LONDON — The spat between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which is accusing Qatar of supporting Islamist extremism and terrorism, remains perplexing. Perplexing not because Qatar is innocent — it has sponsored and hosted far too many jihadists for anyone to plausibly claim otherwise — but because it is the Saudis who are objecting to the funding of extremism. Qatar should be called out, but preferably by those who haven’t spent quite so much time and money advancing extremism themselves.
To be clear, it is not that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been directly funding terrorist organizations, and certainly not in Western countries. What has been happening for many years now, however, is that a set of beliefs has been advanced from Saudi Arabia that is, by any standard, extremist. The Wahhabi-Salafi belief system is one of religious supremacism, in which the very notion of man-made law, let alone democratic government, is derided.