Western countries are beacons of morality, says Saudi writer

Western countries are beacons of morality, says Saudi writer

Saudi writer Abdullah Alalweet, above, is a very brave man.

Speaking on Rotana Khalijiyya TV in a December 4 interview, he told viewers that:

The best way to attain moral values through rationality and humanity is to find a model to follow, and there is no better model than that of the West.

He explained:

Liberalism is the freedom that you give yourself in order to think, and the freedom that you give others so that they can practice their fate. Attributing other meanings [to liberalism] is ridiculous and childish.

Asked “what other meanings?” by the interviewer, Alalweet said:

The prevalence of sex , for example, or things that have to do with women and sex. This is not the true meaning [of liberalism]. The philosophers of the Enlightenment, who demanded freedom and liberalism, were not thinking about sex or about the freedom of women. 

Freedom of women, and of human beings, in general, came later. They did not speak about what women should or should not wear. Anyone who judges the West by what women there wear or by their sexual conduct is, to be frank, an idiot … The West is not a brothel. The West represents a set of moral values and rules of conduct that constitute its culture and individuals.

This will not go down well with the Saudi authorities who, according to the Independent, are embarking on a programme to “inoculate” children against Westernisation, atheism, liberalism and secularism.

These have been listed as threats to “ideological security”, over and above the danger from extremist groups including Islamic State and al-Qaeda and sectarianism.

The Education Ministry’s plans were announced in the Makkah newspaper, and sparked a storm of debate and an Arabic hashtag translated as “Liberalism is a dangerous group” on Twitter.

It follows another government project announced in March 2015 to “protect schoolboys and schoolgirls from deviant behaviour” by enforcing religious and moral values.

Saudi critics labelled the latest initiative “danger to security” and a “disaster” for religious freedom and intellectual debate in Saudi Arabia.

Nadine al-Budair asked on Twitter:

Have you ever heard of a liberal who committed murder? Or of a secularist who blew himself up?

Some newspaper columnists accused the government of seeking to prevent free thought and prioritising a witch-hunt against “liberals” over the real terror threat from Isis and al-Qaeda.

Saudi Arabia’s constitution enshrines Sunni Islam as the foundation for its governance and law, opening with the clause:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab Islamic state with Islam as its religion; God’s Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet, God’s prayers and peace be upon him, are its constitution.

It states that Saudis must be brought up on the basis of Islamic faith and that the state will accordingly strive to maintain the country’s Arab and Islamic values and “protect Islam”.

The constitution stipulates that education will “aim at instilling the Islamic faith in the younger generation” and mold children to be “useful” in society.

Human rights organisations have long raised alarm over Saudi Arabia’s repression of liberal thought with prosecutions and arrests, including the imprisonment and lashing of secular blogger Raif Badawi.

Human Rights Watch’s 2016 world report said the state’s adherence to the fundamentalist Wahhabist branch of Sunni Islam generates wide-ranging constraints on freedom of religion.

It does not tolerate public worship by non-Muslims and systematically discriminates against Islamic religious minorities, including Shias and Ismailis

“Immorality” laws are additionally used to crack down on pro-LGBT, feminist and reformist writing and social media posts, while “blasphemy” is a capital offence.

11 responses to “Western countries are beacons of morality, says Saudi writer”

  1. Bill Bonk says:

    This guy is very brave … some would say suicidally so. But he is trying hard to shine a light on the only real escape route for the survival of the people. Saudi is like a near critical pile of plutonium. It is fizzing and popping away on the brink of destruction. One small shift or jolt will push it over the edge, and Iran is working hard to agitate the unstable equilibrium. Saudi really is on the brink with the ruling filthy rich royals and their acolytes doing their damned best to keep the population cowed and subdued by draconian enforcement of sharia and the worst islamic brutality. It wont be long now. Then watch out as the middle east implodes in a manner 100x worse than the current IS / Syria / Iraq troubles. The armageddon that muslims ache for is in the near future … it will be very ugly and may precipitate the next and maybe final global conflict.

  2. Herbert says:

    Happy xmas Bill. It may be our last.

  3. StephenJP says:

    Well, I think this may not be all bad news. Abdullah Alalweet is indeed quite brave, but he appears to know his audience and is not obviously suicidal. And the announcement from the “Education”Ministry strikes me as an exercise in closing the stable door. The real world is out there, and the Saudi youth (about half the population is under 18) have access to it. Most of them are more likely to listen to Alalweet than to the mullahs.

    Mind you, Trump ain’t even been inaugurated yet…

  4. Trevor Blake says:

    May he inspire others to speak plain facts and remain alive.

  5. Broga says:

    @Herbert: Things do look iffy with so many nutters in charge e.g. that podgy megalomaniac with the odd haircut in North Korea.

    A refutation of catastrophic expectation has often been Malthus who forecast disaster which did not come about. However, I think the present cluster of nutters provides a very different potential for disaster.

    Maybe prayer will save us. I hear that Papa in the Vatican, 80 today, is concerned about climate change. But not concerned enough to support contraception on an overcrowded planet.

  6. Bill Bonk says:

    The pope, the one in Rome, really should encourage homosexuality too, as that constitutes no additional population burden.

  7. Broga says:

    Bill Bonk. Great idea.

  8. zombiehunter says:

    this guy is a legend 😀

    I still miss the hitch though 🙁

  9. John says:

    It is important to distinguish between a tyrannical ruling Saud elite and people living in the Arabian peninsular.
    No people are ever wholly responsible for their rulers and this is doubly so in the case of the Arabian people.
    Perhaps this latest report is a small glimmer of sanity raising its heads inside a fanatical hegemonic regime?
    The old generation is gradually disappearing.
    There is the hope their younger replacements may ease off with all the religious nonsense when they gain power.

  10. John the Drunkard says:

    Hmm. Speech-recognition software strikes again:

    ‘Liberalism is the freedom that you give yourself in order to think, and the freedom that you give others so that they can practice their fate.’

    Shouldn’t that read ‘…practice their faith’?

  11. zombiehunter says:

    “It is important to distinguish between a tyrannical ruling Saud elite and people living in the Arabian peninsular.”

    so true

    there are many forward thinking people such as this man living in Saudi arabia who despise the old farts and clerics in charge.

    I’ve never known anyone from Saudi arabia personally I have had the pleasure of meeting people from Iran who have all been absolutely awesome and they detest the ayatollah and the clerics and I hope that “baby boomerang” the hitch spoke about comes back round soon.