The reach of the Saudis propagation of their religious ideology has been remarkable , reaching nearly every country with a Muslim population, from the Gothenburg Mosque in Sweden to the King Fahad Mosque in Los Angeles to Asia’s Seoul Central Mosque in South Korea. Saudi teachings have shifted the religious culture in a considerably conservative direction.
The US State Department has estimated that over the past 40 years Saudi Arabia has invested more than $10bn into charitable foundations in an attempt to replace mainstream Sunni Islam with the harsh intolerance of its Wahhabism.
The Saudi religious influence varies considerably on the local conditions. As an example, in certain parts of Southeast Asia the effect has been of a cultural shift such an increase women wearing hijab and more growing beards, while in Pakistan the ideology has increased the us vs. them mentality to a lethal level. And in Europe, the Saudi influence is a contributing factor for radicalization.
Furthermore, the biographies of Al-Baghdadi and others in ISIS leadership positions show how they’ve absorbed the Wahhabi doctrine and promote its many ideals such Tawhid (monotheism), rejection of intercessors (saints), and the destruction of monuments and shrines.
Coincidentally , in 2014, a leading Saudi Cleric proposed the destruction of the Prophet’s tomb.
The relationship between ISIS and Wahhabism and Saudi is eerily close. To the chagrin of Saudi Arabia, ISIS has adopted the official Saudi textbooks for its schools until the extremist group could publish its own books in 2015. Researchers have found that 7 out of 12 publications that ISIS implements are by the founder of Saudi’s Wahhabism, Abd al-Wahhab.
The extreme version of Wahhabi teachings are destroying the concepts of pluralism, tolerance and openness to science and learning in today’s Islam.
The educational propaganda of this ideology contains dehumanizing, derogatory and intolerant references to various groups, especially the Shia and Jews.
Dehumanization is one of the central processes in the transformation of ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even perpetrators of evil.
There is a saturation level concerning the amount of exposure a person can have to dehumanizing propaganda ,especially if it’s under the auspices of it being the word of God, without an individual becoming susceptible to recruitment.
In a remarkable 2014 poll public opinion of ISIS taken in Saudi Arabia says that the public is empathetic towards ISIS. The poll showed that 92% believed, “ISIS conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic Law,” and families of sons who have died fighting with ISIS have expressed “joy,” regarding the martyrdom of their child
However, looking at Wahhabism as the single factor in radicalization distracts from the complex political, economic, and psychological reasons people become terrorists. Saudi Arabia has been proactive in the past few years by aggressively curtailing preachers who call for violence, catching terrorist financing and since 2004 over 3,500 imams were fired for refusing to renounce extremist views