Not surprisingly, there are many issues that differentiate the US from Saudi Arabia. Particularly since 9/11, Americans have wondered if they ever knew anything about the country. With the exception of Americans who have lived and worked there, the academics who have studied Saudi Arabia, and a few journalists who have actually spent time there, the answer is “no”; Americans know very little about the country.
This section attempts to get at some of those issues with factual analysis, independent reporting, and how the Saudis and others explain them. Follow the hyperlinks for more information.
The major question Americans have about Saudi Arabia center around terrorism. The fact is that 15 of the 19 highjackers who took part in the 9/11 attacks were Saudis. There are many allegations about whether Saudi Arabia funded terrorism, directly or indirectly.
Americans are dismayed at what they know about human rights in Saudi Arabia, including the status of women, and religious freedom. The matter of child abductions frequentlfy makes itself known in both the American media and Congressional hearing. These are most certainly problematic for the United States.
Many believe the US-Saudi relationship is all about oil. While oil is certainly important, it is by far not the most important part of the relationship. In my view, the most important part of that relationship is the role Saudi Arabia plays in influencing the opinions of 1.3 billion Muslims. These Muslims need not follow the same school or practices of Islam as those in the kingdom, but they still pay a great deal of attention to what is said by the religious leaders, scholars, and imams of Mecca and Medina.
The Saudi education system is often cited as the problem, unless it’s the Saudi media. And many Americans feel that the real problem is the Saudi interpretation of Islam.
These are, of course, legitimate quesitons that need answers. This site will try to provide those answers.