As part of its consideration of the Saudi Arabia Accountability Act, about which I wrote here and here, the Senate will finally get around to looking into the Freedom House report on Saudi hate literature in American mosques, which was only issued last January. From the New York Sun, with thanks to Ruth King:
WASHINGTON – The American government is demanding that Saudi Arabia account for its distribution of hate material to American mosques, as the State Department pressed Saudi officials for answers last week and as the Senate later this month plans to investigate the propagation of radical Wahhabism on American shores.
The flurry of activity comes months after a report from the Center for Religious Freedom discovered that dozens of mosques in major cities across the country, including New York, Washington, and Los Angeles, were distributing documents, bearing the seal of the government of Saudi Arabia, that incite Muslims to acts of violence and promote hatred of Jews and Christians.
A Washington-based group that is part of the human rights organization Freedom House, the Center for Religious Freedom also found during its yearlong study that the Saudi-produced materials describe democracy and America as un-Islamic. They instruct recent Muslim immigrants to consider Americans as enemies and the materials urge new arrivals to use their time here as preparation for jihad. The documents also promote the version of Islam officially embraced by Saudi government and several of the September 11, 2001, hijackers, Wahhabism, as the only authentic Islam.
In response to the Freedom House report and as part of the Saudi Arabia Accountability Act of 2005 sponsored by Senator Specter, a Republican of Pennsylvania, the Judiciary Committee – of which Senator Specter is chairman – will be holding hearings into the hate materials on October 25, a spokesman for the senator, William Reynolds, said yesterday.
The Accountability Act, introduced in June, says its purpose is “to halt Saudi support for institutions that fund, train, incite, encourage, or in any other way aid and abet terrorism, and to secure fully Saudi cooperation in the investigation of terrorist incidents.” The legislation is highly critical of the House of Saud for its support of terrorist activity and cites the January Freedom House report as evidence of the kingdom’s complicity in the spread of radical Islamist ideology. As part of the Accountability Act, Senator Specter has in the past held Judiciary Committee hearings into Saudi financing of terrorism and Saudi Arabia’s role in injecting ideology into textbooks for Palestinian Arab schoolchildren.