Politic?

This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Saudi Influence in the World of Islam

"Saudi Arabia is destroying Islam."
"Cartoonists can just hurt our feelings. But damaging the reputation of Islam? That's not what the cartoonists are doing."
"That's what Saudi Arabia is doing."
Zuhdi Hajzeri, imam, Peja, Kosovo

Pitting Muslims who follow a moderate view of the faith, against those who have been indoctrinated into the Salafist school of Wahhabi Islam in countries where traditionally, Muslims have lived in peace with one another and with others following faiths other than Islam. Before 1999 Kosovo and Albania were considered to be religiously moderate with tolerance for others. And since that date there has been ample reason for Britain and the U.S. to have high approval ratings among Kosovar Muslims.

The genocidal fears that prompted NATO intervention to stop Serbs from carrying out their revenge attacks on Muslims initiated a trajectory of events that have altered the political and religious landscape in Kosovo and Albania to an alarming extent. The alarm is felt by reasonable Muslims like Imam Hajzeri who preaches at a 430-year-old mosque in Peja, Kosovo. He, and others who think like him, deplore the funding that Saudi Arabia dedicated to building madrassas in Kosovo, with the withdrawal of NATO troops.

It has taken 17 years, but in that time, while funding came from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, young Kosovars, whose education came courtesy of those sources think and act differently from those who came before them. The madrassas that nurtured religious extremism have altered the perspective and dedication of the succeeding generations of Kosovar men to reflect the fanatical Islam of the Gulf States.

A website was established by Imam Hajzeri and some of his colleagues, criticizing the Wahhabist interpretation of Islam, but they make few inroads in the mindset of those they target their message toward. "The Saudis completely changed Islam here with their money", declared a former imam in Kosovo, Visar Duriqi, who now is a journalist writing of extremist influences and their spread in Kosovo. He had himself become an extremist calling for Shariah law; he has since recanted.

In Saudi Arabia, oil riches have advantaged the country to enable it to export its reprehensibly strident and violence-prone form of Islam dating back to its inception as a tribal war-mongering religion spreading its message by sword and Koran. There is a charitable emphasis in Islamist ideology, one that has been perverted by Saudi Arabia to brainwash Muslim youth and to promote conflict in underdeveloped countries, rather than use that wealth charitably in supporting programs to defeat malnutrition and child mortality rates.

Now, Kosovo can claim without pride that it is the Islamic country providing more fighters for Islamic State than any other. Over 340 Kosovars have left their country to fight in Syria or in Iraq, according to the Kosovo government. And Imam Hajzeri and his colleagues regularly receive death threats from Kosovar extremists.

 Kosovo theologians and researchers criticized Saudi Arabia and Kosovo‚Äôs official Islamic Community concerning the rise of religious radicalism. Photo: BETA

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