Friday, March 03, 2017

Saudi Arabia's cultural diplomacy

"It’s ironic, then, that some of Indonesia’s leading jihadists have passed through Saudi institutions. Although Salafism is largely “quietist,” or discouraging of political activity, there is a growing faction of Salafi jihadists in Indonesia, according to Din Wahid. In 1972, Saudi money helped to found the “ivy league” of jihadist pesantren, the Al-Mukmin school in Ngruki, Central Java. The Indonesian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah received funding from Saudi charities in the early 2000s." "Indonesia may be the largest stage for Saudi Arabia’s cultural diplomacy, but it’s hardly the only one. Saudi Arabia built satellite campuses for Egypt’s Al-Azhar university in the 1980s, funded Bosnian rebels and later built them schools in the 1990s, bankrolled numerous madrassas in pre-Taliban Pakistan and Afghanistan, and sent 25,000 clerics to India between 2011 and 2013. Al-Hattem, of LIPIA Jakarta, was previously stationed at Saudi outfits in Bosnia and Djibouti." (thanks Amir)