UN Watch reports:
Despite its reputation as one the world’s worst violators of religious freedom, Saudi Arabia is now hosting in Jeddah a UN human rights conference on combating intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief, attended by the president of the UN Human Rights Council and other top international representatives.
That’s a rather sick joke. I presume the intent of the conference is not to defend religious freedom, but to lobby to make it an offence to be critical of religions, especially Islam.
Here are the facts on religious freedom in Saudia Arabia:
- non-Muslims are not allowed to hold Saudi citizenship
- conversion from Islam to another religion is apostasy and punishable by death
- If born to a Muslim father, you are deemed Muslim and hence face the death penalty if you choose not to be
- It is illegal to publicly practice any non-Muslim religion
- Sharia law applies to all residents, regardless of religion
- The spreading of Muslim teachings not in conformity with the officially accepted interpretation of Islam is prohibited and people have been jailed for doing so
- Non-Muslims are banned from Mecca
- Non-Muslim clergy may not enter the country for the purpose of conducting religious services
- Proselytizing by non-Muslims is illegal
- Islamic religious education is mandatory in public schools at all levels
- There are no Shi’ite army officers, ministers, governors, mayors and ambassadors in this kingdom despite being 15% of the population
- Up until 2004 Jews were banned from entering Saudi Arabia
For such a country to host a UN conference on religious freedom is sickening.