US Commission on International Religious Freedom ends trip to Saudi Arabia over hijab issue


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A U.S. diplomatic visit to a world heritage site in Saudi Arabia was cut short on Monday after authorities requested jewish member Members of the group removed his religious turban, but he refused to do so.

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) concludes visit to Diriyah UNESCO World Heritage Site In Riyadh following an incident involving Chairman Abraham Cooper, who is also a rabbi.

Saudi authorities asked Cooper to remove his kippah. Cooper said that as a devout Jew he could not comply with the request, and the delegation was escorted from the venue.

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A man wearing a kippah is photographed during an ordination ceremony at the Roonstrasse synagogue in Cologne on September 13, 2012. The chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) rejected a request from Saudi Arabian authorities to remove his kippah during his visit. Travel to Riyadh’s World Heritage Site. (Reuters/Ina Fassbender)

“No one should be denied access to heritage sites simply because they are Jewish, especially those designed to emphasize unity and progress,” Cooper said in a statement. “Saudi Arabia is proceeding in line with its Vision 2030 Encourage change. However, especially during a time of rampant anti-Semitism, being asked to remove my kippah deprives us of continued access from USCIRF.”

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“We note with particular regret that this incident occurred to a representative of a U.S. government agency that promotes religious freedom,” he added. “The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom looks forward to continuing dialogue with the Saudi government on how to address the issues that led to this disturbing incident.” Systemic problem of unrest.”

David, vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said the group supported Cooper and that the incident “directly contradicts not only the government’s official narrative of change, but also the real signs of greater religious freedom that we have observed firsthand in the Kingdom.” contradiction”.

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    At-Turaif, one of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites

A digital history performance will be screened at the Salwa Palace in At-Turaif in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, during a welcome ceremony for the annual G20 Leaders Summit. It is one of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (Reuters)

Fox News Digital has been contacted Saudi Embassy in Washington.

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For more than two decades, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has annually designated Saudi Arabia a “country of particular concern” for its restrictions on religious freedom, including on the rights of non-Muslims.

“The Saudi government continues to systematically deny non-Muslims the ability to build places of worship or public worship,” the 2023 annual report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said.



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By Ali Raza

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