WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today welcomed changes to Saudi Arabia’s laws that decrease restrictions imposed on women by the religiously-grounded male guardianship system. The changes allow women to travel without a guardian’s permission, maintain legal guardianship over their children, and register marriages, births, and divorces.
WASHINGTON, DC – Nadine Maenza, Vice Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), today called on Saudi authorities to drop all charges against and release religious prisoner of conscience Raif Badawi.
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is deeply troubled by Saudi government’s mass execution on Tuesday of 37 Saudi nationals, a majority of whom were Shi’a Muslim.
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today announced the release of its report, “A Survey of 2017-2018 Saudi Middle and High School Textbooks,” which finds a troubling rise in intolerant content in Saudi textbooks promoting hatred and violence.
This follow-on contracted study reviews 22 middle and high school textbooks published by the Saudi government for the 2017-2018 academic year, including the 12 high school books previously reviewed by USCIRF in its May 2018 Special Report.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a trip last week to Saudi Arabia, Commissioners Johnnie Moore and Nadine Maenza of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) met with government officials and had the first meeting ever granted between the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the “Religious Police”) and a U.S. delegation.
This report presents findings from a review of 12 Saudi high school textbooks for the current 2017-2018 academic school year. The books, numbering more than 2,000 pages and focusing only on religious subjects, are much more intolerant than the six religious books from 2012-2014 that were reviewed by USCIRF. Based on the books reviewed, it appears that they are even more intolerant than the 2011-2012 textbooks studied by the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (ICRD), which identified many intolerant passages. The 2017-2018 books are more akin to Saudi textbooks from the early years of the previous decade before the Saudi government promised to reform its curricula. The issues found in the books implicated religious freedom and other human rights.