Countering the assertion of many in American academia, a Saudi official said extremist teachings, not poverty or unemployment, are the root causes of terrorism in the kingdom, the homeland of billionaire Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers.
At a news conference in Riyadh, Labor Minister Ghazi Al-Gosaibi blamed the spread of terrorism on the “indoctrination that teaches young people they can kill justifiably” and training in Afghan camps, reported Arab News, an officially sanctioned Saudi newspaper.
“I don’t believe that terrorist movement has anything to do with unemployment,” the minister said.
Al-Gosaibi, noting the wealth of bin Laden and his associates, said “I am not aware that somebody has been driven to terrorism simply because he could not find a job.”
Saudi Arabia’s official unemployment rate was 5 percent, about 150,000 people, the minister said. But unofficial estimates put the figure at up to 30 percent, according to Arab News.
Just two weeks ago, a Washington human-rights group released a year-long study concluding the government of Saudi Arabia is disseminating propaganda through American mosques that teaches hatred of Jews and Christians and instructs Muslims that they are on a mission behind enemy lines in a land of unbelievers.
The 89-page report by Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom, “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques,” concludes the Saudi government propaganda examined reflects a “totalitarian ideology of hatred that can incite to violence.”
The report says the fact it is “being mainstreamed within our borders through the efforts of a foreign government, namely Saudi Arabia, demands our urgent attention.”