“Our Holy Pilgrimage will be Complete Once We Have Killed You, Ripped Out Your Hearts and Raped Your Women.”

slide_3825_54092_large1-450x327FPM,By :

Muslims in America are trained to spend a lot of time complaining about Islamophobia. But some Muslims from Dearbornistan only learned what the real thing was when they made their pilgrimage to Mecca.

Like so many Dearbornies, they were Shiites. And Saudi Arabia is a Sunni country.

A group of Americans visiting Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj were threatened and attacked earlier this week on Oct. 16 by a radicalized group of extremists. When they encountered a group that identified themselves as not only Americans, but also as Shiite Muslims, they were threatened and attacked by the group of men, who were apparently armed with knives and other blades.

In continuing the assault, the men also shouted “We’re going to do Karbala all over again,”

The Americans fled the tent area, which the Saudi government had specifically designated for American and European pilgrims. During the escape, many of the group, almost entirely U.S. citizens and mostly hailing from Dearborn, Michigan suffered bruises (in one case, due to an attempted strangulation), concussions, broken bones, and black eyes.

During the attack, the men reportedly shouted “Our [holy pilgrimage] will be complete once we have killed you, ripped out your hearts and eaten them, and [then] raped your women.”

Nothing says Holy pilgrimage like a little heart-eating and woman-raping. And who are we to judge their heart-eating rape culture anyway?

Radicalized extremists?

So that must mean that the heart-eaters and rapists weren’t representative of the moderate Saudi population and government in general.

Victims of the attack reported that nearby police refused to take action, and in some cases were openly laughing at the attack. The Americans approached other officers, including one described as a “lieutenant with stars on his shoulder pads.” They reported the attack and showed police video footage of the attack taken on cell phones.

The “lieutenant” confiscated the phones and immediately deleted the videos in front of onlookers. Without comment, he returned the phones to their owners and left.

It’s almost like the Saudi population and government is a bunch of radicalized extremists. But we all know that’s impossible.

“I personally thought it was the end,” said one of the victims of this attack, a dentist from Michigan, not wishing to be identified for fear of reprisal from the Saudi police or other extremists.

So the Saudi police are now “extremists”? Doesn’t that mean the entire Saudi system is “extremist”?

The attackers are believed to be of the Salafi sect, more popularly known as Wahabis, who are often associated with strong anti-Shiite viewpoints. Critics believe that many of Al-Qaeda’s members subscribe to the Salafi belief system.

Really? There are Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia; a Wahhabi country? I’m shocked. So that’s only a tiny minority of twenty million extremists.

Members of the group also turned to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia for assistance, but were told help could only be provided if members of the group had died in the attacks.

Non-Saudis turning to the US embassy whose sole task is to funnel Saudis into the United States at the directive of a State Department that asks how high every time the Saudis tell it to jump.

Surprising that didn’t go well.

In countries run by our “moderate” oil-rich allies, the US embassy is every bit as helpful as the local authorities. That is unless you’re a Saudi with terrorist ties looking for a visa to the US.

This incident is the latest in a string of attacks against Westerners in Saudi Arabia. In different incidents in past years, Shi’ite Imams from the United States and Canada were either assaulted or arrested for complaining about assaults.  The previous incidents, as well as this week’s attack, all required medical treatments.

And if Shiites owned Mecca and were a majority in the region, then Sunnis would be treated about as well.

Human rights and separation of mosque and state are alien notions in the Muslim world. Whoever has the most power kicks around everyone else. That’s what the Syrian Civil War is really about.

The Dearbornies might have gotten away from all that in the United States, but instead they’ve chosen to push Islamization which perpetuates the same conflicts that they found in Saudi Arabia.

Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood: what is the difference?

08-02-12_h-1By Mark Durie:

For western lay people, it can be hard to distinguish one radical Muslim from another.  What is the difference between Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood?  Are they really all that different?  And why do Western governments seem to favour and even partner with Brotherhood-backed groups, but denigrate Salafis?


The 2011 People’s Assembly elections in Egypt focused the world’s attention on the Salafis when they proved to be the ‘dark horse’ of that poll, winning 25% of the seats.  This, together with the Muslim Brotherhood’s 47%, gave Islamists  almost three quarters of the seats in the Assembly. How do these two powerful Islamic groups compare?

Today the Brotherhood and Salafis also figure prominently in reports from Syria.  Both brands of Islamists field rebel forces in Syria, and Brotherhood leaders dominate the Syrian National Council, which has been recognized by the Arab League and some UN states as the legitimate representative of Syria.

Often the past Western politicians have made the mistake of dismissing the Salafis as marginal extremists, while being all too willing to lap up the Brotherhood’s propaganda about their democratic credentials.  A good example was David Cameron’s statement in Parliament this past weekconcerning the Syrian National Council, as he sought to downplay any suggestion  that the conflict in Syria had a religious basis:

“When I see the official Syrian opposition I do not see purely a religious grouping; I see a group of people who have declared that they are in favour of democracy, human rights and a future for minorities, including Christians, in Syria. That is the fact of the matter.”

As troubling as Cameron’s ignorance about Brotherhood ideology appears to be, even more disturbing is his intent to forward military support to rebel groups, at the very time that a report has come from Syrian refugees of genocidal measures being enacted by Islamist rebels against the Syrian Christian minority.

This past week evidence has also emerged that among the insurgents who attacked the American Embassy in Benghazi in September 2012 were Egyptians, captured on video saying that ‘Dr Morsi sent us’.  Yet Dr Morsi, the Brotherhood President of Egypt, is claimed by the US as an ally, and Brotherhood operatives have had long-standing high-level access to and support from the US Government.

Read more

 

France’s Growing Islamist Problem

franceBy Ryan Mauro:

The reaction to a recent Muslim robbery of a priest in France is a sad indication of where the country is headed. A Catholic official pointed out, “If it had been an imam or rabbi, he [the Interior Minister] would already been on the spot.” This is no surprise, as Socialist President Hollande’s pandering to the Muslim population played a large role in his election.

The incident began when four Muslims surrounded the priest and told him to hand over his cell phone. One thief knocked him unconscious. The attack may have been motivated by criminality and not jihad, but the two are part of a common trend.

There are over 750 government-designated “Sensitive Urban Zones” in France, referred to as “No-Go Zones” by Dr. Daniel Pipes. About 5 million Muslims live in these areas of France where law enforcement doesn’t exercise decisive control. When the authorities do have to step in, a violent backlash quickly arises. There are many videos of Muslim worshippers holding illegal prayers in the streets when their mosques overflow without any response from police.

On New Year’s, about 1,200 cars were set on fire and police clashed with residents in the Muslim-majority districts of Strasbourg and Mulhouse. In August, a two-day rampage was sparked when a Muslim was arrested for driving without a license around the time of a funeral. Massive riots have broken out in these no-go zones because of the hostility to reasonable law enforcement. Over half of the French prison population is Muslim, where many are radicalized.

A lack of integration is the most common factor in Islamic terrorists. These unassimilated areas are not just breeding grounds for criminals, but for extremism as well—particularly when foreign Islamist governments and organizations get involved.

The Saudi Arabia-based Muslim World League, described by Andrew McCarthy as “the Muslim Brotherhood’s principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology,” is helping finance the construction of 200 new mosques. The French Council of the Muslim Faith wants to eventually doublethe 2,500 mosques in the country.

Qatar, the supposed U.S. “ally” that subsidizes the Muslim Brotherhood, is also active in France’s Muslim community. It is financing mosques and the Union of Islamic Organizations in France, the Muslim Brotherhood’s main branch there. It demands the government to pass a law against “Islamophobia.” The Qatari government is also investing $65 million in the suburbs where over 1 million Muslim immigrants live.

This isn’t purely an act of humanitarianism or a business investment. The Qatari constitution is based on Sharia Law. The Christians in Qatar, almost 6% of the population, are allowed to practice their faith but cannot proselytize  to Muslims. Hypocritically, Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani publicly pledged in December 2011 to “spare no effort” to proselytize the Islamic teachings of Muhammad al-Wahhab, the founder of what is often called “Wahhabism.”

Read more at Front Page

Is Saudi Funding Behind the Boston Marathon Bombing?

sheikh-saleh-bin-abdulrahman-al-husseinCitizens United:

The following links demonstrate that the Saudi government funds a global network of Islamic extremism, and exports the radical ideology (Wahhabism) that formed Al Qaeda.  This global network provides an endless supply of recruits for Al Qaeda in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Africa, and the Taliban in the Af-Pak region.  The Taliban’s fight against the US attracts recruits from all over the world, including Chechnya, the ethnic origin of the Boston Marathon bombers.  This link indicates that Saudi money has been financing Islamic extremism in Chechnya, and this post provides evidence of the brothers involvement in Islamic extremism.  For example, one of the brothers (Tamerlane) was named after a 13th century jihadist who is compared to Osama bin Laden.  The comparison to bin Laden is based on the use of violence to spread Islam.

The first CSPAN clip below is terrorism expert Alex Alexiev.  He lays out compelling evidence of the Saudi government’s financing of global terrorism.  Alex is a former director of the National Security Division at the Rand Corporation, and a consultant to the CIA and Defense Department.  He was also a leading expert on Sovietology during the Cold War and is currently a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy.  Mr. Alexiev said the CIA, in 1996, cited dozens of Saudi charities that were funding terrorism, and “without huge amounts of Saudi money in the past three decades, our problem of terrorism wouldn’t be anywhere as acute as it is.  It [Saudi Arabia] is the lifeline of terrorism.”   Clip1

The next CSPAN clips are from a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Af-Pak region.  Obama’s special envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke, was testifying before the committee.  When committee members provided evidence of Saudi’s funding the Taliban, Holbrooke said “we do not have a program to close that down”.  Clip2Clip3Clip4   This hearing was six years after Senator Jon Kyl, during a Judiciary Committee hearing, cited Saudi Arabia as the “monetary lifeblood of today’s international terrorists.”  But President Obama didn’t have a program to shut down Saudi financing.  Oops!  In this next clip, Holbrooke admits that US and Pakistani intelligence agencies helped set up terrorist organizations.  Clip5

This link is an article written by Curtin Windsor, former U.S. Ambassador and Special Emissary to the Middle East during the Reagan administration.  It’s well sourced with many footnotes and is  titled “Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism and the Spread of Sunni Theofascism”.  Check out the section on page 8 titled “Causes of American Inaction”.   In the section on American inaction, Windsor says Prince Bandar bin Sultan helped mask the threat of Saudi sponsored terrorism.  In the PBS documentary “Black Money“, Prince Bandar plays a central role in global corruption relating to the arms trade.

After the 911 attack, some families who lost loved ones refused payments from the US government and sued the Saudi government.  The Texas law firm Baker Botts, a partner of which is James Baker, former Secretary of State under Bush 41, represented the Saudi government against 911 families.   John O’Neill was director of counter terrorism at the FBI prior to the 911 attack.  He repeatedly warned of an Al Qaeda attack on U.S. soil, but frustrated by US officials who ignored his warnings, he went to work as head of security at the World Trade Center and was killed on 911.  To hear his story, watch the PBS documentary, “The Man Who Knew“.

In spite of compelling evidence implicating the Saudi government in global terrorism, the Bush and Obama administrations insist that Saudi Arabia is a US ally in the War on Terror.  Hmmm?  American citizens must question the US/Saudi alliance and demand accountability for the resulting loss of American lives, treasure and freedom.   For more info, check out the sections “Closing the Loop on Terrorism” and “American and Chinese Communism, a Partnership” in Knowledge is Power.

The Saudis have been using their huge reserves from oil exports to increase the influence of radical Islamic doctrine in the US government, universities, media coverage and even grade school curriculums. They fund radical Islamic mosques in the US and groups that attempt to install Shariah law in the US. Watch this webinar to learn more:

See also:

Manal al-Sharif: The Woman Who Dared to Drive

OB-WU669_winter_DV_20130322183751By SOHRAB AHMARI:

‘You know when you have a bird, and it’s been in a cage all its life? When you open the cage door, it doesn’t want to leave. It was that moment.”

This is how Manal al-Sharif felt the first time she sat behind the wheel of a car in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom’s taboo against women driving is only rarely broken. To hear her recount the experience is as thrilling as it must have been to sit in the passenger seat beside her. Well, almost.

Ms. Sharif says her moment of hesitation didn’t last long. She pressed the gas pedal and in an instant her Cadillac SUV rolled forward. She spent the next hour circling the streets of Khobar, in the kingdom’s eastern province, while a friend used an iPhone camera to record the journey.

It was May 2011, when much of the Middle East was convulsed with popular uprisings. Saudi women’s-rights activists were stirring, too. They wondered if the Arab Spring would mark the end of the kingdom’s ban on women driving. “Everyone around me was complaining about the ban but no one was doing anything,” Ms. Sharif says. “The Arab Spring was happening all around us, so that inspired me to say, ‘Let’s call for an action instead of complaining.’ “

The campaign started with a Facebook FB +0.29% page urging Saudi women to drive on a designated day, June 17, 2011. At first the page created great enthusiasm among activists. But then critics began injecting fear on and off the page. “The opponents were saying that ‘there are wolves in the street, and they will rape you if you drive,’ ” Ms. Sharif recalls. “There needed to be one person who could break that wall, to make the others understand that ‘it’s OK, you can drive in the street. No one will rape you.’ “Ms. Sharif resolved to be that person, and the video she posted of herself driving around Khobar on May 17 became an instant YouTube hit. The news spread across Saudi media, too, and not all of the reactions were positive. Ms. Sharif received threatening phone calls and emails. “You have just opened the gates of hell on yourself,” said an Islamist cleric. “Your grave is waiting,” read one email.

Read more at WSJ

H/T Citizen Warrior

 

#AnaLama – Report: Saudi Court Releases Imam Who Raped, Murdered 5-Yr. Old Daughter

In 2009, the brutal shooting of Neda Soltan made her the face of the Iranian opposition. In 2011, Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in Tunisia set off the “Arab Spring.” In June 2011, the torturing and murdering of a 13-year old boy named Hamza al-Khatib sparked protests in his name in Syria. In 2013, Lama’s name may became synonymous with an unstoppable movement for change in Saudi Arabia.

Lama al-Ghamdi

Lama al-Ghamdi

by Ryan Mauro:

Revolutions and irresistible movements for change don’t happen spontaneously. They are “sparked” by a dramatic moment. In Saudi Arabia, such a “spark” may have been lit. News reports say Islamist preacher Fayhan al-Ghamdi has admitted to torturing and murdering his five-year old daughter, Lama, and is walking away a free man. He even still has custody of his two other children. And now, Saudi activists are taking a stand.

Al-Ghamdi, whose extremist preaching was often on Saudi television, was originally accused of abusing Lama last April. That attack was so vicious that she suffered a fractured skull and brain damage. Tragically, he was still permitted access to her, leading to her death in December.

Read more at Radical Islam

 

Westerners and Wahhabism: Living in a Fool’s Paradise

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The Saudi Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, recently called for a destruction of all churches in the Arabian peninsula, as well as marriage for girls as young as 10 years old.

by: Jamal Hasan:

Many Westerners are still living in fool’s paradise, buying the apologist’s soft-sold idea that Wahhabism is a minority view of the Islamic world. The reality indicates that the situation is just the other way around.

The proliferation of Wahhabistic philosophy is so widespread all across the globe that it can hardly be considered an aberration. From Pakistan to Qatar, from Bangladesh to Afghanistan, the common belief system among Muslim masses is very close to Wahhabite ideology.

Read more at Radical Islam

 

Rape Squads and Saudi Dollars

article-2270216-1732CA54000005DC-892_634x434By James Lewis:

Forget Springtime for Hitler. In the Era of Obama we have official Arab  Springtime for Morsi, complete with Muslim Brotherhood rape squads going out for the very moral purpose of teaching  Egyptian girls and women never to escape their sacred house arrest without a  male escort. This is Shari’a law as enforced in Saudi Arabia as well as in the  city of London.

StrategyPage,  an excellent military website, gives us this information about who is paying for the worldwide jihad. On the Sunni side of the  street it turns out to be our friends the Saudis:

“Where exactly did the current crop of Islamic  terrorists come from? Basically, they came from Saudi Arabia… Saudi Arabia was  also exporting billions of dollars, and thousands of Wahhabi preachers…  Because of international media networks,  Islamic terrorism was no longer a bunch of separate  problems…”

And  there we are today. The Saudis are using their billions to export 7th century  Arabian barbarism to the rest of the world, and the Iranian mullahs across the  Gulf are exporting their version to Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Gaza, and Syria.  But basically it’s two flavors of the same criminal ideology, which sanctifies  rape and killing for the sake of Allah.

Read more at American Thinker

See also:

Muslim Sheikh Accuses 5-Year-Old Daughter of Not Being a Virgin, Beats Her to Death, Gets Off with $50,000 Fine

51581200pxBy Daniel Greenfield:

There are some who speculate that the location of the biblical city of Sodom was in Saudi Arabia. They may have a case. Saudi Arabia is what happens when you combine absolute evil with ungodly amounts of money.

It’s not just that monsters like Fayhan al-Ghamdi exist in Saudi Arabia. They exist everywhere. But in the heartland of Islam, where Mohammed first began his wave of crimes against women and little girls, they operate with the sanction of the state.

Sheikh Fayhan al-Ghamdi, an Islamic television preacher in Saudi Arabia, beat Lama, his 5-year-old daughter to death during a custodial visit. Saudi police had found the 5-year-old wandering the streets, she was taken to the hospital and placed in intensive care.

The side of her head had been mashed in, her back was broken, she had a skull fracture, bleeding in the head, a broken left hand, bruises all over her body, and burns that apparently came from an iron. One of her fingernails had been pulled out. There were signs that she had been sexually assaulted in various ways that are too horrific to describe, but that are in serial killer territory.

Read more at Front Page

Can Islam reform?

imagesCAD55194By James Lewis

When liberals sound out on religious fundamentalism they never seem to think of Islam. Yet the Religion of Surrender — Islam means “surrender,” not “peace” — is by far the most fundamentalist religion in the world.

Everything is supposed to go back to the Qur’an, written in the Arabian Desert in the 7th century, straight from the mouth of Allah and therefore impossible to question. If you can’t question something you’re set for mind-lock, and all the troubles flow from that.

As historian Bernard Lewis points out, Islamic civilization always gets stuck in dogmatism whenever the fundamentalist priesthood takes over. That is why the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution took place in Europe and then America, and not in Muslim Persia, Spain or Ottoman Turkey. In a rigidly closed society everybody becomes mind-locked. We can see it every day in the media.

Liberals claim that the US Constitution should be a ‘living document” — meaning they want it dead. Well, the Quran brings the ancient desert war of Mohammed back to life. There’s a living document that’ll kill ya! That kind of fundamentalism is utterly stuck in a dysfunctional past.

Liberals respect the Qur’an more than the US Constitution. The Qur’an runs a billion Muslim minds, half of them women living under virtual house arrest, and subject to constant fear and indoctrination — and murder if they try to escape.

Liberals respect that kind of thing.

When Muslims encounter the modern world they may yearn for freedom, or they may wish to go back to the mythical past. They feel torn between past and future, just like other, less militant creeds.

The battle for civilization will be won or lost in their minds and in ours.

Civilized peoples always hope to fight a war of ideas, so that we will not have to fight a hot war. But peace is not won by cowards. If you can’t stand up for your beliefs during family holidays — politely but firmly — you have not yet begun to fight.

Conservatives have to bear a share of the blame for the victory of radical liberalism in the recent election. Not all the blame, but we have not done enough. Half of America is on our side, at least 100 million people.

We must begin by standing up for our beliefs to friends, family, local leaders, then nationally and internationally. This is a worldwide struggle.

You have in your hands the most fabulous tool ever invented for outreach. If we don’t use computers and the web, as well as personal contacts, to stand for our values, nobody else will do it for us. When we stand up for our values we also empower others to do the same thing.

So far the United States and our “allies” have failed dismally to stand up for our values. We keep surrendering to barbarians, a sure formula for civilizational defeat. It is abject cowardice, and there’s no excuse. None.

The answer to the election of 2012 is not to retreat from our principles, but to redouble our efforts, work smarter and harder, do retail politics — everything is local — and never, never, never, never give in. Churchill had it right. Persistence wins the day.

The election did not change right or wrong, good or evil. They are what they are. A lost election is a setback. So was Valley Forge. So was the Battle of the Bulge.

Our history is full of setbacks followed by victories.

We need to read history. This isn’t the first time control freaks have tried to take over. King George was a control freak. Slavery in the South was bloody control freakery.

Abe Lincoln was the first Republican president of the United States, and contrary to media myths, Republicans have stood for freedom when the Democrats stood for slavery, Jim Crow, the Soviet Union and the Chicago Machine.

In a few places like India there are peaceful Islamic sects, but Saudi Arabia and Iran are run by totalitarian war cults. The Saudis were pure desert warriors until the British Empire raised them to power a century ago. Even Karl Marx couldn’t get more fundamentalist than the Wahhabis, a tiny sect with oceans of oil money to buy corrupt socialist parties and media.

When we see mosques rising today we should see them as another sign that Saudi oil money is coming back to destroy constitutional government. Saudi religious fundamentalism can’t tolerate real freedom, just as radical socialism can’t. You can see it in the liberal media and their politicians. Hillary’s recent PR bomb against Israel did not happen by chance. Those pro-jihadist PR bombs show all the signs of being orchestrated, because normal people don’t mouth the identical words on cue, day after day, like the Hollywood liberal artillery brigade.

Normal people have diverse beliefs. Only ideological monopolies repeat the same slogan over and over again. Presumably somebody pays for those PR bombs. They are much too predictable to be accidental.

No major religion today is as fundamentalist as Islam. If you doubt that, kindly explain which Christian or Jewish sect would commit the atrocities of 9/11? Southern Baptists? Holy Rollers? The Lubavitcher rebbe? What religious Christian or Jew believes that God wants him to commit those civilian massacres that constantly plague the Muslim world?

We stand in horror of the murder of children in Newtown, CT. We should. That is what civilized people do. But let a hundred Shi’ite pilgrims in Iraq be blown to pieces by Sunni terrorists, and there is no outrage. To liberals, Muslim massacres mean nothing. They don’t fit the agenda.

Everything comes down to ideology. Muslims don’t kill impulsively, but for ideology. When they kill other Muslims it’s because there is no worse enemy than a heretic in their eyes. That is why 40,000 people have died in Syria in a war between Sunnis and Shi’ites that started a thousand years ago.  Talk about being stuck in the past? Talk about religious fundamentalism? In the House of Peace everybody is somebody’s heretic.

It’s like the old Dean Martin song:

Everybody hates somebody sometime

Everybody falls in hate somehow

… but it’s not funny in the real world.

Islam is a fundamentalist religion at war with itself, and with infidels like us, because it preaches a war doctrine rooted in 7th century Arabia. Islam cannot change as long as it stays mind-locked in the 7th century.

So the question Can Islam reform? is no small matter, as Samuel Huntington wrote in his classic The Clash of Civilizations. We don’t know the answer yet. An Islamic Reformation is one of Rumsfeld’s Unknown Unknowns, the biggest one we all face today.

But then every civilizational war starts off as a complete unknown. In 1938 Churchill didn’t know that the civilized world could win against Hitler. He guessed, and then acted on his hope and passion, and made it happen.

We have to become Churchillian again.

There is no other way.

Imperialistic Islam may be able to reform, but only if the civilized world resists with all its might.

Read more at American Thinker

 

Also see:

Dr. Tawfik Hamid: Islam Needs Modern Interpretation (radicalIslam.com)

Saudi Arabia still head of terror finance octopus

sausi petrodollars

Money Jihad:

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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See also:

Money Jihad: How Islamists Finance Their Operations

Pat Condell Rips Saudi Arabia again (Video)

The Savage Lands of Islam

Webinar: How America’s Addiction to Saudi Oil is Funding Global Terror

Saudi Arabia – Moderate Voice or Draconian Monarchy?