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June 22, 2007

House Bans Aid To Saudi Arabia

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

In a move that's way overdue, the U.S. House of Representatives voted today to prohibit any aid to Saudi Arabia, which lawmakers accuse of religious intolerance and bankrolling terrorist organizations. The amount of money involved is only $2.5 million, is for the most part symbolic, and the move is likely to be vetoed by President Bush; but the action is the first bit of common sense I've seen come out of the House in a long while:

[...] The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to prohibit any aid to Saudi Arabia as lawmakers accused the close ally of religious intolerance and bankrolling terrorist organizations.

The prohibition, reflecting persistent tensions with the kingdom after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, was attached to a foreign aid funding bill for next year that has not yet been debated by the Senate.

It also faces a veto threat from the White House because of an unrelated provision.

[...[ "Saudi Arabia propagates terrorism. We all know that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi," said Rep. Shelley Berkley, a Nevada Democrat. She added that Saudi youths had entered Iraq to "wage jihad" against U.S. forces fighting there.

Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born leader of the al Qaeda group that carried out the September 11 attacks, was expelled from the kingdom in 1991 for anti-government activities.

[...] Lawmakers also complained that with Saudi Arabia's vast wealth from oil revenues, U.S. taxpayers do not need to subsidize training Saudis.

"With poor countries all over the globe begging us for help, why are we giving money to this oil-rich nation?" Berkley said.

The U.S. State Department has routinely criticized Saudi Arabia for religious intolerance, disenfranchisement of women and arbitrary justice.

U.N. committees and groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International also have been critical of the Saudi legal system and its rights record, including punishments such as flogging and amputation.

Riyadh tends to dismiss the criticism by saying it follows the traditions of Islamic law.

I say screw Islamic law. As I've already said, this is long overdue. In spite of President Bush's affection for the Saudis, they are not our friends and they continue to fund and encourage terrorism, most often through the proliferation of Wahhabi mosques throughout the West, although the U.S. is the only country outside Saudi Arabia where the Islamic establishment is under Wahhabi control. Wahhabism is an extremist, puritanical, and violent movement that emerged, with the pretension of "reforming" Islam, in the central area of Arabia in the 18th century.

Eighty percent of American mosques are Wahhabi-influenced, and Wahhabi agents have sought to impose their ideology on all attendees in mosques they control.

All bought and paid for by our "friends" the Saudis.

Posted by Richard at June 22, 2007 10:50 PM

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