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February 12, 2005

Rice required to act on Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Eritrea by March 15

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Where in the h_ll is Eritrea?

John and I don't always agree and our email conversations are often exhausting(because he knows a heck of a lot about Saudi Arabia), and while I'm all for coming down hard on countries that restrict religious freedom while allowing Islamists to force Islam down the throats of their populace, we need to ask ourselves, "What if he's right?"

Those Saudis who are the most bigoted-and thus the ones limiting religious freedom as spelled out in this paragraph-have no interest in going to the US, ever. Being denied a visa to visit what one considers "hell on earth" is not going to be effective.

- John at Crossroads Arabia
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has issued a call for action on the part of SecState Rice in response to the lack of religious freedom in the above-named countries. This call to action comes in response to the State Department's annual Report on Religious Freedom. (The 2004 Religious Freedom report on Saudi Arabia is found here. From that site, you can also find earlier reports to see what, if anything, has changed over the past few years.)

The Commission's report is all well and good. There is no question about the lack of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia: there absolutely is no religious freedom in Saudi Arabia. I won't comment on the other countries as I don't know them well enough to make an informed comment.

There is also no question but that this situation needs to be changed. Some way of accommodating the practice of religion-at least by non-Sunni Muslims-must be found. The actions this Commission report demand, though, are not going to get there.
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Posted by Hyscience at February 12, 2005 12:52 PM



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