The Censored Nation: On Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is a country in the Middle East that shares borders with Qatar, Iraq, and Yemen among other nations. Saudi Arabia’s ruling religion is Sunni Wahhabism, Wahhabism is used by the ruling class as a political tool to solidify the power of the Saud family. They have also deprived their citizens of many natural rights, keep foreigners away and block many internet sites. Al-Rasheed Madawi a scholar in Middle Eastern studies reviews many works on Saudi Arabia. Sunni Wahhabism is a fierce interpretation of right-wing Islam; it calls for a patriarchal society were the man oversees all decisions in the house, women must always be accompanied even when going to the store, women are not allowed to drive and the Mutaween or the Islamic religious police enforce sharia law in respect to the precepts of Wahhabism. Al-Rasheed Madawi uses his knowledge to clarify historical inaccuracies as well as provide new important insight on the subject.

Al-Rasheed Madawi uses various sources to explain the rise of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, how its political ideology as well as its economy has led it to become one of the most controlled and censored countries in the world. Vassiliev (author of History of Saudi Arabia) believes the Wahhabi reform was due to a profound spiritual crisis that encircled Saudi Arabia. Prior to the reform movement however there were descriptions of cults, saint-worship, sorcery, and magic. Practiced Islam has ritualistic belief in sorcery and magic therefore Wahhabism cannot be the product of some profound spiritual crisis but rather of some other political or social factor. Between 1916 and 1936 Saudi Arabia was turned into a monarchial state by Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud whose family has been and still is in control of Saudi Arabia. His sons king Saud, Prince Faisal and the rest of their brothers governed the nation as a private estate, Faisal meant to employ programs that would curb the excessive spending of his older brother king Saud but failed to employ such mechanisms. Faisal did succeed however in institutionalizing power sharing between the various branches of the Saud family that were all in key governmental posts.

Al-Rasheed Madawi effectively uses logos to explain how an oligarchy regime rules the kingdom of Saudi Arabia when he states that “after the Ikwhan revolt, an outcome of political centralization, Vassiliev highlights the importance of oil in the changing underlying political structures and contributing to further solidify the present regime” (Madawi, 194). Oil and the impact of oil in our economy is why the Saud regime uses religion to keep their population under control with outrageous laws while the regime keeps the oil money circling the higher strata. The hypocrisy of the silence in the West exposes the support and alliance with a country considered the epitome of undemocratic and authoritarian rule; the United States the home of the brave and the land of the free allies itself with a nation whose ruling religion despises the western culture, whose ideology differ in every sense of the word; the United States simply does not want to disrupt the oil trade and the benefits they gain by allowing the Saud regime to rule in Saudi Arabia. Others might wrongly praise the Saud regime for its wisdom, discipline, its efforts to modernize and to survive in a tough region prone to rebellion and civil unrest. Al-Rasheed Madawi brilliantly uses Andres Jerichow’s work "Saudi Arabia outside global law and order" to effectively attack the Saudi regime for its horrible treatment of its populace and for violating many human rights in a country whose closed itself off from the rest of the world and its leaders have honed their control over censorship.

Saudi Arabia is a nation that has been oppressed and controlled ever since its foundation in 1932. Its rulers and oligarchs have made it so that the regime of power stays within the Saud family and the voice of the people has been cut off entirely. Keeping a nation in fear with twisted ideology to fit the agenda of the government is appalling and horrible. The United States remains and ally of Saudi Arabia due to its huge oil trade, it is an asset for the U.S to maintain. Silence like a cancer grows, it festers until it kills the host. Silence here in the west has also helped the Saud regime gain power, inactivity has made the Saud family very powerful and an entire nation could collapse if we idly stand by.

Work Cited:

Al-Rasheed, Madawi. "The History of Saudi Arabia / The Remaking of Saudi Arabia: The Struggle between King Saud and Crown Prince Faisal, 1953-1962 / Saudi Arabia Outside Global Law and Order / The Saudi File People, Power, Politics" Middle eastern studies, pp193-198. ProQuest Central. http://search.proquest.com/central/docview/203253109/1D969C545F5D43F5PQ/1?accountid=10616