- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Sulaiman Al-Hattlan
Saturday, May. 24, 2003 at 1:31 AM
Saudi's get the message loud and clear!
On Monday night, Riyadh didn't sleep. Phone lines were jammed and streets were crowded. The news was devastating: three suicide bombings at housing complexes for Westerners here in the Saudi capital had killed more than 20 people and wounded nearly 200, some of them Saudi. Only days earlier Saudi officials had described Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda as "weak and nonexistent." But on Monday night, Saudis were asking, "Is Osama behind these attacks?"
Even if it turns out that Al Qaeda wasn't directly responsible for the bombings, its influence is to blame for an atmosphere that has allowed such horrible deeds. Though few would publicly admit it, Saudis have become hostages of the backward agenda of a small minority of bin Laden supporters who in effect have hijacked our society. Progressive voices have been silenced. The religious and social oppression of women means half the population is forced to stay behind locked doors. Members of the religious police harass us in public spaces, and sometimes even in our homes about our clothing and haircuts. A civil cold war is raging, one we have long pretended doesn't exist.
Some here still won't acknowledge that their fellow Saudis were responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, pinning blame instead on the C.I.A. or Zionists. But what happened in Riyadh on Monday evening must wake us up to the reality that fanatics and terrorists live among us. Suicide bombers are attacking Muslims, too. And fanatical religious leaders have issued religious decrees, or fatwas, calling for the deaths of Saudi liberal intellectuals.
It is time to stop blaming the outside world for the deadly fanaticism in Saudi Arabia, which some Saudis have done in saying that the Sept. 11 attackers had been brainwashed elsewhere. As Mansour Al-Nogidan, a former religious fanatic who has become fundamentalism's strongest Saudi intellectual critic, wrote in a Saudi newspaper last Sunday, Saudi Arabia suffers from a homemade brand of fanaticism propagated by members of the conservative Wahhabi school of Islam. Hamza Al-Muzini, a prominent Saudi linguistics professor, recently wrote in another Saudi daily that his young son is being taught the culture of death at school, and that many teachers influence young Saudis with their extremist political agenda, a situation tolerated by the Ministry of Education. After this article, Dr. Muzini received death threats from Saudi fundamentalists.
Because of the dominance of Wahhabism, Saudi society has been exposed to only one school of thought, one that teaches hatred of Jews, Christians and certain Muslims, like Shiites and liberal and moderate Sunnis. But we Saudis must acknowledge that our real enemy is religious fanaticism. We have to stop talking about the need for reform and actually start it, particularly in education. Otherwise, what happened here on Monday night could be the beginning of a war that leads to the Talibanization of our society.
On the streets of Riyadh yesterday, I saw thousands of angry Saudis. I am angry too. What our extremists exported is coming back to hit us, dreadfully, at home. This Saudi anger could be a sign that our society soon might be able to start looking at itself.
Sulaiman Al-Hattlan, a columnist for the Saudi daily Al Watan, is a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard.
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
|It's about time
||Saturday, May. 24, 2003 at 7:40 AM
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
More Local News...
3 Essential Videos
The System Question as a Survival Question
“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen
Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control
Du pain et des jeux
Fbi joins with Facebook to remove this report
Paraphysique de martyrologie
Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration
Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator
Democratic Socialists of America
Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's
Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup
FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution?
Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians
The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally!
Social Policy as Social Infrastructure
Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud
Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner..
June 2018 Honduras coup update
Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support
New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients
Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation
Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why
Change Links 2018 July posted
Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme )
Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA
For a World Free of Nuclear Risks
More Breaking News...