Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced a bill “requiring the U.S. Department of State to report on religious intolerance in education materials and curriculums distributed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education.”
Rubio introduced the bill with the support of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oreg.
“While Saudi Arabia has taken some initial steps to remove intolerant content from their textbooks, the Saudi government’s efforts are insufficient and more work is needed to hold Saudi Arabia accountable to their commitments to make these improvements,” Rubio’s office noted.
“The Saudi government must honor its commitment to remove references from their textbooks that direct hatred and incite violence towards other religions,” Rubio said. “Providing that type of educational material to children is dangerous and undermines counterterrorism efforts. We cannot give Riyadh a free pass as it attempts to maintain this hateful, violent content in its educational materials.”
“The Saudi government has an obligation to make sure the children going through its education system aren’t radicalized by incendiary, intolerant educational materials being taught at schools,” Wyden said. “I urge the Saudis to fulfill that obligation by finally upholding their commitment to remove all forms of religious intolerance from school curriculum.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on which Rubio sits. So far, there is no companion measure in the U.S. House.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.