If there’s anything that Republicans have made very clear over the past eight years, it’s that they’ll utterly abandon their publicly held principles and values when they catch the scent of a little cash – and Donald Trump is no different. When Donald Trump rails against Muslims, he’s referring to the desperate and poor refugees fleeing horrific violence. He has no problem, however, with disgustingly wealthy Saudi Arabians – who, like Trump, are both very reluctant to accept Syrian refugees and pursue a foreign policy that strengthens the Islamic State. By entering into business deals with the Saudi Arabians and other Sunni Gulf nations, Donald Trump is indirectly funding terrorism.
While he may have announced that he would institute a blanket ban on Muslims travelling to the United States, it’s pretty clear that doesn’t apply to his friend Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud, who is going to purchase the famous Plaza Hotel from Trump for a cool $325 million. It probably wouldn’t apply to Dubai luxury real estate magnate Hussain Sajwani, with whom Trump is embarking on an obscenely opulent development project in the UAE, which Daily Beast describes as such:
This 42 million-square-foot development (the Pentagon is 6 million-square-feet) includes 104 villas and mansions that begin at more than $1 million U.S. dollars and climb to over $10 million a pop. The development also boasts the “Trump World Golf Club,” which Trump has described as a course that “will be bigger and better and stronger” than any other in the region. Interestingly, Trump has used almost identical words to describe how the U.S. military will look if he’s elected.”
The hypocrisy is incredible. Trump regularly invokes the specters of the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks and the recent massacre in San Bernardino as an excuse to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment in America and to justify his proto-fascist and unconstitutional proposals, while continuing to do business with Saudi Arabia – the world’s leading financier of terrorism. The religious ideology behind groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, Wahhabi Sunni Islam, is deeply entwined within the Saudi state and is the official religion of the Kingdom, and they work relentlessly to export their ultraconservative and inherently violent ideals of jihad to the rest of the world by using their money to fund schools and “charities” all over the world:
Those organizations have been hotbeds of anti-Western, and especially, anti-American, indoctrination. The schools, for example, not only indoctrinate students in a virulent and extreme form of Islam, but also teach them to hate secular Western values. They are also taught that the United States is the center of infidel power in the world and is the enemy of Islam. Graduates of those schools are frequently recruits for Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda terror network as well as other extremist groups.
Reuters reported that one of the San Bernardino terrorists, Tashfeen Malik, moved from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia as a young girl, where she was raised in an environment of Wahhabi extremism:
“Malik’s killing spree has horrified her Pakistani relatives. Her father cut off contact with his family after a feud over inheritance, they told Reuters, and moved to Saudi Arabia when his daughter was a toddler. There, it seems, he turned to a stricter form of Islam. “From what we heard, they lived differently, their mindset is different. We are from a land of Sufi saints … this is very shocking for us. Our brother … went to Saudi and since then he doesn’t care about anyone here.” Malik’s uncle Javed Rabbani, said “we feel a lot of sadness but we also feel ashamed that someone from our family has done this. We can’t even imagine doing something like this. This is a mindset that is alien to us.”
In fact, the Sufism that Tashfeen Malik’s family practiced in Pakistan is an abhorrent heresy to Wahhabis – the penalty for which is violent death.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been the primary financier of the Taliban for decades; the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian, and they were funded by Saudi Arabian petrodollars. Dubai and the other Arab Emirates are no less culpable; they have been using their international connections to launder money to terrorist organizations for decades. The FBI discovered that “half of the [9/11] plotters’ money — about $250,000 — was wired from banks here to operatives of Al Qaeda in the United States. In addition, American intelligence agencies have tied Qaeda money in banks here to the American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.”
For far too long, the United States has turned a blind eye to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s role in exporting and funding terrorism throughout the world, and Donald Trump is no exception. His hypocrisy is astounding, as is his lack of understanding of basic global politics. While he criticizes President Obama for failing to denounce “radical Islamic terrorism,” he eagerly gives his money to those who started it in the first place. Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud noted in a New York Times op-ed that while “George Bush was the father of Daesh, Saudi Arabia was its mother.” That’s right; by consorting with Wahhabi Gulf nations, Donald Trump is funding terrorism.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.