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A prominent cleric, Saad bin Nasser al-Shethri, had been stripped of a leadership position by the previous king, Abdullah, for condemning coeducation. Shethri to the job last year, not long after the cleric had joined the chorus of official voices criticizing the Islamic State. Shethri’s reasoning for denouncing the Islamic State suggested the difficulty of change.Expatica is the international community’s online home away from home.Read more Living abroad is an incredible opportunity to rediscover and reinvent yourself, including the romantic side of your life.Transcending cultural differences and customs is just a small step to achieve that.Jones, who has visited or lived in Indonesia since the 1970s, the Saudi influence “has contributed to a more conservative, more intolerant atmosphere.” (President Obama, who lived in Indonesia as a boy, has remarked on the same phenomenon.) She said she believed money from private Saudi donors and foundations was behind campaigns in Indonesia against Shiite and Ahmadi Islam, considered heretical by Wahhabi teaching.Some well-known Indonesian religious vigilantes are Saudi-educated, she said. Jones studied the approximately 1,000 people arrested in Indonesia on terrorism charges since 2002, she found only a few — “literally four or five” — with ties to Wahhabi or Salafi institutions.A must-read for English-speaking expatriates and internationals across Europe, Expatica provides a tailored local news service and essential information on living, working, and moving to your country of choice.With in-depth features, Expatica brings the international community closer together.
If there was a Saudi connection, it was highly indirect, perhaps playing out over a generation or longer.
And Brussels’ immigrant neighborhoods, notably Molenbeek, have long been the home of storefront mosques teaching hard-line Salafi views.
After the terrorist attacks in Paris in November and in Brussels in March were tied to an Islamic State cell in Belgium, the Saudi history was the subject of several news media reports.
Whatever the global effects of decades of Saudi proselytizing, it is under greater scrutiny than ever, from outside and inside the kingdom.
Saudi leaders’ ideological reform efforts, encompassing textbooks and preaching, amount to a tacit recognition that its religious exports have sometimes backfired.