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Journalist Krithika Varagur: Inside the Global Saudi Religious Project

Event Date:

May 21, 2020 | 6:00 PM EDT

An inside look at how Saudi Arabia uses money, scholarships, diplomacy, and media to propagate its...

Pesantren Anshur al-Sunnah, a Salafi boarding school in the Cendana neighborhood of Batam. Image by Krithika Varagur/VOA. Indonesia, 2017.
Pesantren Anshur al-Sunnah, a Salafi boarding school in the Cendana neighborhood of Batam. Image by Krithika Varagur/VOA. Indonesia, 2017.

On Thursday, May 21, 2020, join Pulitzer Center grantee Krithika Varagur as she draws on her extensive reporting experience to tell the story of Saudi influence throughout the world. Varagur will be in conversation with James Palmer, senior editor at Foreign Policy, for this online discussion as part of Politics and Prose's P&P Live! Series.

Varagur's new book, "The Call," focuses on the seven-decade Saudi campaign to spread its conservative brand of Wahhabi Islam worldwide. The Saudi government has spent billions of dollars to propagate its brand of conservative Islam worldwide, often doing so with United States support.

Varagur tracked the results of this ambitious campaign via three vastly different countries, Nigeria, Indonesia and Kosovo, and finds that it has had a broad and uniform effect, especially in sowing intolerance for religious minorities and fueling the rise of Saudi-educated clerics.

Varagur is an award-winning journalist who covers Indonesia for The Guardian, is a National Geographic explorer, and frequently contributes to various other publications including The AtlanticThe Financial Times, 1843, the New York Review of Books, and more. She graduated from Harvard and was a Fulbright scholar at SOAS University of London. Her work focuses on religion and politics and she has reported from over a dozen countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa. She is also an occasional humorist. 

Registration required for this free online session. Sign up today!


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