I'm glad the Jerusalem Post is noting this, but it is a bit late. I have only been saying this publicly for about three and a half years, and it has only been six years since Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani testified the same thing before a State Department Open Forum.
Mainstream US Muslim organizations are heavily influenced by Saudi-funded extremists, according to Yehudit Barsky, an expert on terrorism at the American Jewish Committee.
Worse still, Barsky told The Jerusalem Post last week, these "extremist organizations continue to claim the mantle of leadership" over American Islam.
The power of the extremist Wahhabi form of Islam in the United States was created with generous Saudi financing of American Muslim communities over the past few decades. Over 80 percent of the mosques in the United States "have been radicalized by Saudi money and influence," Barsky said.
Before the 1970s, she explained, "Muslim immigrants who came to the United States would build a store-front mosque somewhere. Then, since the 1970s, the Saudis have been approaching these mosques and telling them it wasn't proper for the glory of Islam to build such small mosques."
For many Muslims, it seemed the Saudis were offering a free mosque. However, Barsky believes for each mosque they invested in, the Saudis sent along their own imam (teacher-cleric).
"These [immigrants] were not interested in this [Wahhabi] ideology, and suddenly they have a Saudi imam coming in and telling them they're not praying properly and not practicing Shari'a [Islamic law] properly." This Saudi strategy was being carried out "all over the world, from America to Bangladesh," with the Saudis investing $70-80 billion in the endeavor over three decades.