Islamism,  Middle East

Rehabilitating Saudi

Much has been made of Saudi Arabia’s crushing of domestic terrorists and “rehabilitation” of radical Islamists tempted by jihad yet amenable to a Saudi settlement of sorts. So much, in fact, that the Kingdom is now lavished with praise by western politicians and officials.

Indeed, some are so keen that they are exploring co-operation with Saudi Arabia in managing Islamist threats in their own countries. Not in isolated security cases alone, but in Islam and radicalism in general.

From pariah for all who knew the score in the aftermath of 9/11 to model, and within a decade. Well done, Saudi diplomats.

Here is an eye-popper in the genre. In May British minister Sadiq Khan offered this line about the Islamic University of Medina on his official visit to Saudi:

I was encouraged by the university’s obvious commitment to ensure that the students have sufficient expertise and knowledge to stand in the way of violent extremism.

That university is the alma mater of a number of radical Islamists covered here. I’m very sceptical, to bite my tongue about it all.

So is blogger Faisal, who is thankfully more polite than I might be on certain Saudi stories:

Saudi Arabia’s successes in rolling back religious radicalism at home are the result of a perfect storm of certain unique circumstances that simply do not exist in more troubling jihadist hot spots like Afghanistan and Pakistan or indeed amongst Islamist radicals in Britain. Complimenting the Saudis on their initiatives makes for pleasant diplomatic table talk, but politicians like Sadiq Khan should in addition, be putting public pressure on Saudi Arabia for its continued funding of international Islamist radicalism which have direct effects and repurcussions within Southasian communities in the UK.

If you would like to pitch in your two riyals, a thread is open at The Spittoon.

Anyway, this really must be made a sport at the London 2012 Olympics: