ZOA Criticizes State Department’s Sponsorship Of U.S. Tour By Saudi Promoters Of Intolerance
September 13, 2004

NEW YORK — Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America, today criticized the U.S. State Department’s decision to sponsor a U.S. tour by 15 prominent Islamists from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who promote intolerance. They were scheduled to arrive on American soil on September 12, the day after the third anniversary of the 2001 al-Qaida assault on America.

The Saudi group is headed by five “professors” from the Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh. The Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University is the center of Wahhabism, the Saudi state cult that fosters extreme hatred of Christians and Jews.

In light of the September 11 anniversary, it should be noted that three of the 15 Saudi subjects among the suicide pilots on that dark day — Abd ul-Aziz Abd ul-Rahman Al-Omari, Ahmed Abdullah Al-Nami, and Mohned Mohamed Al-Shehri — graduated from the Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University. The university is not an ordinary educational institution but a seminary for training of religious functionaries in Wahhabism. According to Saudi sources, Mohned Mohamed Al-Shehri was recruited to the Bin Laden network at the university.

The Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University previously operated the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America (IIASA) in Fairfax, Va., under the aegis of the Saudi Embassy Department of Religious Affairs. Earlier this year, 24 representatives of this network were sent back to Saudi Arabia at the State Department’s order, for using diplomatic passport status to carry on supposed religious activities in the U.S.

“The State Department took the commendable step of ordering these professional promoters of intolerance out of the U.S., and now they have turned around and invited a delegation of top Wahhabi functionaries back to visit,” Klein said. “This is an outrage. These so-called instructors in religion promote violent jihad against the West, including support for suicide terrorism in Israel, Russia, and elsewhere. They should not be allowed on our soil, especially in the week when we will be mourning the dead of September 11th.”

Klein pointed out that “educational materials” distributed by IIASA, with the support of the Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University, had been analyzed by a dissident human rights monitoring group, the Saudi Institute in Washington, DC. For example, in a volume titled “A Muslim’s Relations with Non-Muslims, Enmity or Friendship,” the author, Dr. Abdullah al-Tarekee, wrote, “unbelievers, idolaters and others like them must be hated and despised … Qur’an forbade taking Jews and Christians as friends, and that applies to every Jew and Christian, with no consideration as to whether they are at war with Islam or not.”

Professors at the Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University have also incited young Saudi men to fight against U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq, and have praised Osama bin Laden, Klein noted.

“None of this is a secret,” Klein said. “Experts in Saudi affairs, Saudi dissidents, and Western journalists, including reporters from such papers as The Washington Post, have exposed the nature of these institutions as centers for extremist indoctrination. There is no justification for the State Department to welcome these preachers of intolerance to America.”

A statement by the State Department’s International Visitor Program lists the 15 Saudis [see attached document], headed by Dr. Mesfer Gormallh A. Aldomeny, of the Islamic Education Department, Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University. The State Department described the objective of the visit as introducing the Saudis to “the nature of secondary and post-secondary public, private, and religious education in the U.S.”

Klein concluded, “Before Saudi promoters of intolerance are invited to the U.S., the rulers of the kingdom must show that they have cut off support for international Wahhabism — the state ideology that supports the murder of Jews by Hamas in Israel, and the terror against children by Islamists in Russia, and which ultimately stood behind al-Qaida and the perpetrators of September 11th. Until they have done so, they should have no opportunity to enjoy American hospitality, especially under official sponsorship.”

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