Wahhabi Strain of Islam Faulted; Saudis' Funding Helps Foster Terror Groups, Experts Say

(Washington Post) In a congressional hearing on Saudi funding of extremism, a panel of terrorism experts said Thursday that top Saudi officials and institutions spend huge sums from the kingdom's oil wealth to promote an intolerant school of Islam embraced by al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Treasury Department general counsel David Aufhauser testified that "in many ways, [Saudi Arabia] is the epicenter" for the financing of al Qaeda and other terrorist movements. Islam's "severe and uncompromising" Wahhabi movement "is a very important factor to be taken into account when discussing terrorist financing," Aufhauser said. Aufhauser added that the Saudis' largely unmonitored spending to disseminate the Wahhabi viewpoint worldwide "is a combustible compound when mixed with religious teachings in thousands of madrasahs [Islamic schools] that condemn pluralism and mark nonbelievers as enemies....It needs to be dealt with." Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) noted, "The Wahhabi presence in the U.S. is a foreboding one that has potentially harmful and far-reaching consequences for our nation's mosques, schools, prisons, and even our military," where a number of chaplains are influenced by the movement.

2003-06-30 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive