Mosques, schools, hospitals: the money from Qatar arriving to Italy

08 April 2016

EFD Senior Fellow Valentina Colombo is mentioned in the well-known Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera: she discusses the on-going issue regarding investments in the non profit area from Arab countries and the effect this may have in fostering a radical interpretation of Islam among the local population.

The article mainly focuses on the Qatar Charity Foundation, which many analysts consider the harbinger of an extremist interpretation of Islam, if not even colluded with terrorist forces. The Qatar Foundation has largely invested in Italy not only in the economic sector, but more dangerously in social and cultural activities, which play a major role in radicalisation. Colombo argues that economic and  social aspects go hand in hand: the investments in the non-profit sector are useful to Qatar  in order to gain more sympathy from the Italian political institutions and the population, thus making the investments in the economic sector easier. Furthermore, although Colombo is not sure the Qatar Charity Foundation is direcly financing terrorist groups, she warns that its religious traditionalism and its proximity to the Muslim Brotherhood may contribute to radicalise the local Muslim population.

The article is in Italian and can be read here.