Germany says Saudi spreads Wahabism in Kosovo

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The German government says missionary groups from Saudi Arabia are spreading the Wahabism in Kosovo.

In a response to questions from opposition lawmakers, the government says Saudi-backed preachers are active in the small Muslim-majority country in southeastern Europe.

The German government says donors from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states are also funding Islamic communities in Kosovo. The country is a significant source of foreign fighters for groups such as the ISIS.

But the government notes that there doesn't appear to be a "broad movement away from traditional liberal interpretation of Islam toward a Wahabi interpretation'' in Kosovo.

Left Party lawmaker Sevim Dagdelen said today it was "scandalous'' that hard-line Saudi preachers were active in Kosovo under the eyes of western peacekeepers.

In February, Belgium also expressed concern about the matter. A report by De Standaard newspaper said Belgium's OCAM national crisis center had warned about Wahhabism being preached in an increasing number of mosques in the country with financial support from Riyadh. The report also said Saudi Arabia had initiated a "generous" grant system for foreign students who are later encouraged to indoctrinate people in Belgium and other countries with Wahhabism.

In April 2016, the Telegraph said Wahhabi preachers were spreading extremism across Bosnia. Bosnian parents blamed Wahhabi followers for recruiting their sons to fight alongside militants in battlefields in the Middle East.

Estimates say some 30,000 foreign militants from about 104 countries were fighting in Iraq and Syria in a time span of one year beginning from September 2014. European militants are likely to return to their home countries and, battle-hardened, plot to carry out attacks there.

Back in November 2015, ISIS claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in the French capital, Paris, where a total of 130 people were killed. Investigations revealed that the perpetrators were mostly based in Belgium.

In March 2016, two bomb attacks in Belgium's capital, Brussels, killed at least 14 people and left nearly 100 people wounded.



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