US Senator: Stop Arms Sales to Saudi Until They Fight ISIS
Mon, February 1, 2016
King Salman of Saudi Arabia (Photo: © Reuters)
A Democratic senator called on the U.S. to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia until assurances are given that the Gulf kingdom is tackling ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-NY) excoriated the “tsunami of money” used by Saudi Arabia to "export intolerance" worldwide. He identified madrassas in Pakistan as being the best example of how Saudi Arabia is funding extremism worldwide.
“In 1956, there were 244 madrassas in Pakistan,” he told the Council on Foreign Relations. “Today, there are 24,000. These schools are multiplying all over the globe. These schools, by and large, don't teach violence. They aren't the minor leagues for al-Qaeda or ISIS. But they do teach a version of Islam that leads very nicely into an anti-Shia, anti-Western militancy.”
Saudi Arabia is thought to have spent $100 billion on funding global Wahhabism, the core ideology believed by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, as well as being the official state doctrine of Saudi Arabia.
“Those 24,000 religious schools in Pakistan thousands of them are funded with money that originates in Saudi Arabia” Murphy added.
“The uncomfortable truth is for all the positive aspects of our alliance with Saudi Arabia, there is another side to Saudi Arabia that we can no longer afford to ignore as our fight against Islamic extremism becomes more focused and more complicated.”