29 June 2011

Saudi Arabian charity in Pakistan offers education - or is it extremism?

Saudi money has been flowing into Pakistan since the 1980s, when state and private donors funded an explosion of madrasas. Many come from the Ahle Hadith school of Islam, a strict version of the faith that is close to the Salafist faith taught in Saudi Arabia.

The amount or nature of donations is shrouded in secrecy, as most come through the undocumented hawala traders, although a western official estimated it at "tens of millions of dollars".

.... Secular critics say Saudi money and influence have had a corrosive influence on Pakistani society, encouraging a tide of conservatism: more veiled women, Islamist televangelists, and public shows of piety than ever before. [guardian.co.uk] Read more