Monday, February 28, 2011

A Call from Saudi Intellectuals to the Political Leadership

See too Mai Yamani’s article in the Guardian, “Why a king’s ransom is not enough for Saudi Arabia’s protesters,” which concludes as follows:
“Denial remains the dominant state of mind of the Saudi rulers. The royals believe that they have a special status in the Arab world and that no revolution can touch them. And if one tries, they will follow the words of Prince Naif: ‘what we took by the sword we will hold by the sword.’
In Saudi Arabia, the technologies of globalization have been deeply felt. When people are awakened in this way, the view that economic development would automatically produce political stability has been shown as a lie by the events in Tunis and Cairo, Bahrain and especially Libya. There is no automatic stabilizing factor in either economic or the social bribery that King Abdullah is now engaged in.
To preserve their throne, the Saudi royals must embark on a political evolution commensurate with the country’s accidental economic modernisation. Today’s inchoate unrest can still evolve in the direction of a constitutional monarchy. Now is the time for King Abdullah to act and not to bribe.”


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