Saudi Arabia to stop funding mosques in foreign countries due to “security reasons”!

Former Saudi minister of justice, Mohammed Bin Abdul-Karim Issa, announced his country would no longer fund mosques in foreign countries, reported by a Swiss newspaper.

The report which appeared in the Swiss newspaper, Le Matin Dimanche, said a Mosque in Geneva is being handed over to a Swiss administrative council that will have an “elected cleric”.

The minister said, “The time has come to hand over the Geneva Mosque to a Swiss administrative council that represents Muslims in the area. It should have an elected cleric.”

The newspaper quoting Saudi Arabia’s former minister of justice Mohammed Bin Abdul-Karim Issa said the measure was being undertaken due to “security reasons”.

He disclosed that Saudi Arabia is to take the same measures with all the mosques all over the world, referring to “security reasons”.

Quoted by Swiss newspaper, Le Matin Dimanche, Mohammed Bin Abdul-Karim Issa said, “The same measures will be taken around the world. In every country, there will be a local board of administration set up in coordination with the national authorities. This is necessary, for example, for security reasons. We should ensure that the mosques end up in safe hands. Then we will no longer intervene”.

The move, if it becomes official policy will be a huge break from Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy. 

Since the 1960s, Saudi Arabia has sponsored multi-million dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam to the world, by 2007, Saudi Arabia had spent close to $2 billion annually on promoting this ideology.

It is also seen part of Saudi Arabia’s “soft power” having funded mosques in several countries which have Muslim communities including India.

Saudi Arabia’s latest statement quoted by the Swiss newspaper points to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman trying to modernise the country by separating politics and religion with the country already undergoing dramatic changes with women been authorized to drive and cinemas having been reopened.

On Thursday (23 January), Abdul-Karim Issa visited the Auschwitz camp on the 75th anniversary of its liberation were he honoured the Jewish victims of the Holocaust under the Nazi regime.