21:18 GMT +323 March 2017
Live
    Saudi Arabian city view with the 'Kingdom Tower', background, and 'Al-Faislia Tower' in Riyadh. (File)

    Lawmakers Ringing Alarm Over Possible Saudi Influence on European Muslims

    © AP Photo/ Hassan Ammar
    Politics
    Get short URL
    506606405

    Swiss lawmakers have expressed growing concerns regarding lack of transparency over the country's mosques and Muslim organizations' funding. The parliamentarians fear foreign influence, citing the problem of Islamic radicalization in Europe.

    Swiss parliamentarians have raised the alarm over possible foreign influence on the country's mosques and called attention to lack of transparency over their funding.

    Speaking to swissinfo.ch, Doris Fiala, member of the National Council and Vice-Chairperson of the Swiss delegation to the PACE, pointed out that it would be "naïve to say there is no problem with the financing of Swiss mosques."

    "We have no clue who is financing what. We don't know what money is coming in. There is no transparency," she underscored.

    For her part, Saida Keller-Messahli, the president of the Forum for a Progressive Islam, told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung that "huge sums of money" flow to Switzerland from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey.

    Keller-Messahli claimed that one of those sponsors, the Saudi-based Muslim World League is spreading Wahhabi or Salafist views among European Muslims.

    According to swissinfo.ch, the concerns were prompted by incidents in Winterthur and Geneva mosques.

    The media outlet noted that in early November the umbrella association of Islamic organizations in Zurich (VIOZ) suspended the An'Nur mosque in Winterthur, after its imam was reportedly inciting violence.

    Following the Paris attack in November 2015 the Tribune de Geneve wrote that French police searched the homes of two French imams who worked at the Geneva mosque. The mosque is managed by the Islamic Cultural Foundation of Geneva, reportedly sponsored by Saudi donors.

    In his March interview with Sputnik French journalist and founder of Agora Erasmus political organization Karel Vereycken underscored that Europeans fear that Saudi preachers are spreading Wahhabi teaching and inciting violence in EU mosques.

    "Increasingly, voices have been raised against Saudi Arabia and the spreading of Wahhabi fundamentalism through the Saudi-run Great mosque of Brussels and the Centre Islamique de Belgique (CIB) of Molenbeek, where many young criminals were recruited for making the trip to Syria," Vereycken told Sputnik.

    The French journalist insisted that the European leadership should take certain measures to mitigate the threat of radicalization of Muslim youths in the EU.

    "First of all, the decades long evil role of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in spreading the Wahhabi and Salafist ideologies and the financing of terrorist organizations, on which the Belgian, as well as the US, the British, and the French governments have closed eyes, should be unveiled and 'uprooted,'" he noted.

    Swissinfo.ch quoted Andreas Tunger-Zanetti, coordinator of the Center for Research on Religion at Lucerne University, who believes that the problem is largely exaggerated.

    Tunger-Zanetti pointed out that an "average Swiss mosque" has a list at the entrance with the names of its sponsors and the amount of money they donated.

    "When I look at how these mosques are working… I don't see Arab money," he told the media outlet adding that the incidents in Geneva and Winterthur mosques deserve attention and it is important to find out what went wrong.

    However, the media outlet highlighted that there is virtually no statistics on Swiss mosques' funding.

    The Swiss government has no data on Muslims organizations' sources of funding and it prompts growing concerns among Swiss lawmakers.

    "In Switzerland the freedoms of association, conscience and religion are held up as fundamental rights. Small associations with no economic goals are not required to be listed in the commercial register and declare their financial status," the media outlet explained.

    Swiss lawmakers' concerns are not completely unfounded.

    A 2009 secret US diplomatic cable, published by Wikileaks, revealed that Saudi donors have been repeatedly spotted funding various Sunni extremist organization and terrorists worldwide.

    "Still, donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide… Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba], and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during Hajj and Ramadan," the cable reads.

    Related:

    Deadly Attack in Berlin: 'Mutual Accusations Only Play Into Hands of Terrorists'
    US Terror Attacks in 2016 Carried Out by Homegrown Extremists
    US Urges Turkey Amid ‘Aggressive Efforts’ of Extremist Groups - Embassy
    Tags:
    Wahhabi ideology, mosques, Salafists, Islamic extremism, November 13, 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, Taliban, al-Qaeda, Kuwait, Europe, Qatar, Zurich, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Switzerland, Geneva
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    All comments

    • avatar
      copius
      In 2017 EU will be hell unless very tough measures are taken against radical Islam.
      Demand all religious funds audit.
      Make all migrants to swear alligence to the country and its laws or face immediate deportation.
      Break up polarization.
      Announce all new migrants to re-register. Those not on the list to be regarded as fugitives and dealt as terrorists.
    • avatar
      vigilante
      Europe should wake up before it becomes "pakistanized"
      Saudi Arabia's money has transformed Pakistan in a recruitment center of Islamist terrorists through the madresseh and mosques they have been financed and the Wahhabi preachers they sent there.
      Moslem preachers SHOULD be vetted and all space of Islamic cult carefully watched.
    • avatar
      Athanasios
      I read in a far-right site about hijrah, i.e., the expansion of Islam by immigration (and not only by the sword). Is this correct? Does it include all of Islam or Wahhabism only?
    • Mikhas
      It´s way too late for that now. Saudi Barbaria should have been dealt with a long time ago. Instead US and their €urofag vassals have made themselves complicit in SA´s crimes against humanity, especially the export of wahhabi cutthroats and the spreading of this medieval disease and the radicalisation of ordinary muslims
    • avatar
      Conan_Moron
      Nothing new at all the Saudi 'influence' has been going on for several years after 1979. Wahhabi imams have been allowed into Europe,ran and financed mosques, and indoctrinated fellow muslims through the blessing of the naive and corrupt European politicians!
    • FlorianGeyer
      So finally the diseased minds of our leaders in the West have at last realised that Saudi and other Muslim nation money flooding Europe to build Mosques and fund Muslim NGO's has caused discord and Takfiri terrorism throughout Europe.

      Multi Culturalism has NEVER worked in human existence.

      Many of us knew that decades ago but the Libtard Cults of the world screamed 'Racist' whenever we questioned their opinion.

      We in Europe and the US can now look forward to decades of Takfiri terrorism.

      Enjoy.
    • Drain the swamp
      The wahabi/salafi influence on Western Muslims is very clear, many want to go and fight for baghdadis fake khilafa in Syria although its map ludicrously does not include ksa incl Mecca/Median, for the simple reason that the wahabi clerics influencing them are being paid by ksa/qatar. The wahabi/saud grip on the 1.7b Muslims arises from control over their Haj pilgrimage site - Mecca. It should be made an international site by the UN, and the wahabi/salafi influence would evaporate and extremism could come to an end.
    • avatar
      Hafez Alawi
      We are now in the Eurasian Century! The Atlantic order is over!
      Glory to the Free people of Eurasia. Saudi are just a puppet of USA. They will fade quickly, now Russia is in charge.....

      For those who have ears to understand- "Axe is the name of Mine"- A. Dugin
    • v76
      And nothing will be done, it will be political incorrect to do so.
    • avatar
      BorzoiBon
      The Muslim Brotherhood have their Mucrowave, fake cell phone tiwers in your country?

      They are pizzagate, mkultra mind countrol.

      Dr.Barry Trower, had some good infomercials out, about terrorist, mind control.

      Stay safe,
      Merry Chrustmas,
      And please, Wake up.

      We are all under Mkultra.
      Run by the Satananists.
    • avatar
      Antares Prime
      There should be a ban on any foreign money funding any mosque. The only funds allowed should be internal to that country, full stop. At least that would obviate the need for tranparency and cut the takfiri funding at its source.
    • avatar
      jlamenzo
      Madame Fiala, does a hen lay eggs?
    • avatar
      Tornado_Doom
      Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Erdogan's Turkey are the biggest sponsors of terrorism, and the US benefits from this.
    • Dar...
      Not only do we need to end the Saudi ruling elite's influence in Europe we need to end their influence on Saudi Arabia too.

      Like a lot of European workers when work dried up at home I had to do my share of contract work in Saudi, and what a barbaric, medieval shit hole it is. They treat muslims of other nationalities like servants and slaves, and view Jews, Christians and anyone else as dirt to be trodden under foot. It will take far more than a new calendar to bring those arrogant, evil, supremacist, murderers up to date.
    • Jonathan Ferguson
      Wahhabi head-choppers should have no role in manipulating the religious sentiments of civilized ppl.
    • avatar
      PaleRider
      Maybe it's time for Switzerland to finally get it Head out of their Armpit and wake up to what is happening to Europe and their little piece of utopia!
    Show new comments (0)