Fueled by its vast oil wealth, the Saudis are estimated to have spent up to $75 billion since 1975 to expand their fundamentalist sect, Wahhabism, worldwide. The kingdom has funded hundreds of mosques, schools and Islamic centers abroad, spreading a once obscure sect of Islam.
I've mentioned before that there are a variety of different styles of Islam. Wahhabism is part of the Hanbali "school" of Sunni Islamic thought (madhab). There are four madhabs: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali. Egypt uses all four schools, but most countries are dominated by one madhab.
Since the Ottoman and Moghul Empires were Hanafi, today the Hanafi school is followed in Turkey, Central Asia, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh. Jordan, Syria, and Palestine also have some Hanafi influence but are generally considered to be Shafi'i. The Maliki school is followed in Algeria, Tunis, Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Shafi'i school is mostly found in SE Asia- Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and other Muslim areas of SE Asia. There are also Shafi'is in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen.
The Hanbali school is followed in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, part of Oman and the United Arab Emirates (except Abu Dhabi and Dubai). The Wahhabis are part of the Hanbali school. Clearly they are a small minority, yet, as the article states, Saudi Arabia has spent a significant amount of money to spread its brand of Islam. As a result, many non-Muslims are most familiar with this Saudi style- even though it is only practiced by a small number of Muslims. Most Muslims don't have religious prescriptions on a woman going to the grocery store by herself or many of the other things I see as problems in Wahhabism.
The United States has a vested interest in supporting less restrictive and more reasonable types of Islam- and there are lots out there to choose from. Islam is much more than what it is portrayed on the news.