancellor accuses Saudi Arabia of funding Islamic extremism in the West

In a highly unusual moment of a Western politician attacking a critical Arab ally, Sigmar Gabriel says the time has come to make it clear to Riyadh the time of looking away is over

By Justin Huggler, Berlin

06 Dec 2015

The German vice-chancellor has publicly accused Saudi Arabia of financing Islamic extremism in the West and warned that it must stop.

Sigmar Gabriel said that the Saudi regime is funding extremist mosques and communities that pose a danger to public security.

“We have to make clear to the Saudis that the time of looking away is over,” Mr Gabriel told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview.

“Wahhabi mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia. Many Islamists who are a threat to public safety come from these communities in Germany.”

The allegation that Saudi Arabia has funded mosques with links to Islamist terrorism in the West is not new. But it is highly unusual for a Western leader to speak out so directly against the West’s key Arab ally.

Mr Gabriel is Angela Merkel’s deputy and the leader of the German chancellor’s main coalition partner.

His intervention comes just days after German intelligence issued a rare public warning that Saudi Arabia is at risk of becoming a major destabilising force in the Arab world.

Mrs Merkel’s government quickly distanced itself from the BND intelligence service’s assessment, saying it did not reflect official policy.

But Mr Gabriel’s remarks make it clear there are serious misgivings about the Saudi regime within the government.

Wahhabism, a fundamentalist sect of Sunni Islam that inspired both Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and al-Qaeda is also the official form of the religion in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis have long funded the building of Wahhabi mosques around the world to spread the sect.

King Salman has already been widely criticised in the German media for offering to build 200 mosques for Syrian refugees arriving in Germany, even as Saudi Arabia refuses to take in any refugees itself.

Mr Gabriel’s linking of Saudi-funded mosques to Islamic extremism will heighten concerns over the offer…

 

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Full steam ahead for Salafi freight train

August 12, 2013

Money, guns, and Islamist fanaticism are flowing out of Saudi Arabia faster than the oil from the pumps that fund it.  Rebels have instigated and exploited the instability of the Arab Spring to spread oil-funded Wahhabi and Salafi ideology and turn Middle East and African countries into full-fledged sharia states ruled by Muslim Brotherhood political parties.

Thanks to Arye Leonid Glozman for sending in a link to commentary on the subject by Dr. Murtaza Haider of Ryerson University after reading a new report prepared for a committee of the European Parliament:

European Parliament identifies Wahabi and Salafi roots of global terrorism

Murtaza Haider

Updated 2013-07-22

It is not merely the faith or oil that flows out of Saudi Arabia. The oil-rich Arab state and its neighbours are busy financing Wahabi and Salafi militants across the globe.

A recent report by the European Parliament reveals how Wahabi and Salafi groups based out of the Middle East are involved in the “support and supply of arms to rebel groups around the world.” The report, released in June 2013, was commissioned by European Parliament’s Directorate General for External Policies. The report warns about the Wahabi/Salafi organisations and claims that “no country in the Muslim world is safe from their operations … as they always aim to terrorise their opponents and arouse the admiration of their supporters.”

The nexus between Arab charities promoting Wahabi and Salafi traditions and the extremist Islamic movements has emerged as one of the major threats to people and governments across the globe. From Syria, Mali, Afghanistan and Pakistan to Indonesia in the East, a network of charities is funding militancy and mayhem to coerce Muslims of diverse traditions to conform to the Salafi and Wahabi traditions. The same networks have been equally destructive as they branch out of Muslim countries and attack targets in Europe and North America.

Despite the overt threats emerging from the oil-rich Arab states, governments across the globe continue to ignore the security imperative and instead are busy exploiting the oil-, and at time times, blood-soaked riches.

The European Parliament’s report though is a rare exception to the rule where in the past the western governments have let the oil executives influence their foreign offices. From the United States to Great Britain, western states have gone to great lengths to ignore the Arab charities financing the radical groups, some of whom have even targeted the West with deadly consequences…

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Terrorists shaped by Wahhabi petrodollars

June 14, 2013

The Woolrich butcher, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and the 9/11 hijackers were all products of a system of Wahhabi inculcation funded by Saudi Arabia over the last several decades.  This is the analysis of Jonathan Manthorpe writing for the Vancouver Sun—a judgment that is increasingly impossible to dispute.

Thanks to Gisele, David, Sal, and El Grillo for sending this in:

Jonathan Manthorpe: Saudi Arabia funding fuels jihadist terror

Big chunks of the country’s huge oil earnings have been spent on spreading a violent and intolerant variety of Islam

By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun columnist May 28, 2013

The ultimate responsibility for recent atrocities like the Boston Marathon bombing and the butchering last week of an off-duty British soldier is very clear.

It belongs to Saudi Arabia.

Over more than two decades, Saudi Arabia has lavished around $100 billion or more on the worldwide promotion of the violent, intolerant and crudely puritanical Wahhabist sect of Islam that the ruling royal family espouses.

The links of the Boston bombers and the London butchers to organizations following the Saudi royal family’s religious line are clear.

One of the two London butchers, Nigerian-born Michael Adebolajo, was radicalized by the cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who headed the outlawed terrorist group Al-Muhajiroun.

The group follows Wahhabist teachings and advocates unifying all Muslims, forcibly if necessary, under a single fundamentalist theocratic government.

Similarly, the Boston bombers, Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev, hailed from Russia’s southern predominantly Muslim province of Chechnya. Starting in the late 1980s, Saudi Arabia began dispatching Wahhabist clerics and radical preachers to Chechnya.

The spread of Wahhabism sparked not only a separatist war against the Russians, but also a good deal of violence among Muslims.

Wahhabism is now institutionalized in Chechnya and is particularly attractive to young men.

There are similar strands leading back to Wahhabist indoctrination in the histories of very many of the known Muslim terrorists of the last 20 years.

The founder of the sect, Muhammad ibn abd al-Wahhab, was an eighteenth century Muslim zealot allied to the Al-Saud clan who promoted an extreme version of Salafism.

Salaf is the Arab word meaning pious ancestor and refers to those who attempt to emulate the pure Islamic life of the Prophet Muhammad and his generation of followers.

But Wahhab and his modern disciples take this notion to extremes. The list of people whom Wahhabists should consider their enemies includes not only Christians, Jews, Hindus and atheists, but also Shiite, Sufi and Sunni Muslims.

And yet no western politicians seem prepared to accept the obvious.

The chances of disaffected young men being drawn into the evil web of Wahhabist murderous extremism would be significantly decreased if the Saudi funding was blocked.

The Saudis began exporting Wahhabism in the early 1970s when the country’s oil wealth began growing at an ever-increasing rate.

The amount the Saudi royal family, both by government donations and the generosity of individual princes, now lavishes on Wahhabist schools, colleges, mosques, Islamic centres and the missionary work of fundamentalist imams around the world is extraordinary.

In 2003, a United States Senate committee on terrorism heard testimony that in the previous 20 years Saudi Arabia had spent $87 billion on promoting Wahhabism worldwide.

This included financing 210 Islamic centres, 1,500 mosques, 202 colleges and 2,000 madrassas (religious schools).

Various estimates put the amount the Saudi government spends on these missionary institutions as up to $3 billion a year.

This money smothers the voices of moderate Muslims and the poison flows into every Muslim community worldwide.

Key figures in the September 2001 attacks on the United States were radicalized at mosques in Germany.

Britain is now reckoned by some to be the worst breeding ground anywhere for violent Muslim fundamentalists

Indian newspapers recently reported Saudi Arabia has a massive $35 billion program to build mosques and religious schools across South Asia, where there are major Muslim communities in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the divided territory of Jammu and Kashmir…

There is more—read the rest here.

While most readers will agree with Manthorpe’s statement that “Wahhabist murderous extremism would be significantly decreased if the Saudi funding was blocked,” they may be wondering how to accomplish a block.

Consider that the Indonesian and Philippine branches of the Saudi-based International Islamic Relief Organization were once designated by the U.S. as terrorist entities, but the parent organization itself has never been sanctioned.  The Muslim World League and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth have never been named either, although their role in financing and fanning the flames of global jihad are clear to anybody paying attention.

At a minimum, these organizations, which are quasi-governmental foundations with direct backing of the Saudi government, should be designated in the same fashion that other Islamist charities and banks have been sanctioned by the U.S. elsewhere.

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Front group finance: recommended reading

May 23, 2013
  • Are tea party groups subjected to greater scrutiny than Islamic charities? A nonprofit consultant says yes (h/t creeping)… more>>
  • How Saudi charitable fronts pump millions of dollars via hawala into Kashmir to transform it into a valley of Wahhabism… more>>
  • Islamic charities have exploited America to fund Chechen jihadists since 9/11… more>>
  • No longer confined to the blogosphere, the Associated Press reports on the legal battle between a Christian publisher and a terror-linked Muslim syndicate… more>>
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Oil discovered in Arabia 75 years ago this month

March 20, 2013

Standard Oil of California, which would later become Chevron, obtained a concession in the early 1930s to explore for oil in Saudi Arabia by paying $175,000 in gold up front.  After five difficult years of dry holes, Socal struck oil at Well Number 7 in the Arab Zone in March 1938.

Several years ago, Time magazine explained the significance of this discovery in a short article called “Finding the King’s Fortune“:

March 3, 1938

The king of Saudi Arabia, Abd-al-Aziz ibn Saud, had authorized a team of American engineers to explore the trackless desert bordering the Persian Gulf, an arid landscape marked only by the occasional palm-fringed oasis. He hoped they would find water. A tribal leader with precarious finances, Ibn Saud believed the Americans might discover places where he could refresh his warriors’ horses and camels. But the team, from Standard Oil of California, had something else on its mind.

Oil had been discovered in other countries in the region, and the engineers thought they would find more in Saudi Arabia. Over several years, they drilled more than half a dozen holes without result. In desperation, they decided to dig deeper at well No. 7. They plumbed to a depth of 4,727 ft. and finally hit what would turn out to be the largest supply of crude oil in the world.

The King did not appear to appreciate the news fully at first. It was an entire year after the discovery when he and his retinue arrived in a caravan of 400 automobiles at the pumping station of Ras Tanura to witness the first tanker hauling away its cargo of Saudi crude. Henceforth the King would no longer rely for income on the pilgrims arriving in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. And his kingdom’s petroleum wealth would emerge as a crucial factor in Middle East politics and the bargaining over global energy supplies.

Princeton University professor Bernard Lewis has memorably described what this discovery of oil in Wahhabi-backed Saudi Arabia meant for Islam and the world today:

…Imagine that some such group as the the Ku Klux Klan or Aryan Nation were suddenly to come into the possession of unlimited wealth and use that money to set up schools and colleges all over the world promoting their particular version of Christianity and you get an idea of what has happened to Islam as a result of the enormous wealth that oil has brought to some people in Saudi Arabia.

It has enabled them to set up schools and colleges all over the Muslim world teaching their brand of Islam—this kind of fanatical, extremist version of Islam—which has thus acquired a scope and expansion which it could never otherwise would have had.  Without oil money, this kind of Islam would have remained a fringe group in a marginal country…

In addition to funding schools and Wahhabi causes around the world, Saudi Arabia has funded terrorism through two main methods:  1) governmental “charitable” foundations such as the Muslim World League, World Assembly of Muslim Youth, and the International Islamic Relief Organization, and 2) private zakat and sadaqa donations from rich Arabs—who themselves had become wealthy from oil and oil-related Saudi boom sectors in banking and construction—such as those listed in the Golden Chain document.

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Terror-linked WAMY funds 10 Pak madrassas

February 15, 2013

The World Assembly of Muslim Youth, a quasi-governmental foundation established and funded by Saudi Arabia, has completed renovations on 10 madrassas Pakistan.  WAMY has been a primary vessel in financing the spread of virulent Wahhabi Islam internationally.  From WAMY-Pakistan’s website last month:

WAMY School in new dress

WAMY Pakistan is running 10 Orphans education Schools in Afghanistan from more then 20 years .  Where Providing free quality education , social protection and cash aid to about 2000 two thousand orphens students  and their families too. Recently WAMY Afghanistan has completed the maintenance of these all school to provide the better facilities to students , WAMY is an International Youth Welfare Charity, Saudi Arabia Based  working around the world for the welfare of Muslim Youth in all  filed.

The Canada Revenue Agency stripped WAMY-Canada of its tax exempt status last year because WAMY’s Canadian branch could not demonstrate that it was independent from the terrorist financial activities of Saudi-based WAMY.

WAMY’s office in Alexandria, Virginia, was raided by federal authorities in 2004 as part of an investigation into the financing of terrorism.

Additional background on WAMY’s money trail is available from the ADL, Militant Muslim Monitor, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, and terror finance expert Rachel Ehrenfeld’s book, Funding Evil.  Prior Money Jihad coverage of WAMY can be found here, and here on the use of orphanages as radical indoctrination camps.

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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.