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Old 29 Nov 2017, 04:16 AM   #681389 / #1
Hermit
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Default A Saudi Arab Spring in Winter?

Prince Mohammed bin Salman has big plans for change in Saudi Arabia. He seems to have started to clear the way for them by imprisoning 200 or so of his potential opponents in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Now he needs to defang the religious police, and before that he'll have to deal with their backers, the Wahhabists who have been the backbone of the Saudi kings since 1744.

Last year 153 people were executed for breaking Saudi laws. I wonder how many will meet that fate in 2018. And what plans, if any, does the crown prince have for the thousands of guest workers that live in SA in abject misery? Still, one step at a time might be a wise way to proceed, and the first step or two have been made. Mohammed bin Salman is in his early thirties, and seems determined to drag his country into civilisation. If he does not get assassinated or ousted in a coup, he has a long time to effect change for the better.
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Old 30 Nov 2017, 01:34 PM   #681501 / #2
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I'm very cautiously optimistic about SA, as I watch the so called leader of the so called free world try to drag our country back a few centuries.

I've read that Prince MBS, as he's sometimes called, approves of Trump but I assume he's just doing that for political reasons. If he's dumb enough to think that there is anything rational about the way Trump acts or thinks, then MBS doesn't leave me with much hope.
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Old 01 Dec 2017, 03:22 AM   #681564 / #3
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The Arab "Spring" turned out badly basically everywhere.
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Old 01 Dec 2017, 04:50 AM   #681573 / #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
The Arab "Spring" turned out badly basically everywhere.
Yes. Basically because it was controlled from the bottom up by Islamic fundamentalists. Therein lie three crucial differences. The Saudi Arab version is
(1) from the top down
(2) specifically aimed against Islamic fundamentalism
(3) a reform of governance rather than an attempt to bring it down via a revolution

If it works out as projected remains to be seen, of course, but unlike the earlier events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain its failure is not a foregone conclusion.
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Old 01 Dec 2017, 06:44 PM   #681605 / #5
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
The Arab "Spring" turned out badly basically everywhere.
As Hermit as pointed out, this is very different from what happened in the other countries. That is the only reason that gives me some hope. This prince does seem a lot more progressive than his predecessors, although that's not saying much considering we're talking about SA.
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Old 30 Dec 2017, 01:45 AM   #682440 / #6
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The Saudi royals made a devil's bargain with the Wahhabists to gain control of Arabia. I'm not optimistic that the new King can buck them without bringing down his own house. Also, people with power rarely give it up willingly, and any real reform would require him to ultimately do so.
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Old 30 Dec 2017, 03:55 PM   #682449 / #7
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I think the present Saudi government's initiatives at reforms are having the support of the youth and public. Chess, for example, was vilified by saudi clerics as satanic, but the recent world rapid chess championship in riyadh went very well over there without issues, due to sound public support amongst youth and intellectuals.

The saudi government's recent decree allowing women to drive too shows its focus and zeal on national reformation and getting rid of outdated practices and ideas.

This can have positive repurcussions in the Islamic world too for the better.
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Old 05 Jan 2018, 11:07 PM   #682581 / #8
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Quote:
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Chess, for example, was vilified by saudi clerics as satanic
Idiotic even for clerics. What, spending time learning chess would have taken time away from learning how to repress/abuse people with religious horseshit?

Someone has to be totally insane to willingly spend time in an islamic country. I would have to be taken to one by force.
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Old 06 Jan 2018, 02:37 AM   #682587 / #9
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Welcome development, rather than exporting terrorism and fundamentalism to all countries in the world and not just oil.
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Old 06 Jan 2018, 04:21 PM   #682605 / #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackrabbit View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajay0 View Post
Chess, for example, was vilified by saudi clerics as satanic
Idiotic even for clerics. What, spending time learning chess would have taken time away from learning how to repress/abuse people with religious horseshit?

Someone has to be totally insane to willingly spend time in an islamic country. I would have to be taken to one by force.
There was a time when the Islamic world was more progressive and liberal than the west.

The arabs introduced Indian mathematics in the west, but it was met with opposition by christian fundamentalists as satanic, even though it was certified as fruitful by Pope Sylvester.

Zero, which probably sprung from the Buddha's Shunyata or emptiness philosophy, was condemned by Christian fundamentalists as satanic, though it was eagerly embraced by the Arabs with no issues.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cr.../#.WlJJJF00zIV


When it was finally accepted in the west after many centuries after it was first brought there, the numeral system with zero and other mathematical concepts brought there by the arabs, greatly advanced western science and mathematics along with its accounting system .
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Old 06 Jan 2018, 06:08 PM   #682607 / #11
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That was then. I am talking about now. Therefore interesting, but I see no reason to alter my statement.
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Old 30 Dec 2017, 10:08 PM   #682455 / #12
Loren Pechtel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espritch View Post
The Saudi royals made a devil's bargain with the Wahhabists to gain control of Arabia. I'm not optimistic that the new King can buck them without bringing down his own house. Also, people with power rarely give it up willingly, and any real reform would require him to ultimately do so.
Yeah, they might fail. My point is that they are at least trying--they're moving away from radicalism.
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