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German Official: Saudis Should Stop Funding Fundamentalist Mosques

  • VOA News

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel speaks during a press conference in Berlin, Nov. 4, 2015.

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel speaks during a press conference in Berlin, Nov. 4, 2015.

Germany's vice chancellor says Saudi Arabia runs the risk of alienating its Western allies because the Saudis continue to support fundamentalist mosques around the world. He says such mosques serve as breeding grounds for extremism.

Sigmar Gabriel, in an interview published Sunday in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, said "From Saudi Arabia, Wahhabi mosques are financed throughout the world," referring to a strict form of Sunni Islam.

"In Germany, many Islamists considered dangerous persons emerge from these communities," Gabriel said in the interview. "We must make it clear to the Saudis that the time for looking the other way is over."

Gabriel's comments follow last week's report by Germany's intelligence agency about Saudi Arabia's "impulsive" foreign policy; an assessment the German government rejected.

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