Monday, August 01, 2005

On King Fahd's Death

After 23 years of absolute rule, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia at the age 0f 84 died today. Upon his six-week long illness, Crown Prince Abdullah was named his successor on Thursday. Meanwhile, the two factions between democratic reform and Islamic radicalism seem locked in a decisive war for the future of Saudi Arabia. King Fahd's death may have only deepened rifts within the Al-Saud - his own family of over 22,000 princes/princesses.

In a country where women cannot drive vehicles, cannot vote and are segregated from men in every aspect of Saudi life, democratic reform is extremely difficult. In a country with close ties to the US, specifically the Bush family, both militarily and economically, radical Islamic terrorists have now turned on the Saudi family since May 2003, citing issues of corruption and betrayal. Both reformers and Islamic radicals have a common enemy in the form of the ruling Saudi monarchy, teetering on the edge of full-blown revolution.

As Mai Yamani assesses the current dilemma at, new King Abdullah's choice for Crown Prince:
If Abdullah (aged 83) can perhaps skip a generation and appoint a more open-minded younger figure, there may be hope. But Naif (age 77), his full brothers - including Sultan (age 82) - and their supporters within the Wahhabi establishment appear too entrenched to allow that to happen. Like the geriatric successions that preceded the collapse of the Soviet Union, the succession in Saudi Arabia seems to be only a step in an inexorable march toward political decay. Russia found a young reformer in Mikhail Gorbachev too late. It may also be too late for Saudi Arabia.
Crown Prince SultanIndeed so. Abdullah's appointment does not seem very promising. With King Abdullah's health in decay, the appointment of Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz as Crown Prince seems to herald only a retreat from reform, angering both fundamentalist and democrat alike.

The question remains however: who will rule Saudi Arabia after the fall?

Will the Western world find an ally or a much stronger, focused foe?


At 12:51 PM GMT-5, Blogger La Bona said...

In the name of justice, I am obliged to help to disseminate story of a religious persecution ... My apologies for irrelevance.

Breaking News!
Barbaric persecution of an apostate …

The Malaysian authorities are persecuting an ex-Muslim fondly known as Ayah Pin and flatten his religious commune dubbed as Sky Kingdom, which is a quasi-religious commune located in north east Malaysian.

Once Muslim, Forever Slave!
Ayah Pin has publicly renounced his Islamic faith in 1998 but was REJECTED by the state (NB: Apostasy is a capital crime is Malaysia punishable by DEATH!)

The Persecution
In 2001, the Malaysian authorities jailed Ayah Pin for 11 months for attempting to renounce Islam. He is viewed as a security threat and they continue to harass him with all sorts of uncivilized threats befitting the low-life including smashing up the lovely giant teapot and flattening the commune, which they just did yesterday!

Prior to the destruction yesterday, the authorities raided the commune in July, 2005 and detained 45 faithful including a Kiwi, senior citizens and among others, 3 children of Ayah Pin and his 3 wives. I read somewhere; there are kids left behind unattended in commune and while some faithful have to pawn all they have to bail themselves out, the rest are still in custody.

Their crime: Being unIslamic!

As if the arrest was not good enough, mobs made up of some 35 unidentified assailants armed with Molotov cocktails attacked the commune and set the place ablaze …. Assailants attack Ayah Pin's commune with Molotov cocktails! ... I supposed mobs and Molotov cocktails are Islamic.

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