It is not enough that the Saudi state entrench the vile extremist Islam of Wahhabism; a doctrine so radical a break from the Islam that most Muslims know that even the brother of Abdul-Wahab condemned his ideology. But the Saudis also spends hundreds of millions, if not billions, of oil-dollars each year on spreading their extremist form of Islam from the Muslim world, to Europe and America.
The New York Times recently noted a religious revival in among Muslims in Bosnia; Muslims make up 45% of Bosnians. Although this religious revival is benign for most Bosnian Muslims seeking solace in their faith, there is a worrying Wahhabi strain among some Bosniaks [Muslims Bosnians] that previously was not there.
The culprit is the $700 million invested in Bosnia by Saudi groups since the end of the early 1990s civil war. Most of this monoey has gone into building Mosques. But can Bosnian Muslims take the money and ignore the Wahhabi doctrine?
Yes, for the most part. The Grand Mufti [main Islam leader], Mustafa Efendi Ceric, in Bosnia is no Wahhabi who adheres to the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence.
A study done by the University of Sarajevo on 600 Bosniaks recorded that 60% of them believe religious is a private matter. Most Bosniaks believe in the separation between “church” and state. And religious teaching was recently introduced into state primary schools, many Muslim parents protested at the idea of the state teaching Islam.
Sociologist in the country “stress that most Bosnian Muslims still believe that Islam has no place in public life.” 5,000 Muslim parents signed a petition against state Islamic education in schools. The practice has also been criticized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a Vienna-based group that monitors democracy. The woman who led the petition, Vedrana Pinjo-Neuschul, says she has received hate mail in Arabic.
A prominent Muslim intellectual, who was imprisoned during Soviet times for Islamic activism, has also criticized Islam in the classroom. He calls it “a crime against children,” and notes that the Prophet himself stated that Islam should only be taught to those children seven years or older. “The Prophet says to teach children to kneel as Muslims, only after the age of 7. No one has any right to do that before then because it is an affront to freedom, the imagination and fun of the child’s world,” Professor Mustafa Effendi Spahic stated.
[A Muslim praying at the new $28 million King Fahd Mosque, a complex that features a sports and cultural center. The Mosque is most likely Saudi financed, because the name Fahd most likely belongs to the late Saudi King who reigned from 1982 to 2005. Photo Source: The New York Times]
Although there are some extremist in the country, recently Salafi [Sunni extremists] Muslims detonated a bomb in a shopping mall, Grand Mufti Ceric says that Wahhabism has no future in Bosnia even if more Muslims become pious. Let’s hope so.
He stands among Muslim leaders and most Western analysts in stating that efforts to portray Bosnian Muslims as a group of growing extremists are nothing more than an attempt by Serb politics, among whom their prime minister recently referred to Sarajevo as the new Tehran, to justify their brutal ethnic cleansing and killing of tens of thousands of Muslims by the Serb army during the civil war years.