Some of the largest mosques and Islamic centers in America are funded by the royal government of Saudi Arabia, which gets most of its revenues from oil exports. And America is its biggest customer.
"You certainly can say that U.S. oil purchases end up funding U.S. mosques," said Daniel Pipes, a former State and Defense department official who now heads the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia.
So what? More and more, Saudi is embracing a radical and acutely violent strain of Islam called "Wahhabism," one that is spreading rapidly from its borders. Most of the Saudi people adhere to this increasingly anti-American sect.
Saudi was home to 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers, as well as their leader, Osama bin Laden. And it has been a reluctant ally in America's war on terror. Now federal authorities are investigating whether Saudi laundered money to Islamic terrorist groups through U.S.-based Muslim charities. Some 80 groups have recently received subpoenas for financial records.
Of the more than 1,200 mosques in America, more than 80 percent have been built within the last 20 years – thanks in large part to Saudi money, according to Reza F. Safa, author of "Inside Islam."
"Saudi Arabia alone has spent $87 billion since 1973 to spread Islam throughout the United States and the Western hemisphere," Safa said.
More than a year and a half later, in a September 10, 2003, press release entitled SCHUMER: SAUDIS PLAYING ROLE IN SPREADING MAIN TERROR INFLUENCE IN UNITED STATES,
US Senator Charles Schumer discussed the role that top officials in the Saudi government, including Interior Minister Prince Naif , play in spreading militant Wahhabism in the United States and throughout the Middle East. Schumer detailed how prominent members of the Saudi royal family have set up charities that funnel money to mosques and madrassah schools that advance Wahhabi teachings.
The Senator starts out:
Before I start my statement, however, I want to make one point crystal clear: mainstream Islam is a peaceful religion that deserves the respect of all Americans. It has a proud history and many of the people who follow its beliefs here in the United States are hardworking, patriotic citizens.
It is true that many of the people who follow its beliefs in the US are decent citizens; however, the idea that mainstream Islam is a peaceful religion is utterly ridiculous. Islam is founded upon the idea that it is a service to Allah to forcefully conquer non-Muslims, enslave or kill them, and take their possessions.
Like many other people, so are many Muslims basically decent at heart. They strayed away from that foundation, and many Islamic communities over the centuries have been basically peaceful. However, Islam's militant foundation, essentially the philosophy of a band of pirates, remains; hence, when calls go out from preachers of extremism to return to the extremist teaching at the foundation of their ideology, those calls resonate: amidst cries of Jihad, the piracy commences again, as people return to that "olde-tyme religion".
The Senator continues:
Wahhabism is known throughout the Muslim world for its puritanical and severe approach to the teachings of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. It preaches violence against non-believers or infidels and serves as the religious basis for Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda.
Experts agree that Saudi Arabia is the epicenter of Wahhabist belief and its extremist teachings. Unfortunately, there is mounting evidence that Saudi sponsored groups are trying to hijack mainstream Islam here in the United States – in mosques, in schools, and even in prisons and the military – and replace it with Wahhabism.
As we will hear today, in the 1960s and 1970s, the Saudi royal family made a deal with the devil, offering to sponsor the teachings of Wahhabist clerics in exchange for their support of the Royal Family’s rule. Wahhabi teachings include examples of Allah cursing Jews and Christians and turning some of them into apes and pigs; and warnings that Muslims must consider non-Muslims or infidels their enemy.
One of the terms of the dirty deal between the Saudi Royal Family and its Wahhabi partners has been the export of Wahhabist belief as part of Saudi foreign policy. Prominent members of the Saudi royal family – including Prince Naif, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Minister and anti-terror czar – have set up charities that funnel money to Wahhabi madrassah schools throughout the Middle East and Pakistan, making these areas hotbeds of anti-American sentiment and extremism.
Senator Schumer got it almost right: the "Deal with the Devil" was made three centuries ago; in recent decades it was only renewed.
Naif is a particularly bad seed. He’s made comments insisting that Zionists were responsible for 9-11 and claimed that Saudis citizens could not have been involved in the attack, even after the Saudi government admitted that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi.
He also oversees the Saudi Committee for the Support of the Al Quds Intifadah, which, like Saddam Hussein, has provided families of terrorists with millions of dollars through specially designated bank accounts. It seems impossible to expect cooperation in the War on Terror from someone who sponsors extremist and hateful religious belief and encourages terrorist actions. After the bombing of the Khobar Towers in 1998 that killed 19 Americans, it was Naif who single-handedly prevented the trial of 13 Saudis indicted for the crime.
Even as I speak, he appears to be up to his old tricks as reports indicate that Saudi officials have for months denied American agents access to a Saudi with knowledge of extensive plans to release poison gas into the New York City subway system.
It boggles my mind that on the eve of the second anniversary of September 11th, we cannot access someone who may have knowledge of a new 9-11 in the making, all because of the intimate relationship Saudi bigwigs have with extremist Wahhabi clerics.
The political leadership of one of our main "allies" in the war on terror refuses to help prevent future acts of terror. With friends like that, no wonder 9/11 occurred.
That’s why I wrote to the Saudi Arabian ambassador Prince Bandar in July calling for Naif’s dismissal. Sadly, I was rudely dismissed. Earlier this week, I wrote to Secretary Powell asking him to make Naif’s removal part of US policy toward Saudi Arabia. I eagerly await the Secretary’s response. There are indications that Prince Sultan, the Saudi Defense Minister, may also be involved in activities similar to Naif since he has also set up charities that send money abroad for apparently humanitarian purposes.
And the money we are talking about here is not small potatoes. According to the Saudi Arabian Information Resource, between 1975 and 1987, Saudi Arabia sent $48 billion overseas in development aid, second only to the United States.
While all of this is terribly alarming – and no doubt contributed to the events of 9-11 – the most disturbing news is that Wahhabism – backed by truckloads of Saudi oil money – is now making inroads here in the United States. Saudi Arabia boasts of directly supporting over 18 mosques and schools across the country, including Islamic Centers in Washington and New York.
Saudzilla rampages through the heart of America.
The Council on American Islamic Relations – perhaps the most famous of these groups – reportedly received financial support from Saudi-funded organizations to build its $3.5 million headquarters here in Washington.
This may explain why in April 2001, the Council released a survey saying that 69% of Muslims in America say it is “absolutely fundamental” or “very important” to have Wahhabi teachings at their mosques.
Now I don’t believe that these figures reflect the true feeling of the American Muslim community because the extremist Wahhabi ideology is violent, exclusionary and intolerant. It denigrates not only Christianity and Judaism, but also Shia and moderate Sunni Islam. Yet the leaders of these extremist organizations are smart and have public relations savvy. They know how to promote their cause and are willing to do what is needed to get backing from Saudi oil money.
They don't just "denigrate" Christianity, Judaism, Shiism and mainstream Suniism -- they seek to exterminate it!
There's finger in the pie -- a Saudi Goldfinger.
Other Muslim community groups in the United States – the Islamic Society of North America, the Graduate School for Islamic Social Sciences and the American Muslim Foundation to name a few – also receive money from Saudi sources and exhibit Wahhabi influence. The Graduate School and the American Muslim Foundation are both currently under investigation by the US government for terrorist financing
As I noted during the previous hearings we held, this is why it is so disturbing that these groups – and only these groups – are used by the US military and the Federal Bureau of Prisons to help select imams to minister in their ranks. These groups, with their Wahhabist tenets, clearly do not represent mainstream Islam, a system of belief that is peaceful and preaches respect and tolerance of other religions. But there should be no doubt that these organizations are on a mission to claim the American Muslim community as their own.
Official Washington can do much to counteract this movement by recognizing American Islamic groups that do not take Saudi money and which do not endorse Wahhabist teachings. These are the people who should be invited to White House prayer breakfasts instead of those who have publicly praised suicide martyrdom.
The suicide martyers being praised by those who attend these prayer breakfasts are the henchmen of the buddies of their financial backers: again from U.S.-Saudi oil imports fund American mosques:
Little known is that Saudis have been accused of involvement in two terrorist attacks on Americans in Saudi Arabia – the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Dharhan, which killed 19 U.S. airmen, and the 1995 bombing of a Riyadh military center that left five Americans dead.
Even less known is that Saudi-born bin Laden had closer links to Saudi intelligence than to the CIA during the Afghan-Soviet war.
During the '80s, he was "effectively working as an arm of Saudi intelligence," said Peter Bergen, author of "Holy War Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden."
Bin Laden comes from a wealthy and connected Saudi family, as did some of the hijackers.
None of this is new information, nor is it something that is not current. In an editorial last month entitled The Boston mosque's Saudi connection, a Boston Globe columnist pointed out how decent people from the Muslim community have been warning us for years about the problems from Saudi subversion in America's Islamic community:
SPEAKING AT the State Department in 1999, Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, a Sufi sheik and leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of America, sounded an alarm about Muslim houses of worship in the United States.
"The most dangerous thing that is going on now in these mosques . . . is the extremists' ideology," he said. "Because they are very active, they took over the mosques; . . . they took over more than 80 percent of the mosques that have been established in the US." He warned ominously that "a danger might suddenly come that you are not looking for . . . we don't know where it is going to hit."
When Kabbani was condemned by other Muslim organizations, he stood his ground. His assessment of the leadership of US mosques, he said, was based on having visited scores of them, and in a subsequent interview he explained the extremists' pattern of infiltration.
Muslim immigrants to the United States "came with a good heart . . . and they wanted a place to pray," Kabbani told the Middle East Quarterly. "They collected money and they built mosques in their community. Slowly, certain Middle Eastern groups seized these mosques, promoting political and ideological agendas rooted in their home countries' problems. . . . Slowly, such groups took over many mosques either directly or by unseen pressure on the moderate board members, and now an antagonistic mentality controls them. The extremists -- not ordinary believers -- changed the use of American mosques into centers of intolerant political dogma."
At the time, Kabbani's charges may have seemed little more than inside Muslim baseball. After Sept. 11, it became clear that mosques dominated by radical clerics were a potentially lethal threat. Many such mosques are funded by Saudi Arabia, which spends heavily to propagate Wahhabism, a fanatic and aggressive strain of Islam. The Saudi government, reported the 9/11 Commission, "uses zakat" -- Islamic charity -- "and government funds to spread Wahhabi beliefs throughout the world, including in mosques and schools. . . . Some Wahhabi-funded organizations have been exploited by extremists to further their goal of violent jihad against non-Muslims." Its findings were reinforced by Freedom House, which in 2005 documented the penetration of US mosques by Saudi-supplied Wahhabi hate literature.
Again from Senator Schumer's 2003 press release:
The Bush Administration can also help by striking at the source of these organizations’ support: Saudi oil money. Secretary Powell and others must make it clear to the Saudi Royal Family that if it does not end its dirty deal with the extremist Wahhabi clerics, it will ends its relationship with the United States.
"[I]t will ends [sic] its relationship with the United States."???
How's about a declaration of war and regime change in Saudi Arabia!!!
From U.S.-Saudi oil imports fund American mosques:
Despite Saudi Arabia's growing anti-American extremism, attempts to reduce U.S. dependence on Saudi oil have fallen flat.
America imports more than half its oil supply, and Saudi is its biggest overseas supplier, shipping more than 1.5 million barrels here a day, according to the American Petroleum Institute. (Canada is actually America's biggest overall foreign supplier.)
Meanwhile, in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge...
Opening up the area to exploration would produce an estimated 6 billion to 16 billion additional barrels of domestic crude – potentially replacing all of what America imports from the Saudis for the next 30 years, according to the National Center for Public Policy Research.
That would, in turn, dry up some major Saudi money for mosques and the spreading of Islamism in America.
And by the time that oil ran out, we could be converted over to alternative fuels produced in the American Midwest, with our dollars going to American families, instead of relying on oil from the radical Islamic Middle East, with our dollars going to the Saudi Royal Family and their terrorist buddies.
Take a good look around at America, ladies and gentlemen.
If these guys take over, Mt. Rushmore will go the way of the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley. The Statue of Liberty is in very real danger of going that way in the next terror strike.
We want to make sure we preserve America's treasures of nature, so our children will be able to experience them tomorrow, and not just have to imagine as we remember and tell them.
But pristine nature isn't the only thing in America that's endangered; unless we take some proactive steps to preserve another of America's treasures, one that does not come free, Lady Liberty, we may not have her tomorrow. And, if we don't have Lady Liberty, where will we get the freedom to preserve our treasures of nature?
Will our freedom be something that our children don't know? Will liberty itself be something that they will have to be told about?
Will we be allowed to tell them, or will we have to remember silently?
Lady Liberty herself is asking you: Will you remember me tomorrow?