Study finds Saudi government still tolerates hate speech

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A new study by Human Rights Watch has found that the Saudi government continues to tolerate hate speech by some clerics against minority groups and that public school textbooks still include language that discriminates against others.

The New York-based watchdog says that despite serious reform efforts and strong condemnation of attacks against Shiite citizens, Saudi officials have not acted to stamp out hate speech that supports violence.

The rights group's report, titled "They Are Not Our Brothers: Hate Speech by Saudi Officials", says that the Saudi state has permitted government-appointed religious clerics to refer to minority Shiites in derogatory terms, sometimes rising to the level of hate speech and incitement.

The 62-page report released on Tuesday says courts also discriminate against Shiites and that school curriculum stigmatizes Shiite religious practices.

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