In the course of the 20th century mosques have served political purposes. As conflicts between western society and the Muslim world rose, mosques were used to preach peace and understanding among religions.
Mosques are often the center of social conflicts. In the past decades series of bombs have exploded in mosques all over the world. Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have repeatedly used mosques as a place to recruit and train radical Muslims.
In the 1960s, Saudi Arabia started financing the construction of mosques around the world in an attempt to spread Islam. With petrodollars that the country has received in the last decades Saudis can afford sharing their wealth with others, especially poor Muslims.