Whither the extremists if Saudi Arabia goes moderate?From: email@example.com
The Dictator's Handbook
Nov 16 2017 20:01:59
ORAN, Algeria — Some time ago, an Algerian cartoonist known as le Hic
summarized the situation in Saudi Arabia with a few harsh strokes of
his pen: In a drawing, the Saudi king announces his resolve to combat
terrorism while pointing a gun at his own head. The entire Saudi
paradox was distilled into that cartoon: The country produces,
sponsors, shelters and feeds the Islamism that threatens its
foundations and its future.
It took the West being heavily hit by Islamist terrorism for it to
appreciate fully the measure of this menace, long camouflaged. Indeed,
even as Saudi leaders were shaking hands and smiling at their Western
counterparts, they were hosting preachers advocating jihad to the
hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Mecca for the annual
pilgrimage. Today, everyone sees through the facade better.
Reform in Saudi Arabia now seems necessary — and yet, at the same time,
impossible. How will the royal family manage to reject the clergy’s
support, stop the financing of fundamentalist networks and bring about
nothing short of several revolutions regarding social rights? The
kingdom’s stability is at stake and, as a consequence, that of the
entire region, too.