Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Ed Markey (D-MA) today introduced the Saudi Educational Transparency and Reform Act, legislation requiring the Department of State to report on religious intolerance in education materials and curriculums distributed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Government has failed to take sufficient steps to eliminate intolerant content from their textbooks.
“If the Saudi Government wants to try and restore its credibility after the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it must make meaningful reforms, including honoring its commitment to remove intolerant content from its textbooks,” Rubio said. “Language that incites hatred and violence in educational materials provided to children is dangerous and contradicts American and Saudi counterterrorism efforts. This important bipartisan bill will ensure that the United States is monitoring and holding accountable the Saudi government to get rid of this alarming content once and for all.”
“Despite promises to change, the Saudi government is still using textbooks to spread anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, homophobic and extremist sentiment throughout the world,” Wyden said. This important legislation will help hold the Saudi regime to account and send a message to that peddling hate to children just isn’t acceptable.”
“Mohammed Bin Salman cannot be trusted to handle a credible investigation into the death of Jamal Khashoggi,” Markey said. He cannot be trusted to develop a nuclear program for “peaceful” purposes. Can he be trusted to address the threat of extremism and religious intolerance? This bill will make sure that we can closely follow what the Saudi government is, and is not, doing to root out content in its educational materials that incites hatred and extremism. I am proud to be working with Senators Rubio and Wyden on this important legislation that has significant implications for our counterterrorism and national security interests.”