Group cites Saudi ´hate´ tracts (WASHINGTON TIMES) By Katherine Clad 01/29/05)
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The government of Saudi Arabia is spreading "hate propaganda" in
religious tracts sent to mosques throughout America, telling Muslims
to hate Christians and Jews and to kill any Muslim who converts to
another religion, a leading human rights group charged yesterday.
Saudi government literature collected during the past year from
American mosques also tells Muslims living in the United States
to "behave as if on a mission behind enemy lines," says an 89-page
report released by the Human Rights Group Freedom House.
The report, titled: "Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill
American Mosques," is based on a yearlong study of more than 200
original documents, all published and disseminated by the government
of Saudi Arabia.
"When a government agitates hatred and intolerance, when it counsels
people in an authoritative voice to kill other people, that´s a human
rights violation. That´s not protected by First Amendment or free
speech," said Nina Shea, director of the Freedom House´s Center for
Religious Freedom and the editor of the report.
Abdulmohsen Alyas, a spokesman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington,
said he had not seen the Freedom House report.
When told of the report´s contents, Mr. Alyas said, "Saudi Arabia
recognizes that extremism is part of a worldwide problem that all
nations must work on diligently to bring to an end.
"Saudi Arabia condemns extremism or hateful expression among people
anywhere in the world."
Freedom House, which was founded by Eleanor Roosevelt, is one of the
oldest human rights groups in the United States. It is headed by
James Woolsey, who was director of the CIA during the Clinton
The organization examined literature available in more than a dozen
mosques and Islamic centers in Los Angeles, Dallas, Oakland, Calif.,
Houston, Chicago, New York and Washington, including the Institute of
Islamic and Arabic Sciences in Fairfax.
It collected more than 200 books, brochures and other publications,
about 90 percent written in Arabic with some publications in English
and others in languages such as Urdu, the national language of
The texts promote the views of the extremist Wahhabi sect of Islam,
the official religion of Saudi Arabia and the primary source of
teachings espoused by Osama bin Laden and his followers.
Mrs. Shea said that the mosques themselves were not scrutinized in
the report, only the actions of the Saudi government.
In most instances, the report said, involvement by the Saudi
government was immediately evident from the seal or name of a
government department emblazoned on the cover of the literature.
Materials examined were easily identifiable as originating from the
Saudi Embassy in Washington, the Education Ministry, the Saudi air
force and other branches of the Saudi government.
The literature contained statements from Saudi religious figures
appointed to government positions, and it was disseminated through
mosques with known associations with the Saudi royal family, the
These documents advised Muslims in the United States on how to snub
Jews and Christians, for example by refusing to greet them and
congratulate them on religious holidays.
In addition to demonizing "nonbelievers," documents call Muslims who
practice a moderate interpretation of Islam and embrace tolerance
traitors deserving of punishment, even death.
Says one document: "Those who reside in the land of unbelief out of
their own choice and desire to be with the people of that land,
accepting the way they are regarding their faith, or giving
compliments to them, or pleasing them by pointing out something wrong
with the Muslims, they become unbelievers and enemies to Allah and
One particularly chilling tract urges Muslims to kill any Muslims who
convert to another religion.
It says of Muslims who accept Judaism or Christianity: "If you do not
repent, you are an apostate and you should be killed because you have
denied the Koran."
This tract, published by the Saudi Ministry of Religious Affairs and
written in Urdu, was collected at the King Fahd Mosque in Los Angeles
and it quotes Sheik Bin Uthaimin as preaching this policy.
Tajuddin Shuaid, director of the King Fahd Mosque, said by telephone
that his organization does not seek to promote Wahhabi Islam.
"Absolutely not," he replied, "the center is open to Muslims of all
faiths ... without tolerance, Islam cannot survive."
He said he did not know of the existence of texts in the mosque´s
library such as the one quoted in the report.
Saudi Arabia, which initially refused to concede that 15 of 19
September 11 hijackers were Saudi citizens, has gradually come to
recognize that militant Islam is a threat to the survival of its own
After a period of denial following the suicide attacks on the United
States, the kingdom provided belated cooperation with the United
States in the war on terrorism, especially after militant Islamists
began bombing Saudi cities and attacking foreign oil workers.
But the underlying Wahhabi teachings that give legitimacy to the
Saudi royal family remain largely unchallenged in the desert kingdom
and the outside world.
In the United States, Mrs. Shea said, Saudi hate ideology has been
able to escape notice because of America´s "innate respect for other
"Americans aren´t comfortable attacking or criticizing other people´s
religion," she said. "But this isn´t religious dogma as much as it is
In a way, Mrs. Shea said, the Saudis "have worked out an arrangement
that exports the conflict within their own society. ... They reflect
the wrath of their own radicals by propagating some of the most
extreme doctrines around the world." (Copyright 2005 News World
Communications, Inc. 01/29/05)
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