Welcome Scrutiny of Saudis on Campuses
by Candace de Russy
Stephen Schwartz, who heads the Center for Islamic Pluralism, writes in the Weekly Standard that Saudi Arabia's problems are rooted in its educational system, which indoctrinates the nation's people in an "ultrafundamentalist and violent interpretation of Islam."
More Saudis seem to be of one mind with Schwartz. Notably, some officials have criticized the government for permitting mismanagement on Saudi campuses and the low ranking of Saudi higher education in international performance assessments.
Loathe to deal with the issue head-on, the Saudis want instead "to send 15,000 Saudi college students to America—far more than studied here in a typical year before the atrocities of September 11, 2001, which were perpetrated by 19 men, 15 of whom were Saudi subjects."
But we should all feel more secure to learn that this proposed "quick fix" is colliding with more rigorous and effective American immigration controls:
Before 9/11, Saudi students routinely benefited from the "Visa Express" program, under which entry to the United States was granted automatically, through travel agencies. Three of the 9/11 hijackers had used the "Visa Express" to get into the United States. Following the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, new and demanding background checks, and provision for consistent monitoring of foreign students after they arrive in the United States, were made law.
Read more about why, as Schwartz concludes, the U.S. should not take on "the security burden of a risky immigration experiment involving a country whose status as a friend, ally, rival, or enemy seems as changeable as the desert sands."
Note: The content of external articles does not necessarily reflect the views of Center for Islamic Pluralism.