West Turns Blind Eye to Saudi Arabia, a Friend It Dare Not Offend

[Times-UK] Catherine Philp - Saudi billions fund the promotion of extreme forms of Islam around the world. Saudi Arabia is the home of Wahhabism, the austere interpretation of Islam that it has pioneered and the faith espoused by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda followers. An estimated $90 billion of Saudi money has gone to build mosques and madrassas, distribute religious literature and fund Islam across the world, with a portion of it, according to terrorism experts, directly or indirectly funding the violent expression of those beliefs. Jonathan Evans, the director-general of M15, said last year that the Saudi government's multimillion-dollar donations to British universities had led to a "dangerous increase in the spread of extremism in leading university campuses." Saudi Arabia, in the words of a former diplomat there, "gets away with things other countries could not" because of the West's dependence on it - for oil, for arms contracts, for intelligence, for military bases, and for being a firm friend in an often unfriendly neighborhood."

2009-03-27 06:00:00

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