Radical Islam's Move on Africa

(Washington Post) Paul Marshall - Many students from Pakistan's madrassas, or radical Islamist schools, are leaving to avoid arrest in a government crackdown on Islamic extremism. Some are going to Saudi Arabia, but hundreds are heading to Africa. Islamic extremists in Somalia, Kenya, and Tanzania have turned to terrorism. More alarming is the spread of rigid forms of Islam, historically rare south of the Sahara, which are creating division, chaos, and violence in both East and West Africa. Mohammed Madi, a fundamentalist activist in Tanzania, told Time magazine last month, "We get our funds from Yemen and Saudi Arabia....Officially the money is used to buy medicine, but in reality the money is given to us to support our work and buy guns." In Zambia this summer, police raided an Islamic school and found 280 students confined in cages, where they were forced to study military tactics and Arabic. Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Mauritania, Chad, and Mali are also experiencing Islamist unrest, with riots and, in some cases, coup attempts. This Islamization is being pushed by Sudan and Saudi Arabia, with Libya's Moammar Gaddafi also a major player. The U.S. should demand that Tripoli, Khartoum and Riyadh cease their export of radicalism to Africa.

2003-10-17 00:00:00

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