Saudi Scholar: Revolution Coming

Friday, 13 May 2011 09:03 AM

By Steve Emerson

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A Saudi-born, liberal intellectual claims that while the Saudi regime has bought off and suppressed current dissatisfaction, revolution still is coming. In excerpts of an article translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Mansour al-Hadj argues that disenfranchisement of weak sectors of the society will lead to an inevitable backlash.

Shiites, women, children of immigrants, political prisoners, and liberals are all volatile elements in Saudi society, al-Hadj argues in his article at the liberal Arabic-language website Aafaq.org. The Saudi government uses a carrot-and-stick method to suppress dissent, employing brutal crackdowns and controls on intellectual freedom, while issuing royal decrees to disperse massive amounts of funds.

But such steps "do not even touch the basic problems or offer any solution to the difficulties of those who are oppressed and persecuted," he writes. Those injustices include repression of women's rights and freedom and poor treatment of Shiites and immigrants. Left untreated, and they become fuel for revolutions.

"The sense of injustice and persecution, along with the desire for a proper livelihood, and [the desire to] secure a better future for the coming generations — these are the true [motivations] of the revolutions that will inevitably come wherever there are people suffering injustice and persecution and demanding reform," he says. "Saudi Arabia will not be an exception, because the hidden fear has vanished, and the peoples have realized that they are able to bring about change."

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