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Saudi Arabia and the Spring of the Middle East

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The Saudi dynasty and King Abdullah seem to have become more generous recently. King Abdullah bin Abdul bin Abdul Aziz promised the Saudis $36 billion dollars in benefits, including a 15-percent salary increase for public employees and financial aid for students and the unemployed. A further $58 billion was pledged over the next four years for education, infrastructure and healthcare. Chronologically speaking, this happens after millions of Arabs took to the streets to demand rights and the end of the police states and tyrannies. This happened when it was clear that the spirit of freedom and human rights is definitely in the air.

The King has also launched a center to promote reforms, "the King Abdulaziz Centre for National Dialogue." Sheikh Saleh Alhussayen, the chairman of the Presidential Committee, emphasizes that the King Abdulaziz Centre for National Dialogue was established by Royal Decree. Shiekh Saleh also states that the Centre "is willing to receive any opinions or ideas from all streams that are responsible and confined to the fundamentals of Islam and aim at serving our religion and country without affecting national unity or the country's bases."

In spite of this, when the Saudis take to the streets to demand a peaceful dialogue over human rights, the police shoot at them. At the same time, they not only ban any kind of protest, they also considering it "as an affront to Islam".

After having banned any domestic protest, the Saudi Dynasty decided to send troops into Bahrain to support the ruling al-Khalifah dynasty, the Sunni minority that has ruled this small island since its independence. In fact, such a show of force, "with more Saudi troops already deployed, is an attempt by the Saudi-led GCC ("Gulf Cooperation Council") to stiffen the resolve of the ruling house in Bahrain to extinguish the democracy protests by force if need be. The violence unleashed by the Bahraini army and police against peaceful protestors was the direct outcome of this Saudi/GCC military intervention". With the support of Saudi troops, the Bahraini army opened fire brutally wounding and killing protesters. The ruling dynasty of Bahrain has now banned any kind of protest and the security forces of al-Khalifa has begun hunting down the demonstrators as if they were rats.

In Bahrain there is no sectarianism. As in other Arab countries Bahrainis have begun pushing their own political and economic demands. It was claimed that the Saudi military intervention took place within the framework of the GCC. Yet it is well known that the GCC is a political instrument of Saudi Arabia. The GCC is a one-way "Cooperation Council" where members can enter, but the statute does not allow members to leave. Saudi Arabia, gave asylum to the dictator ben Ali of Tunisia, and until his last days sought to prop up Mubarak. Now the country is trying to establish Mubarakism without Mubarak and it is determined to put an end to the "Middle East Spring" with petrodollars, terrorism and military intervention. It has been said: "The destiny of this pageant lies in the Kingdom of Oil..."

... and so things could continue in this way, if the international community does not intervene.

After stifling protests within its own borders, Saudi Arabian intervention in Bahrain means that it is perpetuating its obscurantist message using terror. This policy of terror is due to the nature of how the power structure was formed in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is used to interpreting any kind of diversity "as an affront to Islam". This has been the approach since 1744, the establishment of the pact between "the puritanical religious revivalist Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and a group of desert warriors known as the Ikhwan, who had embraced the call to arms of al-Sa'ud. The same pact governing this alliance between religious and temporal powers persists to this day through the clerical legitimization of the rule of the House of al-Sa'ud, and the reciprocal guarantee of the Islamic character of the state."

The heavy responsibility of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 is a well-established fact. Gerald Posner's book, Why America Slept explaining the history of Abu Zubaydah, reveals the secret connections between Saudi Arabia and Osama bin Laden. Posner documents how various Saudi princes were involved in the 9/11 tragedy. The history of Saudi ideological and financial support to the Taliban and all the global jihadist movement is exposed:

In her book Modern Jihad, Italian journalist Loretta Napoleoni states:
"According to several estimates, Islamic organisations, many of which are linked to armed groups, can draw from a pool of money ranging from $5 billion to $16 billion, the Saudi government alone donates $10 billion via the ministry of Religious Works every year", The liberal distribution of petrodollars by the Saudis can be gauged by the fact that more than 1500 mosques were built around the world in the second half of the last century.

The same shocking cables show US diplomats arguing that Saudi donors are among the chief financiers of al Qaeda. A document that went out a year ago with Hillary Clinton's signature, "Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide" declared, "More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups."

For Muslims, the message of the prophet of Islam is based on peace and justice. According to many Muslims, the Wahhabi power has turned this message into a pile of fearful rules and into a tool of terror. With a fundamentalist power, which benefits from huge oil revenues and supports jihadist movements worldwide with both funding and military intervention at a regional level, what future can the democracies and human civilization expect? In Saudi Arabia, where beheading is a penalty foreseen by the law, no form of democratic legitimacy is recognized. In the name of absolute obedience to God perpetuated by the Salafi mufti, all rights are denied -- women's rights in particular.

According to spirit of Wahhabism, Sheikh Abdelmalek Ramdani, an Algerian influential Salafist leader who lives in Saudi Arabia has issued a 48-page fatwa, or religious decree, urging Muslims to ignore calls for change because he says that democracy is against Islam. "As long as the commander of the nation is a Muslim, you must obey and listen to him. Those who are against him are just seeking to replace him, and this is not licit," Ramdani wrote in the fatwa. "During unrest, men and women are mixed, and this is illicit in our religion," said Ramdani, who claims several hundred thousand followers here.

The nature of Saudi power and the dangers arising from it concerns not only the Saudis, but all human beings.