U.S. Commission Slams Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt for Abuses of Religious Freedom

(AFP/Yahoo) - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom heavily criticized Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt for discrimination and recommended threatening the Saudi government with sanctions unless its record improves. "The government of Saudi Arabia engages in systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, or belief," the congressionally mandated panel said in its annual report. "The commission continues to recommend that Saudi Arabia be designated a 'country of particular concern,'" which would open Riyadh to possible U.S. sanctions. The panel noted with concern that Saudi Arabia continued to export an extreme form of militant Islam despite pledges to rein in radical, anti-Western imams. "The sponsorship by a close ally of the United States around the world of extremist intolerant religious views or views that incite to violence seems to be something that the American people must know more about," said Michael Young, the commission's chairman.

2004-05-14 00:00:00

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