Aje Carlbom is an Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Malmö
Since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has actively spread its interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism or Salafism, worldwide. It is the most literal version of Islam and affects many young Muslims, who regard society as a place to Islamize, writes social anthropologist Aje Carlbom.
Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström was criticized by Saudi Arabia for their involvement in its internal affairs. For the Saudis themselves however, there is no problem to interfere in other countries’ political and social affairs.
Since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has been actively proselytizing, on a global level, for their particular interpretation of Islam: Wahhabism or Salafism, as its become known as in later years. It is the most literalist version of Islamic interpretations (Sunni) and has influenced the thinking of many young Muslims in recent years.
The Saudi mission is organized by the Muslim World League (MWL), one of the largest NGOs with 30 offices on five continents. The main task of the MWL is to sponsor the spread of Islam in the world. The latest Swedish Quran translation, “Koranens budskap” (the message of the Quran), was partly financed with the help of Saudi capital.