Saudi influence decried at seminar

Saudi Arabia’s influence in American life was criticized at a Capitol Hill seminar.

“Saudi Infiltration into the American National Infrastructure” was organized by the 2-year-old Endowment for Middle East Truth,  a hawkish pro-Israel think tank.

Among the speakers Wednesday were Sandra Alfonsi of Curriculum Watch, who charged that publishers of American textbooks have painted Islam in a positive light because of a long-term, Saudi-funded campaign to improve the image of Islam.

“We’ve been miseducated, intimidated and brainwashed,” she said.

Other speakers discussed the Saudis’ use of foreign courts to sue American writers and journalists, and a northern Virginia Islamic school that has been using textbooks with derogatory statements about Jews.

U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) also appeared at the conference to express her support for the Endowment for Middle East Truth’s efforts and legislation that would stop a proposed U.S. arms sale to the Saudis.

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