American Islamic Forum for Democracy
Contact: Mischel Yosick
480 225 7473 firstname.lastname@example.org
May 18, 2017
American Muslim reformist calls for a U.S. Saudi reset based on universal human rights.
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), the nation’s most prominent organization of reform-minded Muslims, expressed concern about President Trump’s visit today to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and urged the administration to take a new approach to relations with that country.
M. Zuhdi Jasser, MD and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), today expresses his concerns below:
“President Trump has the opportunity to shift the way our country handles relations with Saudi Arabia. While the Kingdom is certainly an important ally, it is also the chief exporter of extremist ideology, proponent of mass human rights violations, and a refuge for terrorists and their sympathizers. For too long, our country has remained unconditionally loyal to Saudi Arabia, refusing to hold the Kingdom accountable for its abuses of its position as our ally. I encourage President Trump to shift focus on multiple fronts: 1) to make clear that he is aware that Saudi Arabia is making every effort to silence dissidents and Muslim reformers; and 2) that the United States will seek to ‘reset’ its relationship with the Kingdom, but through a policy of accountability and mutual respect. We further request that President Trump demand the immediate release of Raif Badawi and other dissidents languishing in Saudi jails, as a first step in shifting Saudi policy toward freedom of conscience and human rights. We stand ready to support wise policy from the Trump administration based on universal human rights, our moral leadership as well as our shared interests. We welcome any shifts that signal a meaningful change in ending the Kingdom’s stronghold over Muslims worldwide.”
Dr. Jasser concluded, “Americans need to understand that Saudi Arabia’s gulf state “Petro-Islam” is the root cause of Muslim radicalization and anti- Western sentiment around the world. Until this is addressed globally, the cycle will never end.”
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