Maybe the State Department is getting fed up with playing the dhimmi for Riyadh. From AP:
WASHINGTON – The State Department said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia has engaged in “particularly severe violations” of religious freedom and for the first time included the kingdom, a key U.S. ally, on a list of countries that could be subject to sanctions.
A department report assessing the state of religious freedom worldwide said that in Saudi Arabia, freedom of religion does not exist and is not recognized or protected under the country’s laws.
The report also said that those who do not adhere to the officially sanctioned strain of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia can face “severe repercussions” at the hands of the religious police.
Wednesday’s announcement was a departure from the Bush administration’s practice of avoiding direct criticism of Saudi Arabia “” a key ally in the war on terrorism, a strong backer of U.S. policies in Iraq and a major oil supplier.
Under U.S. law, nations that engage in violations of religious freedom deemed “particularly severe” are designated by the State Department as “countries of particular concern.”