FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Britain admits Saudi terrorism link, again
Posted:Jul 7, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Poor old Tony Blair. He’s not having a good week.
 
First there was the indignity of being outed for not being ‘straight’ on Iraq by the man who spent seven years finding out. Then, on the anniversary of the London bombings, which also happened on his watch, a British think tank published important findings. Namely, that Saudi Arabia is responsible for funding extremism on British soil.
 
Hold. The. Front. Page.
 
This is something that London has known for rather a long time. More than a decade ago — again when Blair was in the hot seat — the government had started manoeuvring towards an outright ban on foreign-born imams. Especially those unable or unwilling to conduct sermons in English.
 
Yet in the immediate aftermath of 7/7 — Blair was splashed across television screens around the world, banging on about how “they” hate us for “our” freedoms. This has been a script that London Mayor Sadiq Khan returned to after both the Westminster and London Bridge attacks this year.  It is time to bring to an end this largely simplistic narrative that is usually churned out when political expediency is at stake.
 
Nevertheless, the Henry Jackson Society report is very clear: Saudi Arabia has spent a cool 67 billion GBP over the last three decades spreading globally its Wahabbi strain of Islam. In Britain-specific terms, this has translated into an estimated 110 mosques adhering to this ideology, with a combined capacity to hold around 45,000 followers as of 2014. (Though the latter refers to those mosques preferring to identity as Salafi).
 
The think tank has some tough words for the political leadership: get serious about tracking foreign funding and make all such findings public. The Cameron government held back on the conclusions of its counter-extremism strategy, launched in 2015. This was to look specifically into the role of overseas funding. Then, this year came another bombshell: the Downing Street pledge to establish a counter-extremism commission — yes, more red tape — by way of challenging foreign-funded Islamist extremism may never be published due to its overtly sensitive nature. Which may or may not suggest that the real priority is the dosh earned from lucrative arms deals with Saudi Arabia. Over the past three years, London has approved arms export licences to Riyadh worth some $4.7bn.
 
We support the Henry Jackson Society’s calls for the creation of new laws requiring mosques and other institutions to declare foreign funding. As well as the launching of a public inquiry into the overseas cash injections to hardline groups. These are issues that Pakistan, too, ought to be grappling with.
 
Yet we can’t help but feel that a piece of the conversational jigsaw is missing. Meaning, what of Britain’s penchant for militarised foreign policy? This is also part of the radicalisation puzzle. This is to say nothing of the government’s reckless “open door policy” — whereby it removes terrorist controls from those already on the radar and sends them off to fight in war zones that, in most cases, have erupted in the aftermath of British orchestrated regime change.
 
Scape-goating Saudi Arabia alone is not the answer.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Relations between India and Peru  are united by El Niño and the monsoon yet separated by vast distances across oceans.  Jorge Castaneda, Ambassador of Peru to India, talks to INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS exclusively about what is bringing the two geographically-apart countries closer.
 
read-more
Indian judge Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the International Court of Justice on Monday as the UN General Assembly rallied behind him in a show of force that made Britain  bow to the majority and withdraw its candidate.
 
read-more
Those with a resolve make a big difference to the society. They inspire others to make the best out of a bad situation, steer out of morass with fortitude. Insha Mushtaq, the teenage girl who was pelleted to complete blindness during 2016 emerged as a classic example of courage.
 
read-more
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have "great potential" and they could work together at a "practical level".
 
read-more
This week a major United Nations gathering on climate change gets underway in Bonn, Germany.
 
read-more

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to build India's global appeal for investors seem to have finally yielded returns in terms of the country's performance in the World Bank&rsquo...

 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.