Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Unrest Spreads to the Magic Kingdom

Is Saudi Arabia immune to the unrest roiling the Arab world? The short answer is "no"--but don't tell the Saudis. They have good reason to think they can roll with the punches (so to speak). From CNN:
Coming off two days of demonstrations, Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry warned Saturday that it would crack down on protesters who continue to take their grievances to the streets.

Saudi security forces will be "authorized to take all measures against anyone who tries to break the law and cause disorder," the ministry said, according to the country's state-run news agency.

The government cited how some were trying "to get around the systems" and "achieve illegitimate goals."

The Interior Ministry spokesman said that kingdom law prevents all kinds of demonstrations, protests, strikes and even a call for them because they're against Sharia law and Saudi values and traditions.

In response, Ibrahim al-Mugaiteeb, president of the Human Rights First Society, told CNN that the Interior Ministry is "not at all sensitive" to the massive unrest sweeping the Arab world.

"I'm hoping that the Ministry of the Interior and the government of Saudi Arabia will not choose to take the security solution road because that was already tested in other Arab countries and, by God, it did not work," said al-Mugaiteeb, who's in Saudi Arabia.

On Saturday, the Saudi government downplayed Friday's protests in the Eastern Province, saying the people weren't calling for a regime change...
I'm pretty sure that falls under the heading of "Famous Last Words."

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