Friday, December 7, 2012

Lessons for the Rest of the Arab Autocratic Dynasties in the Gulf

CDHR’s Commentary: The ruling Al-Sabah Family of Kuwait is known as the least oppressive of the Gulf rulers. The family has also been throwing monies into people’s pockets, as well as into social programs, education, the health care system and even generous dowry stipends for decades. Politically and socially, the rulers of Kuwait are fairly liberal by the Gulf Arab standards. Obviously, these generous handouts and lenient ruling methods are not good enough for the Kuwaitis, especially the social media generation, as recent protests have shown.

People want the freedom to think for themselves and to rule their country in accordance with 21st century’s values: individual liberty, accountability, transparency and rule of law instead of family, religion and men’s rule. This is what the Bahraini people are fighting and dying for and soon the same will erupt in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Emirates. Unlike any other Arab country, violent unrest in Saudi Arabia will cause unimaginable bloodshed even by the Iraqi, Yemeni, Libyan and Syrian standards. This is due to the violent nature of the Saudi system, partially instigated by the rulers' claims of ownership over the country as well as unresolved tribal, religious and regional issues. This scenario can be averted, but time is running out.

Instead of focusing on buying sophisticated military hardware for billions of dollars, the Saudi ruling family should wake up and embark on extensive reforms such as elections of the Shura Consultative Council and local municipal councils by all Saudis, men and women, above the age of 18. They should also transform the judicial system by staffing courts with capable and well-versed people instead of religious judges. 

Ignoring the inevitable or continuing to buy their way out of trouble is not going to be enough for the Gulf rulers and what is happening in in Bahrain and Kuwait is a glaring lesson that should not be overlooked as people are forced into violence in order to obtain their legitimate rights. 

If the Saudi rulers continue to manipulate power and public wealth, they will find themselves in the same position that the rest of the Arab rulers have and still are facing. This position is exemplified by the recently installed Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, whose palace in Cairo is surrounded by demonstrators chanting “Erhal”, or “leave” in Arabic.. The Gulf ruling families' allies in the West should be advising their clients to change the course before they lose it all.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Saudi Obsession with Women and Fear of Their Power

The Saudi obsession with women's sexuality and fear of their power to expedite the collapse of the crumbling status quo is not accidental. Since the inception of the Saudi/Wahhabi alliance in the mid-18th century, one of its tactics has been to divide and conquer. The country has been divided along gender, regional, religious and ethnic lines since its formation in 1932. 

However, things are changing thanks to social media, which is being used extensively by Saudis (in and out of the country) to discuss sources of oppression, such as the religious establishment, that have preyed on society in order to ensure its control in the name of god and in accordance with Saudi interpretation of Islam.
Women are rising up and demanding their legitimate and basic rights while the system continues to hold onto dated and unsustainable methods of ruling that became outdated two centuries ago.

Blog Archive


United States (14) Saudi women (13) Human Rights (12) women's rights (9) Wahhabism (8) Human Rights Watch (5) Saudi Arabia (5) extremism (5) male guardianship (5) religious freedom (5) women drivers (5) Amnesty International (4) Prince Naif (4) Saudi blogger (4) Twitter (4) censorship (4) conference (4) freedom of media (4) judicial system (4) political reform (4) Facebook (3) Fouad Alfarhan (3) Iran (3) King Abdullah (3) President Obama (3) Saudi royal family (3) Sharia law (3) democracy (3) demonstration (3) employment (3) royal family (3) Blogs (2) CDHR (2) Crown Prince Sultan (2) France (2) Freedom House (2) Hezbollah (2) Israel (2) Jeddah (2) Lebanon (2) Minority Rights (2) Syria (2) Terrorism (2) The Washington Post (2) U.S. Congress (2) Wajeha al-Huwaider (2) arrest (2) child brides (2) education (2) freedom of internet (2) freedom of speech (2) headscarf (2) religious police (2) torture (2) Abaya (1) About CDHR (1) Afghanistan (1) Ahmed Subhy Mansour (1) Al-Doumaini (1) Al-Faleh (1) Al-Hamid (1) BBC News (1) Boston Globe (1) Clare Lopez (1) Contact (1) Dan Burton (1) Economic Reform (1) Farzana Hassan (1) Hamas (1) Hariri Family (1) Iraq (1) Islamic Society of Boston (1) Jihadist (1) King Fahd (1) Mansour al-Nogaidan (1) Middle East (1) Ministry of Interior (1) Muqtada Al-Sadr (1) Muslim Brotherhood (1) Olympics (1) Pakistan (1) President Bush (1) Prime Minister Fouad Siniora (1) Prince Abdul Rahman (1) Prince Al-Waleed (1) Prince Talal (1) Riyadh (1) Sarah Leah Whitson (1) Sarkozy (1) Saudi Embassy (1) Shia (1) Sudairi Seven (1) Sue Myrick (1) Sunni (1) Taliban (1) The Stoning of Soraya M. (1) Thomas Farr (1) adultery (1) burka (1) child abuse (1) female comic (1) film (1) foreign workers (1) hijab (1) honor killings (1) khalwa (1) niqab (1) non-Saudis (1) oil (1) political culture (1) sex segregation (1) stoning (1) succession (1) voting (1) youtube (1)