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Monday, October 10, 2005 

US Senate to probe House of Saud's role in hatemongering

In a very crucial development, the NY Sun reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee will open an investigation into Saudi Arabia's role in spreading hate propaganda throughout the United States. (One Jerusalem also gives mention of the topic):
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.
Most odd about this though, is that Karen Hughes is also said to be demanding answers:
Also demanding answers about the hate materials is the State Department's undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, Karen Hughes. During a high-profile trip to the Middle East last week, Ms. Hughes said American representatives had addressed the propagation of Saudi hate material in America during private meetings with government officials.

In a State Department briefing held en route to Ankara, Turkey, from Saudi Arabia last Tuesday, Ms. Hughes was asked why she had raised the issue that day during a public meeting with Saudi journalists, becoming the first American official to do so publicly. "We had been raising the issue privately," Ms. Hughes said, "and as part of raising difficult issues that we need to discuss, I felt it was appropriate." The undersecretary did not elaborate on the results of the private meetings, but the degree to which Saudi Arabia is making efforts to stop the propaganda will be a subject of the Senate hearings, Mr. Reynolds said.
Well now, that's certainly very odd that Ms. Hughes would do that. But the best guess I can offer is that she's trying to play both sides in hopes of staving off her critics. The Jewish Exponent reports that she's already getting well-deserved criticism for her actions:
Hughes has trouble distinguishing between friends of freedom and their enemies. Before she set out on her "listening tour" of the region, Hughes met in Washington with the Islamic Society of North America, a group that is led by apologists for Al Qaeda. In Egypt, she met with a cleric who is an advocate of jihad against both Israel and the United States; she pronounced him an advocate of "the spirit of love" and a foe of terror.

Hughes is clearly in over her head. According to The Washington Post, she had no idea of who or what comprised the Muslim Brotherhood (the political center of Islamist extremism and terror in Egypt). She was also the object of what seemed to be something like a practical joke when, in a meeting with Saudi women - reported in The New York Times - the American was left virtually speechless when the Saudi gals testified to their happiness about being deprived of the right to vote or drive.

Hughes has been sent on a fool's errand. All of her considerable skill at spinning will not make Islamists love us. Whenever we overthrow an Arab despot, Muslims will be humiliated, even if they hated him as well. And as long as we stand behind the region's only real democracy in Israel and back its right to self-defense against terrorists, most Arabs and Muslims won't like that either.

Simply repeating the mantra of how much we respect Islam and want democracy for everyone won't cut it if we're in apology mode.
The part about women under Islam in its zygote (where it all began) in Saudi Arabia being happy to be oppressed should point out two things: either their saying so stems from something that Islamists in such places do indeed like to specialize in, which is brainwashing them to the point of where the women are happy with being turned into prisoners in their entirety, or that they're not happy about it, but if they were to say so, it would endanger their lives.

Also available at Basil's Blog, Jo's Cafe, Outside the Beltway, Stop the ACLU, The Political Teen, The Mudville Gazette, Point Five, Cafe Oregano, Cao's Blog, Wizbang, Bright and Early.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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