New York — As part of the ZOA-initiated Saudi Arabia Accountability Act of 2005, the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 25 will be conducting hearings into materials bearing the seal of the government of Saudi Arabia inciting Muslims to acts of violence and promoting hatred of Jews and Christians, as well as Saudi materials describing democracy and America as un-Islamic, instructing recent Muslim immigrants to consider Americans as enemies, urging new arrivals to use their time here as preparation for jihad, and promoting Wahhabi Islam, the extreme Islamist creed that is the official religion of Saudi Arabia and several of the September 11, 2001 hijackers, as the only authentic Islam (New York Sun, October 5). Other reports have stated that over 50% of the “Iraqi insurgents” murdering Americans are from Saudi Arabia.
The State Department has been reportedly pressing Saudi officials for an explanation following a January report from the Center for Religious Freedom, a branch of the human rights organization, Freedom House, which disclosed that dozens of mosques in major cities across the country, including New York, Washington, and Los Angeles, were distributing these materials.
In response to the Freedom House report and as part of the Saudi Arabia Accountability Act of 2005, the Senate Judiciary Committee is charged with ascertaining the best way, in the words of the legislation, 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. This charge was introduced by the Judiciary Committees chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and co-sponsored on the Democratic side by Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We applaud Sen. Specter for deciding to hold these important hearings investigating the promotion of international terrorism by Saudi Arabia. We, at ZOA, are proud to have been able to assist in this critical effort. The Saudi Arabian government has been caught red-handed producing official materials that have been disseminated in mosques promoting terrorism and the hatred of America, Jews and Christians. This is not simply a case of Saudi individuals or private organizations that are terrorists, hate-mongers or donors to extreme Islamist causes, but the official actions of the Saudi government.
In late September, President Bush certified that Saudi Arabia is cooperating in efforts to combat international terrorism, enabling the U.S. to give financial assistance to Saudi Arabia. We strongly urge President Bush to rethink his certification of Saudi Arabia in light of the recent revelations in this report. We await further facts that will emerge from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. If the hearings confirm the accuracy of the Centers report, we call on the Bush Administration to immediately halt all financial and military assistance to the kingdom and to support the final passage of the Saudi Arabia Accountability Act of 2005.