Aftenposten writes the following in it’s Sunday, Januay 13 paper:
“Similar To Taleban, escapes criticism
Homesexuals are beheaded, prisceless artifacts are destroyed, women have to cover themselves up and the King rules. This could be Afghanistan. It is Saudi-Arabia in 2002.”
The paper points out that the country has by far the largest oil reserves in the world and is a very rich country, but is far from “modern”. Islam is practiced almost as strict as in Afghanistan. Of those who was behind the September 11th atrocities 15 out of 19 was from Saudi-Arabia just like Bin Laden is.
The reason for the Western double standard is that the US has enormous economic interests and investments in Saudi-Arabia, according to Islam expert Kari Vogt.
“King Fadh has absolute power and rules with an iron fist even after he had a stroke in 1995. A myriad of prices and other relatives are also involved in ruling the 13 provinces.
The Kings half brother, Abdullah is prime minister. The King has the right to veto anything even the most insignificant cases, not to mention the bigger cases. Like beheadings, jailed without being charged, gagging of women, suppressing speech.
Amnesty international say that the International community’s reactions to the Saudi regimes violations of human rights can be best summed up in one word, silence.”
According to the article 3 homosexuals was executed earlier this month in the town of Abha, this incident was almost unnoticed in the western press. Imagine if it had been Afghanistan.
Saudi-Arabia forbids political parties, there are no elections and the Kings power is only restricted by the Islamic Sharia laws, Saudi tradition and a kind of consensus within the royal family. The King appoints the government and they are responsible to him.
The country is very much a closed society not to be diluted by outside influence, this is probably one of the reasons why last week they destroyed a 230 year old Turkish fort outside Mekka. The memories of having once been ruled by the Ottoman Turks might have become too much for the regime. The official reason was lack of space, it was needed for a 4 billion kroner Hotel project.
The Turkish department of culture ranked the destruction of the Ajyad fortress just as bad as the destruction of the Buddha statues in Afghanistan. The Turks want to raise the case with UNESCO.
According to Kari Vogt there is a steadily growing middle class in the country which will demand reforms to a more democratic rule. One can only hope that it will be a peaceful one.
The same issue of Aftenposten tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel Martha McSally a female pilot in the US Air Force which is sick and tired of the dress code for women doing service in Saudi-Arabia, a dress code even stricter than the Saudis have themselves.
She is now suing the Dept of Defense lead by Rumsfeld.
Personally I think that Saudi-Arabia would be a wonderful place to visit for all the US Christian fundies, as it has exactly the kind of society they all want so badly, with their “return” to good old Biblical values.
In general one has to be impressed by the obvious double standards of the international community lead by the US. What is a moral outrage in Afghanistan is perfectly acceptable in Saudi-Arabia, after all it keeps the US public with the cheapest gasoline in the world. So I guess that driving gas guzzling oversized cars is far more important than human rights and a few beheadings, who cares?