Qatar and Saudi Arabia have ignited a “time bomb” by funding the global spread of radical Islam, according to a former commander of British forces in Iraq.
General Jonathan Shaw, who retired as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff in 2012, told The Telegraph that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were primarily responsible for the rise of the extremist Islam that inspires Isil terrorists.
The two Gulf states have spent billions of dollars on promoting a militant and proselytising interpretation of their faith derived from Abdul Wahhab, an eighteenth century scholar, and based on the Salaf, or the original followers of the Prophet.
But the rulers of both countries are now more threatened by their creation than Britain or America, argued Gen Shaw. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has vowed to topple the Qatari and Saudi regimes, viewing both as corrupt outposts of decadence and sin.
So Qatar and Saudi Arabia have every reason to lead an ideological struggle against Isil, said Gen Shaw. On its own, he added, the West’s military offensive against the terrorist movement was likely to prove “futile”.
“This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education, Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really. And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money and that must stop,” said Gen Shaw. “And the question then is ‘does bombing people over there really tackle that?’ I don’t think so. I’d far rather see a much stronger handle on the ideological battle rather than the physical battle”…