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Reforms in Saudistan ? King Abdullah's new clothes !

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Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jan 5, 2011 at 16:30

The article strangely reminds me of what Dr. Pipes wrote on 'reforms' in Turkey two years ago with a similarly hopeful title "Is Turkey's Government Starting a Muslim Reformation?" But the article then ended on a different, much more realistic note from what we read now. "True reform - Dr. Pipes wrote - awaits true reformers – not Islamist functionaries but independent, modern individuals intent on aligning Islam with the best of modern mores." And in an update "Any government that purports to decide which religious interpretation is "correct" has established a theocracy. The first step in any genuine religious reform must be to sever the connections between political power and religion, and to affirm the rights of everyone to think and to speak as they wish."

If measured by his own sound standards then any talks about "reforms" in Saudistan can be freely and unconditionally relegated to a dustbin of politically correct futurology and/or state-sponsored media deception. Instead, what we can and should see is outlined in an older and much better article by Dr. Pipes "The Scandal of U.S. -Saudi relations" where the real issues at stake like virulent Saudi anti-Semitism, total lack of political freedoms and pluralism, disgusting human rights abuses, supporting terrorism, religious discrimination etc. etc. are explictly named and not hidden under the watered-down euphemistic quotes and optimistic generalities like "the general trend is in favor of the reformists, reform is piecemeal, hesitant, equivocal and strongly resisted."

Let's face it ! Any happy messages coming from a nasty Oriental medieval despotism like Saudistan must be treated with utmost distrust and suspicions by anyone in his senses. King Abdullah is a typical bloody Oriental tyrant.True, this bloody tyrant and obscurantist is so powerful and useful to the West that the latter prefers to seldom criticise his despotic regime. Quite the contrary, it does its best to lick his oil-stained boots and not to see what the tyrant doesn't want them to see.

But is that a sufficient reason to buy the royal Saudi lies and Western half-truths by the rest of us ? As long as the basic facts about Saudistan don't radically change (and they won't for a number of reasons ) nothing will improve there. And these basic facts are i.al. that no freedom of speech and the press is heard of or tolerated in Saudistan and any critcism of the royal family is suppressed and punished severely with amputated heads rolling on the sand after Friday prayers or dissidents decaying in Saudi dungeons. As Amnesty International writes in its 2009 report (.p.12) " Thousands of people languish in jail, some of whom have been held for years without trial. All are denied basic prisoners' rights. Among them are prisoners of conscience held solely for the peaceful expression of their views."

Trade unions and political organizations and parties are banned. Public demonstrations are forbidden. The Saudi Government actively censors Internet reception within its borders. Abroad it spends billions of dollars to spread militant wahhabism in such places as Chechnia, Western Europe and the US. Witch hunts are on the rise in the kingdom ... Sounds quite "modern", doesn't it ?

I doubt therefore if any happy news about great King Abdullah who "ushered in an easing of what critics call gender apartheid" and made a number of other irrelevant changes that don't have any bearing upon the Saudi system as such should be taken too seriously by us. These seem to be rather the emperor's new clothes about which Andersen wrote : "the king had decreed since the cloth had the ability to tell if people were worthy or intelligent, it became a necessary prerequisite to hold office, to view the cloth and describe it. So there was a fairly steady parade of cabinet members and court officials visiting and complimenting the weavers on their work." Whoever wants or hopes for Saudi money or support must praise the king's new "clothes", but the rest of us with no vested interest in lying and no liking for complimenting a perfidious Oriental despot should rather exclaim as the girl in the fairy tale with indignation : "Mommy, why is the King naked?"

Submitting....

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