Frank J. Gaffney Jr. writes in an op-ed that the Saudi government uses American mosques to promote jihad. In the article I linked to in yesterday’s post on construction of Muslim mosques, the writer mentions deep into the story that the funds for one particular mosque were raised from the local community. But the story explains little about this other than delving into the particular difficulty Muslims have in constructing religious buildings due to the ban on borrowing money in Islam.
Now either the mosque being constructed in the Post piece is fairly unusual, the reporter is being deceived and has not been very thorough or the study isn’t as “superb” as Gaffney states:
A superb study released in January by Freedom House documented that the Saudi government is also using American mosques — by some estimates 80% of which have their mortgages held by Saudi Arabian financial institutions — to promote jihad. Materials officially produced and disseminated to such mosques by the kingdom are filled with calls to hate Christians and Jews. Those who fail to conform are threatened with violent punishment as apostates. Saudi-trained and -selected clerics serve as enforcers in our mosques and in our prisons and military as recruiters for a rabidly anti-American Wahhabi creed.
The point of Gaffney’s column is that the Saudis are not with the United States in fighting terrorism. But that raises the question of why and he does not answer it very well. What would be the motivation of the Saudi leadership to undermine our efforts to neutralize the more radical elements of Islam? In their public statements, they make efforts to show their support, but actions speak louder than words.
Unfortunately, under the leadership of King Fahd (actual or nominal), Saudi Arabia demonstrated that it was possible to be with us and with the terrorists.
Gaffney says that the Saudi leadership believes that promoting attacks outside their country will keep attacks from happening within their country. But that doesn’t answer the economic questions involved in a terrorist attack and its effect on the Saudis ability to sell their oil abroad.
The article also does not examine the lack of common sense in a theory that has the Saudi government directly funding terrorism. If this were true, wouldn’t the American government do something about it? We certainly did not hesitate in invading two large countries, spending billions of dollars in the process. Certainly the terrorist element in Saudi Arabia is alive and well, but that is different from official government endorsement. What gives?