Saudi Arabia issues rare denial that it bankrolls 'extremist mindset'

Diplomats claim they are "very conscious that philanthropic and humanitarian assistance does not fall into the hands of extremist elements.”

February 10, 2015 09:22
1 minute read.
Members of al Qaeda's Nusra Front

Members of al-Qaida's‏ Nusra Front [File]. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Saudi Arabia denied accusations  that it is financing fundamentalist Islamic institutions propagating Islamic extremism, Pakistan's Express Tribune reported on Monday.

In a statement released by the Saudi Diplomatic mission in Pakistan, the Gulf Kingdom deflected blame onto the press, pointing a finger by suggesting that “a section of the media is propagating a false impression that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is funding extremist mindset in Pakistan through its financial support for the religious seminaries.”

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Speaking on how seminaries and religious schools are selected for funding, the Saudi embassy's statement laid out a short but defiant description of the protocol for such endowments.

“Whenever any seminary, mosque or charity organization requests the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for financial assistance, the embassy refers the matter to the government of Pakistan through the ministry of foreign affairs for examining suitability of the applicant for financial assistance.”

"Saudi Arabia is closely coordinating with the government of Pakistan in its efforts stamp out terrorism, it is very conscious that philanthropic and humanitarian assistance does not fall into the hands of extremist elements.”

Saudi Arabia has been linked to fundamentalist teachings of Sunni Islam throughout the world. It's state brand of Salafi Islam, Wahabism, is considered to be  the progenitor of al-Qaida's global jihadist ideology by many experts.

Recently Zacarious Moussaoui, a former al-Qaida operative imprisoned in the US for his role in the September 11 attacks, implicated a number of well known Saudi figures in a  federal court in Manhattan. According to Moussauoi, a list of donors to the terrorist group during Osama Bin Laden's term as leader included such high-profile figures as Prince Turki al-Faisal al-Saud, the Saudi intelligence chief.

Remaining reverent of Bin Laden, Moussaoui claimed  that "Shaykh Osama" made sure to keep a record of his organizations providers, wanting to know "who is to be listened to" and "who contribute(s) to the jihad."

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