Thursday, 15 September 2011

The New Terror In Saudi Arabia 
by James Dunnigan
September 12, 2011

Map of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is still at war with terrorism, but not the Islamic kind. The Saudis defeated al Qaeda three years ago, after a five year battle. Al Qaeda survivors fled to Yemen, and elsewhere. But the Saudi government kept arresting people. The Saudis claim they have arrested 5,700 terrorist suspects since 2003. But Saudi pro-reform groups claim that it may be more than twice that. This is because Saudi Arabia is ruled by Sharia (Islamic) law, which allows the police and courts to do pretty much whatever they want. They are accountable only to God, and the king.Those arrested in the last three years are increasingly pro-democracy activists. Not criminals at all, except to royalists and Islamic conservatives (who believe democracy is un-Islamic.) And to the royal family and the clerics, these reformers are terrorists. But at least the royal family realizes that kingdoms are in decline, and that some accommodation will have to be made, eventually. But in the meantime, democracy activists are arrested, and held for months, or years, without being charged. Under Sharia law, the accused have none of the protections taken for granted in the West.

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