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Abstract 1203

The Saudi Public Speaks: Religion, Gender, and Politics

Publication Abstract

Moaddel M. 2006. “The Saudi Public Speaks: Religion, Gender, and Politics.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 38(1): 79-108.

The fact that fifteen of the nineteen terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001 were Saudi citizens inevitably raised serious questions about the social conditions that have produced such violent personalities capable of the mass taking of innocent lives and devastating an entire city, if not a nation. Answers were quick to come by, as the U.S. media pointed to the Saudi culture. Charges were made that the youth were brainwashed by the most extremist school in Islam, namely, Wahhabism. The Saudi educational institutions were also blamed for promoting anti-Semitism, anti-Western attitudes, and intolerance of other religions. Saudi society was also condemned for having a corrupt and backward political system. Naturally, in this land of intolerance and authoritarianism, resorting to violence by its inhabitants became a foregone conclusion.

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