RealNews

Saudi Group's Leader Critical of Clerics

The director of a U.S. group that seeks democratic reform in Saudi Arabia complained yesterday about an upcoming conference in Texas that will feature addresses broadcast from Riyadh by clerics who have praised holy war and Osama bin Laden. Ali Ahmed, head of the Washington-based Saudi Institute, also noted that instructors at a Virginia Islamic institute who hold diplomatic credentials issued by the Saudi Embassy are scheduled to speak at the gathering. Keynote speakers at the three-day event in Houston, scheduled to begin Dec. 24, have espoused intolerance for Christians, Jews and Shiite Muslims. One of them, Sheikh Allamah Ibn Jibreen, has publicly urged young Saudis to join al Qaeda and fight U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Saudi Institute. Ahmed said he believes it is outrageous that the Saudi government is allowing the clerics to espouse their views while repressing groups, such as his, that urge reform. Full Story

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