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Freedom house Report and Saudi influence in universities

Reader comment on item: [Freedom House report on] Saudi Venom in U.S. Mosques

Submitted by Terrence Quirin (United States), Feb 2, 2005 at 14:08

I read the Freedom House report discussed by you in your 2/1 report. I have seen some of this literature and not in a mosque. My daughter was a student at American University from 1997 -2001.

While attending a concert in the campus worship center (used by all faiths), I picked up several publications distributed by the Saudi embassy. They were in English. I took them home because I have long been interested in and concerned about Islam in America. I read these booklets and was stunned and more than a little ticked at the brazenness of the content. These were left for all students and were filled with the hatred discussed in the Freedom House report. This was pre-9/11 so the full import of these publications escaped me.

I have from time to time emailed the Saudi Embassy and CAIR asking if the Saudi government would permit the construction of churches and synagogues and free worship and renounce the "policy" of only Muslims in the holy places. I never expected and answer and did not get one.

More recently I attended a discussion of my Church's Peace and Justice Committee where members of the Villanova Islamic Education Center were present to discuss Islam, its tolerance, compatibility with democracy and why Sharia would be a good for America. I raised a host of questions about the persecution of Copts (denied by the Egyptians among them), the intolerance of the Saudi's toward Christians and Jews contained in their school texts and laws (denied also with the statement that they did not abandon "thinking" by assuming the veil), dhimmitude (absolutely denied), the conflicts within the Koran and the doctrine of abrogation (conflicts denied - they only cite the peaceful parts to the unwitting) as well as many of the issues outlined by you
in your publications. My conclusion (not shared by the professors within the group) was that these people were practiced liars who could not confront the truth because they were preaching a totalitarian worldview that admitted no error.

As a sometimes liberal Democrat I struggle with the concept of freedom of religion and speech but I firmly believe that we have destructive forces among us disguised as a "tolerant religion". I believe we have to challenge Islam and its impact on freedom. I do not see moderation as a driving force in Islam. Perhaps so-called moderate Muslims don't read the Koran or choose to ignore it. But can we count on that for our protection? Will what is happening in the Netherlands happen here? Your discussion of the murder of the Copts in New Jersey suggest s we may be there. A member of the Coptic parish works with my wife and says the newspaper descriptions have been cleansed. Local news coverage says the throats of the victims may have been punctured. The parishioners know what happened.

I am not afraid of the label of Islamaphobe. I am more afraid of being a facilitator.

Terry Quirin
thank you
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