"Saudi Arabia exports extremism in the world," said Susanne Schröter, the director of the Frankfurt Research Center on Global Islam in an interview with Deutsche Welle TV.
Deutsche Welle TV satiating Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading sponsor of Islamic extremism wrote: “In the past 50 years, Riyadh has invested at least 76 billion euros ($86 billion) in Wahhabi extremism, the ideological basis of extremist and jihadist movements throughout the world. The Wahhabi influence, fueled by oil money, is very clear.”
Deutsche Welle added: “It has long been known that Saudi Arabia has been exporting Wahhabist ideology – largely similar to the ideology of the so-called Islamic State.”
According to official reports, Saudi Arabia plays a key role in sponsoring terrorism and promoting radical Wahhabi ideology in the world. International human rights organizations have expressed sever concern over Al Saud’s illegal and inhumane measures for many times.
According to Deutsche Welle, Susanne Schröter is an Anthropologist and has extensive research on cultural and political changes in Islamic countries and countries with Muslim minorities. She is researching more about Southeast Asia, North Africa and Germany.
She also head the Frankfurt Research Center on Global Islam. She said in an interview with DW correspondent Matthias von Hein about ways of exporting Wahhabism: “Britain’s Henry Jackson Society, a think tank, has published a report on foreign funding for extremist branches of Islam in Great Britain. Saudi Arabia has been clearly named as one of the greatest supporters. In the past 50 years, Riyadh has invested at least 76 billion euros ($86 billion) in Wahhabi extremism, the ideological basis of extremist and jihadist movements throughout the world. ”
She explained: “The findings do not surprise me at all. It has long been known that Saudi Arabia has been exporting Wahhabist ideology – largely similar to the ideology of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS).”
Mrs. Schröter stressed that Saudi Arabia isn’t just funding extremists. Propaganda material and organizational expertise are being sent along with money. People are being hired to build mosques, educational institutions, cultural centers and similar organizations, so that Wahhabist theology can reach the public.
Mrs. Schröter said: “The export of Wahhabism got off the ground after the Islamic revolution in Iran. The revolution had dramatically shaken the Saudis.”
Then, they started promoting Wahhabism through intermediaries and affiliated-organizations in different countries throughout Asia, Africa and parts of Europe – for example, in former Yugoslavia where Muslims and Christians fought against each other in the civil war.
Wahhabists saw it as a gateway, where money was needed since the Muslim population was ready for a new and radical ideology. The result is that, in many parts of the world, a radical form of Islam is gaining the upper hand. It can be seen first-hand in Southeast Asia, in southern Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and sometimes Malaysia.”
She said: “Some say that there are tolerant Muslims in these countries. There has been a dramatic development towards radicalism over the past three decades. It is perfectly clear that this development has been encouraged by Saudi money.
Moreover, young intellectuals have been recruited with generous scholarships at Saudi universities. These people return to their homes after having studied at Saudi universities and suddenly carry out Wahhabi missionary work in all their home countries.
Matthias von Hein said: “Pierre Vogel, perhaps the most well-known German Salafist preacher, studied on a Saudi scholarship in Mecca. Saudi Arabia has apparently influenced the radicalization process of Muslims in Germany. German media made such claims in December 2016, citing intelligence sources. It was said that religious foundations from the Gulf States, especially Saudi Arabia, supported local Salafist groups in Germany with the approval of their governments. To what extent does this correspond to your research findings?”
Mrs. Schröter explained: “This is absolutely consistent with our findings. In some cases, state-owned Saudi institutions were massively involved. There was once a Saudi attache in Berlin, Mohamed Fakihi. He had connections to the terrorist cell in Hamburg that carried out the attack on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001.