Friday, March 12, 2010

Steps to Undermine Muslim Extremism: The Saudi Angle

Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, CDHR

Invites You to a Timely Conference

Steps to Undermine Muslim Extremism: The Saudi Angle

March 25, 2010 at The Heritage Foundation

10:30 - 12:30 followed by lunch

The Heritage Foundation, Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE

(Metro Red Line to Union Station)

As the birthplace of Islam and home to its two holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia plays a major role in the lives and perceptions of the estimated 1.5 billion Muslims throughout the world. Similarly, Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest producer and exporter of petroleum for which the Saudi government receives large amounts of cash, as well as political and religious concessions from Muslim and non-Muslim governments and other institutions. In addition, Saudi Arabia is strategically located across the Persian Gulf from the most unpopular regime in the Muslim World, the Iranian theocracy. Given these facts, Muslim and non-Muslim governments, businesses and other institutions are intensely competing to befriend and praise the Saudi government for its domestic development and role in facilitating regional and global political, religious, and economic crises. As skilful manipulators of domestic, regional, and global turmoil, the autocratic and theocratic Saudi establishments are busy exporting their dreaded and lethal Wahhabi religious ideology to every corner of the planet.

Prior to September 11, 2001 (9/11), the Saudi monarchs were mostly known for their pricy willingness to keep the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in check. The villainous 9/11 attacks on the US exposed the Saudi institutions for what they are: religious extremists and expansionists with global objectives. 15 of the 19 religiously indoctrinated terrorists who attacked the US and killed thousands of innocent people on 9/11 were Saudi nationals, as was the mastermind and financier of the vicious attack, Osama bin Laden. 9/11 drew worldwide attention to Saudi Arabia, its domestic, regional, and global policies and activities. The findings have been astonishing.

The global media and foreign governments, friendly and unfriendly, descended on Saudi Arabia and dug deep into Saudi society, its history, religion, human rights, and the status of women, minorities, and expatriate laborers. Their findings unearthed the root causes of the many social, political, religious, educational, and economic illnesses that have plagued Saudi Arabia for decades: the Saudi religious-educational institutions and the policies of the men who control and operate them. Prominent among media findings was the deeply rooted religious intolerance toward non-Muslims, Muslim minorities, and women. The media also discovered that the Saudi dynasty and its institutions were intensely active in exporting their reviled and lethal ideology, Wahhabism, to Muslim and non-Muslim countries worldwide. In addition, the media found that Saudi Arabia was the largest supplier of suicide bombers, some of whom turned against the religious and political institutions that conceived, hatched, incubated, nurtured, and exported them.
Global media findings and exposure of Saudi religious extremism and its byproduct, terrorism, led many governments, including Saudi Arabia’s closest allies and defenders, to pressure the Saudi government to remove inflammatory material from its schoolbooks and join the international community in its war on terrorists groups. The Saudi government complied especially since it became a target of its own homegrown extremists in 2003. Some success in hunting, arresting, incarcerating, rehabilitating, and killing large numbers of extremists and terrorists in Saudi Arabia, yet the root causes of extremism and terrorism and their daunting implications for Saudi Arabia and the international community remain intact.

To underscore the looming Saudi instigated-Islamist threats and explore alternative policy recommendations for U.S. decision makers specifically and the international community at large, the Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia and The Heritage Foundation invite you to attend, learn, and participate in this timely and unique conference.

When: Thursday, March 25, 2010, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Featured Speakers:

Opening Remarks by James Phillips, Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation

Moderator: Ali Alyami, Executive Director of the Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia

Lee Smith
Journalist who has written for, among others, Tablet, The Weekly Standard, The New York Times, The New Republic
Author, The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations (Doubleday, 2010)

Ahmed Subhy Mansour, Ph.D
President, Ahl AlQuran International Islamic Center, former professor at Al-Azhar University, a pioneer in advocating re-interpretation of Muslims’ religious text books, author of 24 books and relentless critic of the concepts of Jihad, bigotry and dictatorship in Muslim thought

Dr. Farzana Hassan
Communications Director, Muslim Canadian Congress
Author, Islam, Women, and the Challenges of Today: Modernist Insight and Feminist Perspective

Jack Pearce
Former Assistant Chief of the United States Justice Department Antitrust Division
Former Deputy General Counsel of the White House Office of Consumer Affairs

RSVP: (202)558-5552
OR or call (202)675-1752

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