Monday, May 30, 2016

Viral Fanatic Wahhabism Courtesy Saudi Arabia

"They promoted political Islam."
"They spent a lot of money to promote it through different programs mainly with young, vulnerable people, and they brought in a lot of Wahhabi and Salafi literature."
"There is no evidence that any organization gave money directly to people to go to Syria. The issue is they supported thinkers who promote violence and jihad in the name of protecting Islam."
"They brought these people closer to radical political Islam, which resulted in their radicalization."
Fatos Makolli, director, Kosovo counterterrorism police

"They came in the name of aid. But they came with a background of different intentions, and that's where the Islamic religion starting splitting here."
Enver Rexhepi, imam, Kjilan, Kosovo

"It is obligated for every Muslim to participate in jihad."
"The blood of infidels is the best drink for us Muslims."
Zekirja Qazimi, Wahhabi imam

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The Muslims of Kosovo were known not so long ago for their tolerance of others, as a society within Europe. There has been a slow, progressive change since that time of amicably living in a moderately pluralist environment. A transformation has taken place with conservatism eroding the former way of religious life, the kind of conservative ideology readily identified with the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia. It has taken 17 years to achieve, but that radicalization is now well in evidence.

In the last two years alone, Kosovo police of the counterterrorism squad have singled out 314 Kosovars, among them two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children who have left Kosovo to join the Islamic State. This represents the greatest number of people dedicating themselves per capita to the jihad of Daesh than any other place in Europe. They have been recruited and excited by Salafism extolling jihad.

Two years of investigation by the counterterrorism police in Kosovo yielded 67 people being charged, 24 imams arrested and the shutting down of 19 Muslim organizations on charges they acted against the Constitution of the country by inciting hatred and recruiting for terrorism. A country of 1.8 million, Kosovo was welcoming to Americans as their liberators who helped them become independent but has now become suspicious of the West.


While the United States was defending Kosovar Muslims in a NATO coalition from the lethal attacks of Serbs, when the hostilities and the killing stopped, Saudi Arabian assistance arrived. The U.S. dreamed of a new democracy, the Saudis envisioned an outreach of Wahhabism. Kosovo has over 800 mosques for the faithful, 240 of them built since the war ended. Moderate imams in Kosovo take exception to what they insist has been a deliberate strategy to alienate young Kosovars from tradition.

Is there not boundless irony in this situation? Saudi Arabia has gained its vast wealth through the sale of its fossil fuels, primarily to fill the energy needs of the Western, non-Muslim countries. That sumptuous payback for extracting natural resources in the form of petroleum has enabled Saudi Arabia to export the proceeds of oil sales back to the West in the form of funding new mosques and Islamic centres led by Saudi-trained imams.

The West  has effectively bankrolled the infiltration of extreme, fanatic Islamism to undermine its own values and traditions. Wahhabism's major tenets speak to the supremacy of Sharia law, the ideation of violent jihad and takfirism, (the authorization of a death sentence for Muslims held to be heretics for failing to follow the Wahhabist interpretation of Islam). And those Wahhabist mosques have been built everywhere throughout Europe and North America.

In 2014, WikiLeaks released Saudi diplomatic cables revealing a system of mosque, Islamic centers and Saudi trained clerics funding that spanned Asia, Africa and Europe. A costly venture, and one with deep intentions to cast a wide net to capture the minds and faith of Muslims in an understanding of Islam as fundamentally pure only if the conditions that speak to Sharia and jihad as imperatives are fully recognized, in the process demeaning all other alternatives.

As part of Yugoslavia before the breakup, men and women in Kosovo reflected a Western way of life with the genders unselfconsciously mingling socially, and women and girls rarely wearing veils. After Serbian forces destroyed 218 mosques in their drive to stamp on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, there was a need to reconstruct. Money and imams arrived to give aid. Imams representing the hundreds of Kosovars who studied Islam in Saudi Arabia, post-war, on 'scholarships'. 

Saudi generosity was unparalleled in bankrolling the transition of Kosovar Muslims into those accepting of and steeped in Wahhabism. It soon became clear that Wahhabism was overtaking worship with viral Saudi influence. Eventually the Islamic Community of Kosovo was well infiltrated to echo the sensibilities of Wahhabist Islam. Kosovar Muslims traditionally following the liberal Hanafi school of Islam were being transformed.

Charities operated by the Saudis began to pay 'salaries' and 'overhead costs' to families through monthly stipends. They were obligated to attend sermons at the Wahhabist mosques, and women and girls were to wear the veil. Greater numbers of mosques were built to the Saudi method, and increasing numbers of mosques overall were headed by Saudi-trained imams. A Saudi organization, Al aqf al Islami, funded religion classes.
Trojan Pig of Islam
Around 2004 the-then prime minister, Bajram Rexhepi attempted to introduce a law banning extremist sects, but found opposition to that move coming, of all places, from Europe. Where officials informed him that freedom of religion would be violated by such moves as he suggested. "It was not in their interest; they did not want to irritate some Islamic countries", Mr. Rexhepi divulged recently.

In 2003, Richard Holbrooke, once special envoy to the Balkans of the U.S., warned leaders in Kosovo to avoid working with the Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo, an organization of Saudi charities. It was revealed a year later that it was among several organizations shuttered in Kosovo under suspicion of being an al-Qaeda front.

Saudi Arabia's involvement in Kosovo has been reduced in recent years. Funding instead has been arriving from Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates propagating a similar version of Wahhabist Islam.

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