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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The religious tyranny in Saudi Arabia is not just Saudis’ business

By Nina Shea, director of Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom.

Before boarding his flight to Crawford to meet with President Bush Monday, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah presided over the arrest of 40 Pakistani Christians on Friday, caught praying in a private home in Riyadh in violation of the state's strictly enforced religious law that bans all non-Muslim worship. Saudi Arabia's nationals, by law Muslim, find that a broad range of their freedoms are limited because of the state's monopoly on religious expression. Muslims who follow the Sufi and Shiite traditions are viewed as heretical dissidents and viciously condemned and discriminated against by the state. Regarding those who convert out of Islam, the Saudi ministry of Islamic affairs explicitly asserts that they "should be killed."

Earlier this year, Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom released a report on the radically intolerant Wahhabi ideology contained in documents generated by the government of Saudi Arabia and found in the U.S. A publication with "Greetings from the Cultural Department" of the embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., gave detailed instructions on how to "hate" the Christian and Jew.

(National Review)