How Global Jihad is Being Accomplished

We are all aware of the obvious means by which Islamists are extending Islam throughout the world, and how they are attempting to establish a universal caliphate. The use of terror is a major part of jihadist expansionism. Suicide bombers have been very successful in destabilising the West and helping to export radical Islam and sharia law around the globe.

A good illustration of this was recently reported in the Sunday Times. According to the report, British school kids are being groomed by radicals to become suicide bombers. Here is how the news item begins:

“Police have identified children as young as seven being groomed for terrorism, with some expressing a wish to become suicide bombers. Up to 10 primary school pupils, aged between seven and 10, have been placed on a government outreach programme for individuals considered at risk of being radicalised and turning to violence. Some have taken inspiration from jihadi websites or after viewing extremist material in Islamic bookshops. One child was referred to the programme by his teacher after writing on a school book: ‘I want to be a suicide bomber’.”

The dangers to the free West from such obvious threats are easy enough to identify. But there are other, more covert, ways in which sharia law is being promoted and Islamic expansionism is taking place. I refer to sharia financing and specifically to the Muslim funding of Islamic studies in Western universities.

Millions of dollars over the years have poured in from Arabic and Islamic sources to finance the study of Islam in the West. And with such heavy bankrolling, guess what slant on the issue is being presented? This is simply a version of stealth jihad, whereby Islamists aims are being realised without firing a shot (or detonating a bomb).

A number of authors have written up this worrying trend. One very important analysis of this issue has appeared in the recent National Observer. This Australian quarterly has featured articles about this before, including two pieces by Australian academic Mervyn Bendle on Saudi and Muslim funding of Australian universities (Autumn 2007, Winter 2008).

In this new article, Anthony Glees, professor of security and intelligence at the University of Buckinghamshire, UK, offers a detailed look at such funding, and the dangers it poses to Western democracies. He concentrates on British universities, especially Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh, noting how this funding is not even regulated by the British government.

Says Glees, the radical jihadist is often the product of the education system: “In fact, there is increasing evidence to suggest that when Muslims turn to Islamism, it is the direct result of physical exposure to extreme ideology, frequently taking place in the penumbra of radical mosques and associated Islamic studies centres, be they in Western countries or in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Exposure to extreme and politicised interpretations of the peaceful faith of Islam is always the necessary precondition of terror.”

Yet Western nations are doing little to prevent this radicalisation: “They are not only failing to monitor properly the activities of radical imams (the Fort Hood example is but the latest of many such intelligence failures), but allowing the Islamic studies centres to mushroom, totally out of control. They are making radicalisation and ideological transfer easier, not harder, and increasing the security risk rather than containing it.”

Indeed, Western governments are often compounding the problems: “In Britain, it is actually official government policy to expand the teaching of Islamic studies so that every single Muslim student in the UK will be able to take this subject. There are currently some 635 students undertaking Islamic studies in British universities. If the government succeeds in its stated objective, this number would increase by a further 89,365 (the Federation of Student Islamic Societies estimates that there are about 90,000 Muslim students in Britain).”

And there are big bucks in all of this: “Over the past ten years, some £237m has been handed over or pledged. Of this at least an astonishing £172m (some 70 per cent) has been given to establish Islamic studies centres in the UK’s state-funded universities. None of this money is regulated by the government in any way whatsoever.

“Some 62 per cent (approximately £157m) of the approximately £260m of Arab and Islamic money that has come into British higher education over the past decade has gone into Islamic studies teaching. The British government has so far pledged only £1m. Or, to put it another way, Arab and Islamic funders have put perhaps 157 times more cash into Islamic studies in British universities than has the government….

“The lion’s share of the funding (perhaps some £169.8m) comes from Saudi Arabia. Oxford University has been the chief beneficiary of Arab and Islamic generosity, pocketing about 74 per cent of the total donated or promised (£175.2m out of £237.5m), or 52 per cent of the total received to date (£49.9m out of £94.89m). The Saudi businessman and arms dealer, Wafic Said, has funded the business school which proudly bears his name (£20m already donated, a further £15m pledged). But this is no run-of-the-mill business school, as its ‘Saudi Advanced Management Programme’ makes clear. The Saudis have also given at least £20m to the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (a ‘recognised independent centre of the University’ famous for its Muslim-only ‘leadership programmes’), which occupies a prime multi-million-pound site, sold by Magdalen College. It comes replete with an exotic mosque and minarets dominating the surrounding area.”

Not that all such funding is bound to corrupt: “No one suggests, of course, that the academics there have had their minds changed by the lure of funding: they write and say what they would write and say in any event. But where their views are hostile to American and British foreign policy or to Israel, as they frequently are, the funding that their institutions receive gives those views far greater traction and prominence than they would otherwise have. That, after all, is why the new Middle East centre building has been donated to Oxford.”

So what should be done? “Over and above this, it is surely good sense for a free society, in seeking to fight the seemingly unstoppable growth in Islamist terrorism, to do nothing to expedite it and everything to slow it down. That means not just that Arab and Islamic funding should be regulated by law, but that the expansion of Islamic studies centres, which could cause young Muslims to tip over the edge and descend into violence, should be halted at once.”

Glees concludes, “The vast majority of Muslims reject Islamism. But a small minority will embrace it. The answer to this problem is not to increase exposure to Islam by building ever more Islamic centres but, as with all religious activity, to confine the study of Islam — and other Middle Eastern issues — in a balanced way, within the bounds set by Western ideas of pluralism and rational, even sceptical, debate. The last thing that Britain needs today is to increase the possible risk of violent extremism….

“This is not an attempt to stifle dissenting viewpoints, still less to crush the proper study of Islam. But the time has come to make life much harder for extremist teachers, not because extremism always leads to terrorism or violence. It does not. Yet every terrorist has been an extremist and a radical.”

Quite right. The war on terror must be fought on every front. Military responses alone are not enough. Clear-headed thinking about what is happening on our campuses and other parts of the West also needs to be fostered. Otherwise we are simply granting the jihadists what they seek – on a silver platter.

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7 Replies to “How Global Jihad is Being Accomplished”

  1. Bill, at the beginning of this article, you refer to the mixture of ways in which the Islamist cause is furthered. I’m reminded of the IRA terrorist campaigns in Britain in the 1970s and ’80s (largely funded by Americans, of course, its terrorists often protected by the US legal system). The IRA policy was to further their “cause” by means of “the Kalashnikov and the ballot box” – use violence, and also political processes. But, as you point out, Islamism has the further weapon of using education, including buying stakes in ancient (originally Christian) universities. Certainly the Muslim presence in Oxford gives another dimension to the debate betweem theists and radical atheists which has gone on in Oxford, and still is.
    John Thomas, UK

  2. Dear Bill, Thank you for passing on the important information Andrew Glees makes in the National Observer about the unmonitored funding of Islamic study centres in Britain.

    I can’t say I am surprised. Oxford was always a hot bed of anti Catholicism since the Reformation so Islamists would be clever enough to know where to get a foot in and make the most of British society’s post Christian state of indifference. Nominal Christians in Britain would be oblivious to the danger this poses and would tend to turn to organisations like the BNP. All may not be lost, although it is late in the day, with large numbers of Anglicans going over to the English Catholic Church and the Pope John Paul 2 generation of Polish Catholics influencing it there may be more resistance to it than they bargained for.

    Patricia Halligan

  3. Dear Bill,
    The one good thing about the global warming argument was that it was forcing people to look at alternatives to fossil based fuels.The use of renewable resources would directly hurt muslim nations who fund the export of fundamental Islam through various means, as it would cut off their funding. We are funding our own demise by continuing the use of oil.
    Bring on electric, water and compressed air cars and then see how iIslam fares.
    Lou d’Alpuget

  4. Lou, all we need is for the west to become energy self-sufficient. This doesn’t necessarily mean abandonment of fossil fuels. If shale oil deposits were developed and coal liquification technology was pursued, much of the west could be self-sufficient especially if you include nuclear power. But as usual, it’s the radical green agenda that’s preventing many of these projects from going ahead and thereby continuing our reliance on mid-east oil.

    Ewan McDonald.

  5. 2 days after this article arrived in my husband’s inbox, I received the article copied below from a non Christian cousin. It is probably “old hat” and its provenance may be apocryphal, but it contains some thoughtful truths we need to bear in mind both for radical Islam (though I personally do NOT believe Islam to be as peaceful as some do – even if some adherents are peace-loving) and for your other article on the homosexual lobby.

    A German’s View on Islam
    A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.
    “Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen.
    Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”
    We are told again and again by “experts” and “talking heads” that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant.
    It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectra of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.
    The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.
    The hard quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the “silent majority,” is cowed and extraneous.
    Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority was irrelevant.
    China ‘s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.
    The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet.
    And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were “peace loving”?
    History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.
    Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.
    As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts: the fanatics who threaten our way of life.
    Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on is contributing to the passivity that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world wide, read this and think about it, and send it on before it’s too late.
    And remember, the first thing the fanatics will do to the silent majority, is to disarm them.
    Gerhard Grünewald, Berlin

    Katharine Hornsby

  6. Well done!!! Another attack on Islam! Truly original and racist stuff, Bil.
    James Hornby

  7. Thanks James

    But all your rather juvenile remark does is tell us a fair amount about yourself:

    -You obviously know nothing about Islam, since it happens to be a religion, not a race.
    -You evidently approve of Islamist terrorism and jihad.
    -You have difficulties reading, since I clearly said, “The vast majority of Muslims reject Islamism”.
    -You simply prefer shooting the messenger.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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