Study finds Saudi government still tolerates hate speech

Source: Associated Press

By AYA BATRAWY
Yesterday

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Saudi government continues to tolerate hate speech by some clerics against minority groups while public school textbooks in the kingdom still include language that discriminates against other forms of worship, a new study by Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

The New York-based watchdog says that despite reform efforts and strong condemnation of attacks against Shiite citizens, Saudi officials have not acted to stamp out hate speech by state-affiliated clerics and government agencies.

The Human Rights Watch report, titled “They Are Not Our Brothers: Hate Speech by Saudi Officials “, said the Saudi state has permitted government-appointed religious clerics to refer to minority Muslim Shiites in derogatory terms, sometimes rising to the level of hate speech and incitement.

Saudi clerics mostly adhere to an ultraconservative Sunni interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism — and many view other faiths and variants of Islamic worship as sinful.

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