April 9, 2007


Wave of Saudi youths challenge kingdom's conservative sway: Saudi Arabia's rulers are allowing young people to push social boundaries – a little. (Dan Murphy , 4/10/07, The Christian Science Monitor)

In Saudi Arabia, the young are findings more ways around the conservative regulation of public life. From dating to listening to music, they are testing the strict hold of religion on a kingdom ruled by the Koran and the same family for decades. Indeed, with more than 70 percent of its citizens under 30, the oil-rich country is being forced to find more room for freedoms than outsiders typically expect from this monarchy. While the young people aren't likely to lead a revolution on the scale that America saw in the 1960s, the urge for greater independence is coming under the rule of reform-minded King Abdullah, who many say is giving some license for Saudis seeking change.

"Look, of course this is still a very, very conservative place, and half of the time all I think about is leaving," says Ibrahim, a 23-year-old hipster in baggy jeans, a goatee, and a T-shirt. "But it's a lot better than a few years ago. Just look around."

Neither the Wahabbists nor the Shi'a extremists can establish or maintain their hold in the face of an enormous cohort of young people, but a civil war within Islam would get rid of a whole mess of them...

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 9, 2007 7:52 PM

Strange as it may sound, Saudi Arabia is, after the United States, one of the world's biggest magnets for migrants. If the regime of social control gets liberalized further, this will make it even more attractive.

Posted by: Nathan Smith at April 9, 2007 8:23 PM

a civil war within Islam would get rid of a whole mess of them... And it is a good thing.

Posted by: ic at April 10, 2007 2:45 AM

Why can't the left and silly 'pacifist' right see that this is the REAL frontline in the war on Radical Islam, and that the internal debate is driectly precipitated from the invasion of Iraq and the toppling of a dictator.

Posted by: bruno at April 10, 2007 8:06 AM

Wahhabism is the problem, it is imbibed like mother's milk from the start. It suffuses
the attitude of the internal security services;
the foreign ministries, spreading the creed over seas; ditto for their external security organs;
their financial networks. All directed to the ultimate goal that Mohammed dictates 1400 years
ago. And sorry Orrin, this means the Jews themselves as the cleansing of the Jewish communities in Khaybar and Yathrib (Medina) indicate. In this sense, Wahhab sadly fulfills
the imperatives of Mohammed and Ibn Tamiya; whether they want to admit it or not.

Posted by: narciso at April 10, 2007 10:37 AM

You don't have to apologize to me. Wahabbism is the enemy.

Posted by: oj at April 10, 2007 1:48 PM

With all due respect; the problem isn't Wahhabism; although they are the outlier;
it goes back to Mohammed, and Surah 9,&5,
and the battle over Yathrib, which was
declared to be Medina; one of the earliest
examples of ethnic cleansing; a millenia
before the rise of Israel of the 'Occupied
Territories'. Now Saladin, victor at Hattin,
did grant the Jews sanctuary back to Jerusalem,
but he was a Kurd, not an Arab.

Posted by: narciso at April 10, 2007 3:55 PM

No, not ethnic. Jews are welcome to convert to Islam. It is Judaism that is racial.

Posted by: oj at April 10, 2007 5:17 PM