WASHINGTON, DC, January 28, 2005- Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom released today a new report exposing the dissemination of hate propaganda in America by the government of Saudi Arabia.
The 89-page report, “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques,” is based on a year-long study of over two hundred original documents, all disseminated, published or otherwise generated by the government of Saudi Arabia and collected from more than a dozen mosques in the United States.
The propagation of hate ideology by Saudi Arabia is known to be worldwide, but its occurrence within the United States has received scant attention until now. Within worldwide Sunni Islam, followers of Saudi Arabia’s extremist Wahhabi ideology are a distinct minority, as is evident by the millions of Muslims who have chosen to make America their home and are upstanding, law-abiding citizens and neighbors.
The constitution protects freedom of religion. The government oversees the country's 75,000 mosques and other religious facilities.
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The military, judiciary and other branches of government discriminate against those they consider proponents of Islamic fundamentalism and Shariah. Observant Muslims in the military are reported to be expelled as threats to secularism; civil servants suspected of Islamist activities are not promoted or are fired. Bans on Islamic head scarves at universities and among civil servants are enforced.
To fight such dangerous tactics, Western governments will also need to adapt. In addition to military, intelligence, and law enforcement responses, Washington should start thinking about how U.S. policies are perceived by potential recruits to terrorist organizations. The United States too often ignores the unintended consequences of its actions, disregarding, for example, the negative message sent by Washington's ongoing neglect of Afghanistan and of the chaos in postwar Iraq. If the United States allows Iraq to become another failed state, groups both inside and outside the country that support al Qaeda's goals will benefit...
In countries where extremist religious schools promote terrorism, Washington should help develop alternative schools rather than attempt to persuade the local government to shut down radical madrasahs. In Pakistan, many children end up at extremist schools because their parents cannot afford the alternatives; better funding for secular education could therefore make a positive difference.
The appeal of radical Islam to alienated youth living in the West is perhaps an even more difficult problem to address. Uneasiness with liberal values, discomfort with uncertain identities, and resentment of the privileged are perennial problems in modern societies. What is new today is that radical leaders are using the tools of globalization to construct new, transnational identities based on death cults, turning grievances and alienation into powerful weapons. To fight these tactics will require getting the input not just of moderate Muslims, but of radical Islamist revivalists who oppose violence.
He said last week that he informed US envoy David Satterfield during a visit to Lebanon that he opposed the disarming of Hezbollah, which is considered by Washington as a terrorist organization.
"We should not forget that Hezbollah is a main partner in any future (political) coalition," said Jumblatt, who has repeatedly asked Hezbollah to join opposition ranks.
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