Text: S.Con.Res.131 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (07/22/2004)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. Con. Res. 131 Introduced in Senate (IS)]







108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
S. CON. RES. 131

Calling on the Government of Saudi Arabia to cease supporting religious 
ideologies that promote hatred, intolerance, violence, and other abuses 
of internationally recognized human rights and urging the Government of 
    the United States to promote religious freedom in Saudi Arabia.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 22, 2004

   Mr. Schumer (for himself and Ms. Collins) submitted the following 
 concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign 
                               Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION


 
Calling on the Government of Saudi Arabia to cease supporting religious 
ideologies that promote hatred, intolerance, violence, and other abuses 
of internationally recognized human rights and urging the Government of 
    the United States to promote religious freedom in Saudi Arabia.

Whereas the Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 
        2003 concluded that human rights conditions remain poor in the Kingdom 
        of Saudi Arabia;
Whereas the Department of State's International Religious Freedom Report for 
        2003 concluded that religious freedom does not exist in Saudi Arabia;
Whereas in a report on Saudi Arabia published in May 2003, the United States 
        Commission on International Religious Freedom has found that religious 
        freedom does not exist in Saudi Arabia and has concluded that the 
        Government of Saudi Arabia forcefully limits the public practice or 
        expression of religion to the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam;
Whereas the Government of Saudi Arabia severely restricts non-Wahhabi places of 
        worship and denies non-Wahhabi clerics entry into the country;
Whereas security forces of the Government of Saudi Arabia continue to abuse and 
        torture detainees and prisoners, including individuals held on account 
        of their religious beliefs or practices;
Whereas religious law is interpreted and enforced in Saudi Arabia in a manner 
        that affects every aspect of the lives of women in Saudi Arabia and 
        results in serious violations of the human rights of such women;
Whereas the Government of Saudi Arabia severely limits the freedom of movement 
        of women and discriminates against women in education, employment, 
        access to healthcare, marriage, and inheritance, among other things;
Whereas the religious police in Saudi Arabia, known as the ``Mutawaa'', 
        arbitrarily raid private homes and exercise broadly defined, vague 
        powers, including the ability to use physical force and detain 
        individuals without due process;
Whereas the Mutawaa intimidate, harass, abuse, and detain citizens and 
        foreigners of both sexes;
Whereas, although the Government of Saudi Arabia has publicly affirmed that all 
        residents of Saudi Arabia have the liberty to worship in private, for 
        several years, and as recently as the fall of 2003, Shi'a clerics have 
        been arrested, imprisoned, and tortured for expressing their religious 
        views and some foreign workers have been arrested, detained, tortured, 
        and deported for worshipping in private;
Whereas offensive and discriminatory language has been found in school textbooks 
        sponsored by Saudi Arabia, sermons in mosques, and articles and 
        commentary in the media about Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims;
Whereas in March 2004, the Government of Saudi Arabia detained and imprisoned 
        several democratic reformers for criticizing the strict religious 
        environment and the slow pace of reform in Saudi Arabia;
Whereas the Government of Saudi Arabia, which enjoys access to the United States 
        media, refuses to allow the transmission of Radio Sawa, which promotes 
        values of democracy, tolerance, and respect for human rights, in Saudi 
        Arabia;
Whereas the Government of Saudi Arabia funds mosques, university chairs, Islamic 
        study centers, and religious schools known as madrassas, all over the 
        world, in at least 30 countries;
Whereas there have been several reports that some members of extremist and 
        militant groups that promote intolerance, and in some cases violence, in 
        the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, and Africa have 
        been trained as clerics in Saudi Arabia;
Whereas there have been a growing number of reports that funding originating in 
        Saudi Arabia, including, in some cases, from individuals and 
        organizations associated with the Government of Saudi Arabia and the 
        royal family, has been used to finance religious schools and other 
        activities that allegedly support religious intolerance, and, in some 
        cases, violence, associated with certain Islamic militant and extremist 
        organizations in several parts of the world;
Whereas in response to an April 2004 request of the Committee on Governmental 
        Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Government Reform of the 
        House of Representatives, the Comptroller General of the United States 
        is undertaking a study to determine what the Government of the United 
        States is doing to identify, monitor, and counter the influence of 
        funding and support from Saudi Arabia for individuals, organizations, 
        and institutions that advocate violence, intolerance, or religious 
        extremism outside of Saudi Arabia; and
Whereas the Government of Saudi Arabia has made public statements pledging 
        political, economic, and educational reforms and the improved treatment 
        of foreign residents, but it does not appear that such pledges are being 
        carried out in Saudi Arabia: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), 
That Congress--
            (1) calls on the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi 
        Arabia--
                    (A) to stop providing funding for religious 
                activities that promote hatred, violence, and human 
                rights violations;
                    (B) to stop providing diplomatic status to Islamic 
                clerics and educators teaching outside of Saudi Arabia 
                who are not legally entitled to such status;
                    (C) to close any Islamic affairs section of an 
                embassy of Saudi Arabia that has been responsible for 
                propagating intolerance;
                    (D) to uphold the international commitments made by 
                Saudi Arabia by respecting and protecting the human 
                rights of citizens and foreigners of both sexes in 
                Saudi Arabia;
                    (E) to ratify and fully comply with international 
                human rights instruments and cooperate with United 
                Nations human rights mechanisms, and, in particular, to 
                sign, ratify, and implement the International Covenant 
                on Civil and Political Rights done at New York December 
                16, 1966;
                    (F) to immediately implement promised judicial, 
                political, economic, and educational reforms;
                    (G) to cease messages of hatred, intolerance, or 
                incitement to violence against non-Wahhabi Muslims and 
                non-Muslim religious groups in the educational 
                curricula and textbooks, mosques, and media controlled 
                by the Government of Saudi Arabia;
                    (H) to permit the establishment of independent, 
                nongovernmental organizations to advance human rights 
                and to promote tolerance in Saudi Arabia, and to take 
                action to create an independent human rights commission 
                for the same purposes;
                    (I) to safeguard the freedom of non-Muslims, and of 
                those Muslims who do not follow the Wahhabi 
                interpretation of Islam, to worship in private in Saudi 
                Arabia;
                    (J) to permit non-Wahhabi places of worship, such 
                as churches, to function openly in special compounds or 
                zones for foreigners or in unadorned buildings 
                designated for this purpose; and
                    (K) to permit the broadcasting of Radio Sawa 
                throughout Saudi Arabia; and
            (2) urges the President--
                    (A) in both public and private fora, to raise 
                concerns at the highest levels with the Government of 
                Saudi Arabia regarding the ongoing and repeated 
                violations of internationally recognized human rights, 
                including the right to freedom of religion or belief, 
                in Saudi Arabia;
                    (B) to designate Saudi Arabia a country of 
                particular concern under section 402(b)(1)(A) of the 
                International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 
                6442(b)(1)(A)) for the systematic, ongoing, and 
                egregious violations of religious freedom occurring in 
                Saudi Arabia;
                    (C) to encourage the Government of Saudi Arabia to 
                expeditiously implement the publicly stated plans for 
                judicial, political, economic, and educational reform 
                in Saudi Arabia;
                    (D) to encourage the Government of Saudi Arabia to 
                cease any funding of efforts to propagate outside of 
                Saudi Arabia any religious ideology that explicitly 
                promotes hate, intolerance, and other human rights 
                violations, including violence;
                    (E) to request that the Government of Saudi Arabia 
                provide an accounting of what kinds of support from 
                Saudi Arabia go to religious schools, mosques, centers 
                of learning, and other religious organizations 
                globally, including in the United States, and the names 
                of such institutions;
                    (F) to develop and expand specific initiatives and 
                programs in Saudi Arabia to advance human rights, 
                including religious freedom, the rights of women, and 
                the rule of law, including, the Greater Middle East 
                Initiative, and the Department of State's Middle East 
                Partnership Initiative, Middle East Democracy Fund, and 
                Human Rights and Democracy Fund, international 
                broadcasting, including overcoming obstacles to 
                broadcasting Radio Sawa throughout Saudi Arabia, and 
                other public diplomacy programs; and
                    (G) to provide an unclassified report to Congress 
                on the efforts of the Government of the United States 
                to raise concerns regarding human rights, including 
                religious freedom, with the Government of Saudi Arabia, 
                and the results of such efforts and the results of any 
                initiative or program described in subparagraph (F).
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