Saudi Arabia has been funding mosques all over Europe, which have become hotbeds of extremism, the former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sir William Patey has said.
His comments came a day after the government published a short summary of a Home Office, commissioned in connection with the financing of extremism in the UNITED kingdom. The full report is not published for security reasons.
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Patey said he did not believe that Saudi Arabia was directly funding terrorist groups, but rather an ideology that leads to extremism, and suggested that its leaders may not be aware of the consequences. â€œIt’s not healthy and we need to do something about it,â€ he said.
â€œThe Saudis [are] not quite appreciated the impact the funding of a certain type of Islam is having in the countries in which they do it â€“ it is not only Britain and Europe.
â€œThat is a dialogue we need to have. Are not the financing of terrorism. Are funding something else, that may down the road lead to the individual radical groups and become fodder for terrorism.â€
Patey said that the Saudis â€œfind every simple to remove the idea that they are funding terrorism because they are not.
â€œWhat the World Association [sic] of Muslim Youth and the Muslim World League are funding the mosques and the promotion of an ideology â€“ the Salifist Wahhabist ideology.â€
He asked for clarity on the definition of financing of terrorism, and â€œan adult dialogue with the Gulf about what we thinkâ€. There were also â€œindividual citizens of the Gulf who have challenged their governments to fund terrorism,â€ Patey added.
Patey, who was the ambassador of UNITED kingdom in Riyadh from 2006 to 2010, and previously head of the Foreign Office’s Middle East desk, is also in doubt as to whether Saudi Arabia and its allies had worked out the implications of their dispute with Qatar.
Three Gulf States â€“ Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) â€“ together with Egypt, have tried to isolate the Qatar diplomatically and economically, citing its support for terrorism and groups such as the Muslim brotherhood.
â€œThis has all the characteristics of a policy that has not been thought of. Do not smack of a strategy,â€ Patey said at the round table in London organised by the Conservative Middle East Council.
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â€œIt is not a smart move, even if you are sympathetic to their vision. It is a short cut to get something quickly and I think that they were wrong and I think they did think that with Trump behind them, the Qatar would back down. Have raised these bets because they thought that Qatar would back down at the end, so I think they were a bit surprised.â€
The boycott had failed, he argued and far from the leader of a coup in Qatar, a cult that had developed around the new popular emir. â€œThe Qataris are rallying around their leadership,â€ Patey said.
He said that he believed that the real reason for the dispute is not the state of Qatar of funding terrorism, but a wider difference in the political vision. â€œThis is about the Muslim Brotherhood. It is a battle for the future of the Middle East,â€ he said.
Patey also asked if all the emirates within the united arab EMIRATES, united states behind the boycott. â€œThis is on Abu Dhabi to assert its dominance in foreign policy issues, because this is not in Dubai interest,â€ he said.
Speaking at the same event, Michael Stephens, the head of the Royal United Services Institute Qatar desk, said the Gulf of riga may lead to an intractable dispute that could induce the investors to seriously think about disinvesting in the Gulf.
â€œNow we are facing five weeks of the conflict, when most people thought that would last 72 hours,â€ he said, asking a series of de-escalatory measures that will lead to a joint agreement to fight extremism.