06 March 2017

Hardline Islam and Saudi money are spreading across the Indian Ocean and into Asia

The King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, is currently wending his way through Asia on a rare trip abroad. Alongside the regional giants of China and Japan, his trip is taking him to Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Maldives.

For many, those latter four will conjure up images of endless sunshine, pristine white sands, turquoise waters, and luxurious holiday resorts. But beneath the radar of tourists, a dark force is spreading across parts of south and south-east Asia that is threatening social cohesion and peaceful coexistence: the rise of Islamism.

A number of Muslim-majority countries in Asia, including the world’s most populous Muslim country Indonesia, have long been portrayed as a model for the compatibility of Islam and democracy. [The Telegraph] Read more