Princess Basmah, daughter of the former and deceased King Saud, has been a blunt critic of the shortcomings of the Saudi autocratic and theocratic ruling clans. This recent BBC interview (in Arabic) is a testimony to her courage to recognize that religion has become a tool of oppression, often employed against the marginalized "99% of Saudi women."
The Washington-based Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (CDHR) applauds Princess Basmah’s understanding of the multitude of social, political, economic and religious ills that have continually plagued Saudi Arabia since the formation of the state in 1932. The Saudi system's shortcomings which Princess Basmah has been addressing in the media for years are also the root causes of the sweeping uprisings of the Arab Spring, or as she aptly calls it, "The Arab Smoldering Summer.”
We at CDHR agree with Princess Basmah that no regime in the Arab world, including the detached oil-rich ruling dynasties of the Arabian Peninsula, will be spared the wrath of its oppressed population. The Saudi ruling elites should heed the warnings of reasonable, pragmatic and coherent individuals like Princess Basmah and embark on a path of democratic reform in order to “prevent the political storm that is sweeping the Arab World."