Saturday, May 07, 2005

Our friends the Saudis

The following are against the law in the land of Saud. Threatening national unity, i.e. no making waves. Doubting the independence of the Saudi judiciary, how dare anyone suggest such a thing? Organizing meetings, none of that assembly stuff allowed. And of course justifying violence. Not violence itself mind you, at least not when applied by the religious police or the government. But any justification of violence not sanctioned by the government, a government which is using violence to crush any dissent.

Violence by the religious police is accepted because those being beaten are decadent amoral individuals that commit such crimes as holding hands in public or dancing. Even when such “policing” results in horrendous acts such as herding schoolgirls back into burning buildings because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress.

No, that is not a crime, but criticizing a phony National Commission on Human Rights and threatening to organize your own human rights organization will get you charged with violating the above mentioned laws. Ali Al-Domaini, Matrook Al-Falah and Abdullah Al-Hamed were subsequently put on trial on August 9, 2004. The proceedings have been carried out behind closed doors. The attorney representing Dr. Al-Falah was arrested for making a public petition to Crown Prince Abdullah demanding a fair trial for the three. Surely these are the real criminals in Saudi Arabia, not the zealots that caused the deaths of 15 girls.

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