Accuracy in Media

You may have noticed recent stories about a groundbreaking report on how the Saudi government has been distributing propaganda in U.S. mosques advocating Nazi-like hatred of non-Muslims. But this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. It’s just a piece of the tip of the iceberg. So says Yehudit Barsky, director of the Middle East and International Terrorism department of the American Jewish Committee.

The 89-page report, “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques,” was released by Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom. The report is based on a year-long study of over 200 original documents, disseminated by the Saudi government and collected from 15 mosques in the United States.

The Saudi literature promotes contempt for America’s un-Islamic government, and violence against apostates.  Muslims are told their duty includes eliminating the state of Israel. They have a spiritual obligation to hate Christians and Jews, and the materials provide details on just how to do that. It is so extreme that Muslims who have a non-Muslim maid or cook are told to “hate her for Allah’s sake.”

Muslims are only to be in this country to work for jihad or to proselytize. The materials offer an implied death threat against tolerant Muslim imams, as well as an incitement to vigilante violence. Sufi and Shiite Muslims are viciously condemned by these Wahhabist texts. And what about those who convert out of Islam? They should be killed.

The dissemination of hate ideology by Saudi Arabia is known to be worldwide, but its occurrence within the United States has received little attention until now. Barksy told AIM, “I have yet to see the media lay down the gauntlet and say, ‘Let’s see what else is out there.’” Indeed, some of the top mainstream Jewish leaders in the U.S. have expressed deep frustration and disappointment to AIM about the media’s apparent unwillingness to investigate such issues.  A key neglected area is the use of Saudi textbooks in private Islamic schools in the U.S. The books, as revealed in a previous study, are rife with the same extremist ideology uncovered by the Freedom House report. That previous study, “The West, Christians, and Jews in Saudi Arabian Schoolbooks” was released in February 2003 by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace and the American Jewish Committee.

The textbooks were of course, known about prior to this extensive study. Ironically, on the Sept 8, 2002 edition of 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl interviewed Saudi Foreign Minister Sa’ud al-Faisal on these notorious schoolbooks. Stahl said, “We didn’t understand that your school children were being fed a diet of hatred about the United States.” The reporter on the segment linked the issue to 9/11.

What about Islamic schools here in the U.S. that experts say are feeding kids that same “diet of hatred.” Isn’t that worth investigating?

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