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land of the free

Saudi Diplomat Seeks Asylum in Los Angeles

Obama meets with King Abdullah in June.

Even with the Koran burning and withdrawal from Iraq, it's somehow easy to forget that America's second-closest ally in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars funding the most extreme kinds of Islam and runs a religious police state where women are not allowed to drive

So thank you, Ali Ahmad Asseri, for reminding us of our backwards ally! According to NBC News, a top official at the consulate in Los Angeles "has informed U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials that Saudi officials have refused to renew his diplomatic passport and effectively terminated his job after discovering he was gay and was close friends with a Jewish woman."

He said that he first got in trouble a few months ago when suspicious co-workers began following him to gay bars. They also discovered he had befriended a Jewish Israeli woman, and demanded that he return home.

Sex between two people of the same gender is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, and Asseri has said he will be killed in "broad daylight." He also publicly called out "militant imams" in the regime and accused four princes of taking money from the consulate without doing any work.

On August 31, he formally applied for asylum. If the U.S. accepts, he would be the first diplomat to successfully do so since 1994.

Saudi diplomat seeking asylum: 'My life is in danger' [NBC News]

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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP