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Yet it was difficult to find any direct link between the bombers and the Saudi legacy in the Belgian capital.Several suspects had petty criminal backgrounds; their knowledge of Islam was described by friends as superficial; they did not appear to be regulars at any mosque.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.
Saudi leaders’ ideological reform efforts, encompassing textbooks and preaching, amount to a tacit recognition that its religious exports have sometimes backfired.
In The Washington Post, Fareed Zakaria writes that the Saudis have “created a monster in the world of Islam.”The idea has become a commonplace: that Saudi Arabia’s export of the rigid, bigoted, patriarchal, fundamentalist strain of Islam known as Wahhabism has fueled global extremism and contributed to terrorism.
As the Islamic State projects its menacing calls for violence into the West, directing or inspiring terrorist attacks in country after country, an old debate over Saudi influence on Islam has taken on new relevance.“It’s so difficult these days,” he said. We just had economic problems, but we were culturally sound.”He added, “But now it’s very difficult, because some people want Saudi culture to be our culture, and others are opposing that.”C.
That is the disputed question, of course: how the world would be different without decades of Saudi-funded shaping of Islam.
Though there is a widespread belief that Saudi influence has contributed to the growth of terrorism, it is rare to find a direct case of cause and effect.