A new report that surfaced claims that Saud Arabia is the primary source of promoting Islamist extremism in the UK.
The report was published in the Henry Jackson Society, a right-wing British think-tank stated that there was a clear link between Islamic extremism in the UK and Saudi Arabia. According to the reports, Saudi Arabia serves the Muslim community in the UK by providing funds, sending preachers with extremist tendencies along with Jihadist groups that encourage violence.
The think tank called for further inquiry into the involvement of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations in pushing extremist agendas in the UK.
The UK’s Saudi Arabia embassy denied all allegations saying all claims are “categorically false”.
Ministers in the UK are under pressure to release their own reports regarding the funding of extremism in the country.
In 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron had asked the Home Office to conduct an investigation on the existence and the funding of Jihadist groups within the country. The report has still not been completed.
Critics believe that could be due to the fear of severing ties between the UK and the Gulf countries which have been close allies of the UK. Additionally, they have strong security and economic links with some of these countries, specifically with Saudi Arabia.
Some political analysts believe that the report has in fact been completed yet there appears to be some hesitancy in making it public, possibly because it contains some embarrassing information.
On the report released by the think tank on Wednesday, accusing the Gulf countries and Iran of funding Islamic institutions and mosques that are led by preachers that hold and promote extremist views of Islam.
The report called out Saudi Arabia for leading the extremist agenda who also happens to be the UK’s greatest ally and biggest trading partner in the region.
The report cited examples which implied that individuals and foundations were exporting “an illiberal, bigoted Wahhabi ideology”.
For the majority of the cases, the money given to institutions buys foreign influence but there are also some cases which are being wholly funded by Saudi Arabia are run directly from the country.
However, the Saudi embassy in London has denied all allegations saying that they are baseless and aren’t supported by credible evidence. Furthermore, the country pointed out that it itself has been a victim of terrorism from both Al Qaeda and Islamic State. It went on to say that the country does not conquer with the extremist ideology and is determined to weed out extremist groups that are responsible for defaming Islam and spreading terrorism in its name.
The Home Office too said that it was focused on removing extremism from the core but it did not comment on the allegations that were placed on Saudi Arabia and its neighboring Gulf states.
The report comes at a time where Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations are accusing one of their own, Qatar of supporting terrorist groups.