Jul 05

Saudi Arabia funding UK extremism

Tom Wilson names Saudi Arabia as a major funder of extremist ideology in the UK in today's Henry Jackson Society report

Tom Wilson names Saudi Arabia as a major funder of extremist ideology in the UK in today’s Henry Jackson Society report

Saudi Arabia is the leading overseas nation funding Muslim extremist ideology, a think-tank has claimed.

The Henry Jackson Society is named after the late anticommunist US Democrat hawk.  It has investigated links between a number of Gulf States and British mosques.

Its report, linked here, is published at a critical time.  The UK Government refuse to release their own report on foreign funding of Islamic extremism.  Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have ganged up on Qatar, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism.  That charge now looks hypocritical.  Qatar, of course, is home to the TV news station Al Jazeera.

Saudi Arabia ‘Foremost’

The report’s author is one Tom Wilson. He writes: ‘The foreign funding for Islamist extremism in Britain primarily comes from governments and government linked foundations based in the Gulf, as well as Iran. Foremost among these has been Saudi Arabia,’ he writes. He discovered that since the 1960s the Arabian state ‘has sponsored a multimillion dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world’.  Naturally, the ‘Islamic world’ includes ‘Muslim communities in the West’.

‘In the UK this funding has primarily taken the form of endowments to mosques and Islamic educational institutions, which have in turn played host to extremist preachers and the distribution of extremist literature. Influence has also been exerted through the training of British Muslim religious leaders in Saudi Arabia, as well as the use of Saudi textbooks in a number of the UK’s independent Islamic schools.

‘A number of Britain’s most serious Islamist hate preachers sit within the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology and are linked to extremism sponsored from overseas, either by having studied in Saudi Arabia as part of scholarship programmes, or by having been provided with extreme literature and material within the UK itself.’

UK Wahhabist mosques increased 60%

The think-tank says the money pouring out of Saudi Arabia  has increased in recent years. This has in turn increased the number of mosques in the UK promoting Islamic extremism.  Giving references, the report says:

‘In 2007 Saudi Arabia was estimated to be spending at least $2 billion annually on promoting Wahhabism worldwide. By 2015 that figure was believed to have doubled. The impact of this increased spending may well have been felt in Britain. In 2007, estimates put the number of mosques in Britain adhering to Salafism and Wahhabism at 68.  Seven years later, the number of British mosques identified with Wahhabism had risen to 110.’  That is a 62% increase.

Reaction of politicians

Theresa May getting on a bit too well with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef

Theresa May getting on a bit too well with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef

Politicians have reacted in various ways to the report.  Labour’s Dan Jarvis, once suggested as a leadership possibility, endorsed the report.

According to the BBC, ‘Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for the immediate suspension of UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia because of its human rights record and involvement in military action in Yemen.’

Meanwhile, Theresa May insisted the UK’s historic relationship with the desert kingdom is important for British security and trade.  She visited Saudi Arabia in April, and gained yet more arms deals.

The Independent reports recent UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia are worth a whopping £3.3 billion.

Extremism funding report ‘may never be published’

Tom Wilson says: ‘In June 2017 the UK government pledged to establish a commission for countering extremism.’ Accordingly, his report calls for this new body to prioritise the issue of foreign funding for Islamist extremism.  It also deplores the Government’s refusal so far to publish a report on the matter.  In January 2016, Prime Minister David Cameron told the Extremism Analysis Unit to investigate, as the Observer reported.  Theresa May was then Home Secretary, responsible for the Unit.

But the Guardian said in May: ’18 months later, the Home Office confirmed the report had not yet been completed and said it would not necessarily be published, calling the contents “very sensitive”.

‘A decision would be taken “after the election by the next government” about the future of the investigation, a Home Office spokesman said.’

MPs must take notice

Well, that’s now.  So where is the announcement of publication?  Could it be the Home Office report fingers Saudi Arabia, our main ‘Gulf Ally’ and armaments market?  The press has widely reported, for example here in the Indy, that Saudi Arabia and Turkey support and finance Sunni Salafist jihadist groups in Syria.  This report in The Atlantic highlights the importance of Salafist ideology in the terrorist mindset.  Muslim muhajideen fighting against US forces in Afghanistan or Israel in the Holy land are encouraged and too often funded by Saudi Arabia.  But what if the Saudi-funded extremists were a bit closer to home?

We need to know.  The UK Government must publish its report.  But until then, the Henry Jackson Society have done a good service in this instance.  They have shone a light into some very murky places.  We can only pray our MPs take notice.  The Governments’ first duty is to keep us safe.  They must take action now to stop the flow of money from this repressive, barbaric, Islamist regime.

You can email your MP using this Parliament link.  Ask your MP when the Government will publish its report into foreign funding of extremism.

Christian ethics would also demand an end to arms sales to the Saudis (as a start) In a complete rethink of our foreign policy:

2Chronicles 19:2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD. 

Luke 12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.

Click on the links below to share this article:



  1. tomfoolery

    This is no surprise in fact it’ has been an ‘open’ secret for many, many years. What is less known is that Britain helped with …’the Rise of Wahhabism and the House of Saud ‘ here’s a link [PDF] for anyone interested https://kanaanonline.org//articles/00361.pdf.

    1. Rox

      Thanks. This is an extremely interesting link describing how the world must blame an undercover British agent called Hempher who was aiming to undermine the Ottoman Empire in the early 1700s. If Hempher was so successful at making Islam more extreme in Arabia, what seems to be needed is a modern British agent who can make it less extreme. Perhaps this is going on even now ….

      Still, it’s worth bearing in mind what Wikipedia says about “The Memoirs of Mr Hempher”.
      It “is a document purporting to be the account by an 18th-century British agent, Hempher, of his instrumental role in founding the conservative Islamic reform movement of Wahhabism, as part of a conspiracy to corrupt Islam. It first appeared in 1888, in Turkish, in the five-volume Mir’at al-Haramayn of Ayyub Sabri Pasha (who is thought to be the actual author by at least one scholar).[1] It has been described as “apocryphal”,[2] a “forgery”, “utter nonsense”,[3] and “an Anglophobic variation on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”.[2]”

      Shucks !

      Incidentally Kana’an is run by Palestinians (Canaanites) who aim for “the realization of Arab unity, development, and socialism”. Fair enough, but perhaps one should bear in mind where this is coming from !

      It’s also interesting that there don’t seem to be a lot of British people who have the surname Hempher, in fact I can’t find any !

      1. Rox

        If Georgia reads this, she will turn up as usual to tell us that all Islam is extremist, or at least it really ought to be (a position which Mohammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhab might well agree with), But the Canaanite publication to which Tomfoolery refers us does use the word “extremist”, albeit mostly preferring similar words admittedly.

Leave a Reply