‘If you want reforms, you’re a terrorist’: Saudi regime

Developing Just Leadership

Crescent International

Rabi' al-Thani 05, 1435 2014-02-05

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

The Saudi regime insists it has a perfect system in the kingdom. People have achieved nirvana. Therefore, anyone seeking reforms is a “terrorist” and will be punished for it. The chopping bloc is ready in the public square.

Riyadh, Crescent-online
Wednesday, February 05, 2014, 15:41 EST

The Saudi regime has strange notions of right and wrong. A new law (actually a decree) came into effect on January 31 that brands anyone who criticizes the kingdom’s policies as a terrorist and therefore subject to prosecution.

It goes further: if anyone exposes corruption or call for reforms, he is a terrorist and will be punished. So corruption has been provided legal cover by the latest royal decree but only as long as stealing is done by the hordes of royals (There are at least 7,000 ‘princes’ in the kingdom.)

One estimate puts the total number of the House of Saud members at 35,000. That is a huge number and adds to lots of corruption.

The army of royal princes will now be able to sleep easy. Anyone who dares expose their corruption scandals or other obnoxious behavior such as adultery, drinking binges etc will be arrested and tried on charges of terrorism.

The thieving royals never took the slightest notice of anyone in the kingdom pointing to their corruption. It proved embarrassing only when they traveled abroad and these stories made it into some media outlets.

According to the new law, any act that “undermines” the state or society, including calls for regime change, can be tried as an act of terrorism. Closely related to these draconian measures are the sweeping powers granted to security forces to raid homes and track phone calls and Internet activity.

Amnesty International has decried Saudi Arabia over the new law. The group’s Deputy Director for Middle East and North Africa Said Boumedouha said in a statement, “This disturbing new law confirms our worst fears – that the Saudi Arabian authorities are seeking legal cover to entrench their ability to crack down on peaceful dissent and silence human rights defenders.”

As absolute monarchy that claims to be ruled by the Qur’an and the Prophet’s (saws) Sunnah, the Saudis have a strange understanding of sacred texts. The Qur’an constantly emphasizes social, political and economic justice. In fact, it takes a very strong stand against any form of injustice.

The Prophet’s (pbuh) Sunnah is equally clear. When a companion complained that the Prophet (pbuh) had wronged him by hitting him in the stomach while straightening lines prior to one battle, the noble Messenger (pbuh) immediately offered the complainant to exact retribution by exposing his own stomach to him.

While claiming to be following the Sunnah of the noble Messenger (pbuh), the Saudis have just criminalized all forms of protest in complete violation of the Prophet’s (pbuh) Sunnah.

The decree was approved on December 16 and was published in its entirety for the first time on Friday January 31, in the government’s official gazette, Umm Al-Qura.

The Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, Abdel Aziz Khoja, claimed in December that the legislation struck a “balance” between prevention of crimes and protection of human rights, according to Islamic law. How this was the case, he did not explain.

Human rights activists like Abdulaziz al-Shubaily have called it a “catastrophe.” There are more than 30,000 political prisoners in the archaic kingdom. Calling for their release or demanding a fair trial for them would constitute terrorism from now on and the person could end up in jail.

The new law also criminalizes criticism of such scandalous and barbaric behavior as the rape and brutal murder of the five-year-old girl by her father, the Saudi preacher Rayhan al-Ghamdi.

Early last year, he accused his five-year-old child of committing adultery and losing her “virginity.” The preacher then proceeded to rape her and broke several bones in her body. The poor child died in hospital a few days later.

Mentioning such crimes would bring “disrepute” to the kingdom and thus the person would become a “terrorist.”

This is what the Saudi kingdom has fallen to. Can its demise be too far away?


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