AGL 23.81 Decreased By ▼ -0.54 (-2.22%)
AIRLINK 103.60 Increased By ▲ 0.60 (0.58%)
BOP 5.66 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.88%)
CNERGY 3.93 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.76%)
DCL 8.36 Decreased By ▼ -0.14 (-1.65%)
DFML 41.70 Decreased By ▼ -1.29 (-3%)
DGKC 88.30 Decreased By ▼ -0.60 (-0.67%)
FCCL 22.70 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
FFBL 40.88 Increased By ▲ 2.68 (7.02%)
FFL 8.96 Decreased By ▼ -0.15 (-1.65%)
HUBC 160.49 Decreased By ▼ -3.21 (-1.96%)
HUMNL 11.46 Decreased By ▼ -0.34 (-2.88%)
KEL 4.82 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.62%)
KOSM 4.09 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.97%)
MLCF 38.60 Increased By ▲ 0.19 (0.49%)
NBP 53.60 Increased By ▲ 0.75 (1.42%)
OGDC 130.60 Decreased By ▼ -2.29 (-1.72%)
PAEL 25.36 Decreased By ▼ -0.29 (-1.13%)
PIBTL 6.25 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-2.04%)
PPL 118.90 Decreased By ▼ -0.60 (-0.5%)
PRL 23.95 Decreased By ▼ -0.65 (-2.64%)
PTC 12.92 Increased By ▲ 0.28 (2.22%)
SEARL 59.11 Decreased By ▼ -0.49 (-0.82%)
TELE 7.43 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-0.8%)
TOMCL 34.99 Decreased By ▼ -0.16 (-0.46%)
TPLP 8.72 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-1.47%)
TREET 15.90 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (0.63%)
TRG 55.95 Decreased By ▼ -1.95 (-3.37%)
UNITY 34.95 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (0.17%)
WTL 1.20 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-1.64%)
BR100 8,536 Decreased By -8.5 (-0.1%)
BR30 27,187 Decreased By -204 (-0.74%)
KSE100 79,944 Decreased By -48.3 (-0.06%)
KSE30 25,500 Decreased By -43.9 (-0.17%)

WASHINGTON: A US delegation on religious freedom said Monday it cut short its visit to Saudi Arabia after one of its members was asked to remove his Jewish head covering, or kippah.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said its delegation was near Riyadh visiting Diriyah, a historic town that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, when the commission’s chair, the Orthodox Rabbi Abraham Cooper, “refused their requests that he remove his religious head covering.”

“No one should be denied access to a heritage site, especially one intended to highlight unity and progress, simply for existing as a Jew,” Cooper said in a statement.

The USCIRF said Cooper and its vice chair Reverend Frederick Davie were invited to tour the site last Tuesday as part of their official visit when, after several delays to the tour, officials requested that Cooper remove his kippah “while at the site and anytime he was to be in public, even though the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs had approved the site visit.”

Saudi Arabia “is in the midst of encouraging change under its 2030 Vision,” Cooper noted. “However, especially in a time of raging anti-Semitism, being asked to remove my kippah made it impossible for us from USCIRF to continue our visit.” The USCIRF said it was particularly regrettable it happened to the representative of “an American government agency that promotes religious freedom.” The commission is a US government advisory body mandated by the US Congress.

Davie, the USCIRF vice chair, described the incident as “stunning and painful,” adding: “It directly contradicted not only the government’s official narrative of change but also genuine signs of greater religious freedom in the Kingdom that we observed firsthand.”

The Saudi embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to AFP request for comment.

The incident comes against a backdrop of tensions between Saudi Arabia and US ally Israel over the war in Gaza, and US efforts to promote normalization of ties between the two states once the conflict is over.

Comments

Comments are closed.