Between Maliki's statements and the latest deal with Iran, there is little time or attention left to cover Saudi Arabian Wahhabism. What a pity, too, because while the cat is away, the mice do play. But unlike rather recent stories concerning Sharia law in England, this bit of news comes from the other end of Europe. Serbia, Kosovo and Albania just don't filter into our consciousness unless there are genocidal outbreaks of civil war. Meanwhile, the bad guys are growing their outposts in the War on Terror.
The Bin Ladens of the Balkans, Part I
Michael J. Totten, July 21, 2008
Saudi-funded NGOs volunteered to help rebuild mosques destroyed by the Yugoslav Army and Serbian nationalist paramilitary forces, which is fine and good as far as it goes, but there’s a catch. The same individuals hope to transform Kosovo’s liberal Balkan Islam into the much sterner Wahhabi variety practiced in the harsh deserts of Saudi Arabia.
“We don't call them Wahhabis here,” a prominent Albanian woman told me. “We call them Binladensa, the people of Bin Laden.” Believe me, in Kosovo that isn’t a compliment...
For those who view Islam itself as the evil to be defeated, they miss a crucial element to this story. The moderate, tolerant Muslims belonging to different traditions of Islam are being swept away by a most powerful tsunami - it's epicenter, Saudi Arabia (via Egypt) - its victims include (but not limited to): Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kuwait, Male, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen. Just four years ago, Stephen Schwartz made the following observation during an interview with the National Review:
In Tetovo, the center of Albanian agitation during the short Macedonian war, I interviewed Arben Xhaferi (pronounced Jaferi), a sociologist by profession and leader of the Albanian Democratic party, known by its Albanian initials as the PDSh. Xhaferi is considered both the main Albanian leader in Macedonia and the outstanding local critic of Wahhabi influence...
"It is absurd that Wahhabis should come here and demand, in the name of Islam, that we live and dress like them," Xhaferi said. "Albanians will not allow foreigners of any kind to tell us our customs must be abandoned and our behavior determined by Islamic totalitarians. We have our own history, our own culture, and our own Albanian model of Islam, based on interfaith respect and the understanding that religion is private. They will not destroy us."
Now we hear this:
...Professor Hamiti said “We are Muslims, we cannot deny that, but as you see in the street, it is completely different. Here people are Muslims, but they think like Europeans. You should write about this because people don’t know it.”
“What about the very conservative Muslims coming here from Saudi Arabia and building mosques?” I said. “Do you think this is a problem?”
I think it’s a problem. It is even a problem in the United States...
Of course the leverage of Wahhabis should come as no surprise. When you can extract oil by the barrel for a few dollars and sell it for a hundred and change, you can buy a lot of "friends" in this world:
...“The involvement of Wahhabis causes concerns in the U.S.,” I said. “Do they control what is said inside the mosques?”
“In some mosques, yes,” he said.
“How do they do that?” I said. “Money?”
“Yes,” he said.
So the trick isn't getting ourselves off of foreign oil, because booming economies like India and China will add to the enormous wealth of Saudia Arabia and the rest of the OPEC nations. The real trick is to make oil less valuable than water, thereby changing the global economic pressures so that dollars flow OUT of the middle east and into our pockets. In the process, our cultural values become more influential. Conservatives, Christians, Republicans, et al. please take note, as with India's Dalits, the opportunities exist. The world wants and needs our help and the Wahhabis are stepping in to fill the void with their ideology and our money.
It's often said - with hope - "tomorrow is another day." Well tomorrow, Tuesday July 22, Dr. Gal Luft of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and co-founder of the Set America Free Coalition is set to testify before Congress, "document[ing] of the insidious role the Saudi-led oil cartel, OPEC, is playing in restricting supply and manipulating prices in a manner consistent with the sort of economic warfare against the West promised a decade ago by Al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden." I hope he will be heard.