Foreign funding for extremism in Britain primarily comes from Saudi Arabia, but the UK government should set up a public inquiry into all Persian Gulf funding sources, that’s according to a new report by the Henry Jackson Society.
The report calls for the UK government to consider requiring British religious institutions, including mosques, to reveal sources of overseas funding, which mostly come from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab states. The findings come as PM Theresa May faces pressure to publish the government’s own report into Saudi funding of terrorism. The Home Office-led report was completed six months ago and ministers are still deciding whether to publish. MPs nervous of upsetting strategic relations in the Persian Gulf have also decided not to publish a separate Foreign Office strategy paper on Saudi Arabia.
The report says, “Saudi Arabia has sponsored a multimillion-dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the West. In the UK, this funding has primarily taken the form of endowments to mosques and Islamic educational institutions, which have in turn played host to extremist preachers and the distribution of extremist literature. A number of Britain’s most serious Islamist hate preachers sit within the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology and are linked to extremism sponsored from overseas, either by having studied in Saudi Arabia as part of scholarship programs, or by having been provided with extreme literature and material within the UK itself.”
Apart from an official public inquiry into the funding of terrorism, the report calls for the government’s planned new commission for countering extremism to address the financing of extremism from Saudi Arabia a matter of priority, because “Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly at the top of the list.”
Time of looking away is over. The regime has been heavily involved in supporting various terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan as well, all while exporting a bigoted Salafi-Wahhabi ideology to the West. So it is ironic, to say the least, that Saudi Arabia is singling out Qatar for links to extremism when it has patently failed to get its own house in order.
It is time for not just the UK but all other Western governments to speak out against Saudi Arabia and acknowledge the fact that their so-called key ally in the Middle East has no intention to stop further financing terrorist groups, religious radicals and extremists globally. They need to take this matter to the UN Security Council for international action and demand Riyadh to cut money flowing to the Wahhabis, Salafists, extremists and terrorists in the region, including to various terror groups in Syria. They need to make clear to the Saudis that the time of looking away is over and that their Salafi-Wahhabi ideology can no longer be allowed to pose an existential threat to all humanity.
That’s not too much to ask from a despotic regime that has destabilized the entire planet and is behind ISIL’s and Al-Qaeda’s extremist ideologies. Of course, the Saudis are sitting idle against these damning reports and findings. In response, they have claimed they also want to fight terrorism and the radicalization of youths in the West, or that like Germany, France and the UK, they are part of the anti-ISIL coalition, fighting side by side against terror.
That’s a lie. These damning reports against Saudi Arabia have been around for some time, and many Western politicians have already spoken out against the regime. Together with the media, they heavily criticize Riyadh for refusing to accept responsibility. And that’s not just in the UK. The surprisingly open disapproval of Saudi policies also comes after a German foreign intelligence agency report stated that Riyadh’s foreign relations could be a major destabilizing force in the Arab world.
The report concludes that the attempt by Saudi Arabia to fund Salafi-Wahhabi groups has been an intentional and systematic policy, with the level of funding allocated to this effort believed to have grown in recent years. While some of this financing appears to originate from private individuals and independent foundations, research by the German intelligence agencies and others has pointed to these foundations being closely linked to governments of several Persian Gulf states, mainly Saudi Arabia.
In the prevailing environment, it is pathetic for some mainstream media outlets like the New York Times to argue that terrorism and extremism have nothing to do with Saudi Wahhabism, the dominant religious doctrine of Saudi Arabia, or that the country is not the prime culprit in the propagation of violent extremism and terrorism.
Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored: Saudi Arabia’s export of the rigid, bigoted, patriarchal, fundamentalist ideology of Wahhabism has fueled global extremism and contributed to terrorism. ISIL and Al-Qaeda – who are open and clear about their almost exclusive commitment to the Salafi-Wahhabi movement – continue to project their menacing calls for violence into the West, directing or inspiring terrorist attacks in country after country.
There has to be a source of this violence, an extremist school of thought and regime, which espouses a misguided creed that oozes with hatred, violence, oppression, intolerance and terror. That source, that ideology is the Salafi-Wahhabi belief system that takes orders from Saudi Arabia. That death cult represents a serious, ever growing threat to humanity itself and the global peace and security achieved to date though intellectual pursuits of modern civilization and diplomacy.
His studies in history and background in the media industry have given him a keen insight into the use of mass media as a creator of conflict in the modern world.
His favored areas of study include state-sponsored terrorism, media manufactured reality and the role of intelligence services in manipulation of populations and the perception of events.