Friday, October 19, 2007

Saudi School in US Faces Closure

by Barbara Ferguson from Arab News

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has released a report that criticizes what it calls a lack of religious freedom in Saudi society. The report also says Saudi schools promote religious extremism. The report specifically urges Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to engage Saudi Arabia about the Islamic school outside Washington, which may violate US law because of evidence it is run by the Saudi Embassy in the United States. It said that Saudi Arabia has failed to take substantial steps to promote religious tolerance, despite assurances from the Bush administration that the Kingdom has made progress on reforms, the US watchdog said yesterday ... The commission criticized the United States for failing to move US-Saudi relations beyond what it said were pragmatic concerns about Middle East politics and oil during successive US administrations. “Many observers contend that, even now, the US does not want to jeopardize important bilateral security and economic ties by pushing for political and human rights reforms,” the report said.

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