Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, vice chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), called on the State Department to reconsider Saudi Arabia’s religious freedom violations and identified with Raif Badawi, a Saudi website editor who was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes on Monday
“Our goal is to highlight to the American people that the State Department can no longer give this indefinite waiver to Saudi Arabia,” Dr. Jasser, author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told The Christian Post in an interview Thursday.
According to the vice chair, Saudi Arabia “fits the textbook” of a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) in which religious liberty is violated. “If we were to write…how you would define a Country of Particular Concern that restricts religious freedom, Saudi Arabia would be the poster country,” he said.
Jasser compared his own organization to Badawi’s website. “What does the American Islamic Forum for Democracy do?” he asked, rhetorically. While Jasser’s organization freely “talks about classical liberal ideas and freedom as having a room for discourse that everyone deserves a right to discuss and have an opinion about Islam,” Saudi Arabia arrested Badawi “for simply wanting to have this conversation.”