Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Saudi Arabian King Salman's nine-day trip to Indonesia is a worry for Australia

This is a must read. The pernicious influence around the world by our so-called ally, the horrid Saudi Arabia, has been reported in our own South China Morning Post, but virtually ignored in the Australian press, other than in this report in The Sydney Morning Herald. 
Australia's closest neighbor, Indonesia, starts to be prodded towards more intolerant. Islamism. But Australia cuts its aid...

Professor Brahma Chellany of the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi estimates that since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has spent over $US200 billion ($266 billion) on "its global jihad project, including funding Wahhabi madrassas [Islamic schools], mosques, clerics and books."

Indonesia is one of the prime targets for the Saudi missionary project: "Wahhabist money going into Indonesia is one of the things that has started to undercut the traditional accommodating and syncretist view of Islam in Indonesia," says Allan Gyngell, former head of Australia's peak intelligence body, the Office of National Assessments, and former head of the Lowy Institute.

"In fact, it's been a far more dangerous trend, I think, than some of the things that have received more publicity, like some of the extremist groups such as al-Qaeda."

How? "These groups are very important in their own right, but the money going into the madrassas has been undercutting the foundation of Indonesian Islam, helping to reshape the conventional approaches to Islam in Indonesia. Young people won't turn out extremist, but they will have a more puritanical, less accommodating view of Islam. It is undermining pancasila, the thing that, from the beginning, has kept Indonesia together and been profoundly beneficial to Australia."

King Salman announced $US1 billion in social aid for Indonesia, including money for schools, and a $US6 billion injection into Indonesia's state-owned oil firm. He announced unlimited flights between the two countries. His most popular gift, however, was an extra 50,000 places a year for Indonesian pilgrims making the hajj to Mecca and Medina.    

The Saudis have been pressing for the tripling of the size of their Wahhabist university in Indonesia, which offers free tuition, and it is expected that Jakarta, reluctantly, will agree.

In the face of the Saudis' relentless, pernicious proselytising, what has Australia done? Cut its aid funding for Indonesian schools and more than halved the number of scholarships it offers to Indonesians to study in Australia. 


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