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Friday, February 15, 2008

Why tolerate Saudi Arabia?

Just the last abhorrent crime of the fundamentalist regime of Saudi Arabia: an illiterate woman is going to be killed on witchcraft grounds after a process that has nothing to envy to the methods of Torquemada or De Lancre.

Why is Steven Spielberg silent? Why the so-called "western democracies" don't boycott the machista realm of inquisition? Why Muslims aren't boycotting the pilgrimage to Mecca this year in protest? Why are you still driving?


In the same line it's worth mentioning that a couple of days ago it was news that the Arab League had decided to impose major curbs on freedom of speech to Arab satellite TV channels. The agreement was obviously concerned about criticism to Arab leaders, national and religious symbols. Only Qatar (seat of Aljazeera) and Lebanon opposed. The few other presumed Arab democracies, like Iraq, the Palestine National Authority or Mauretania said not a word. And a real problem is that in all the Arab world most regimes are totalitarian, ranging from absolute monarchies like Saudia, single party regimes like Syria or Tunis, to fake controlled pseudodemocracies like Egypt, Morocco or Jordan. In most of these countries there is no sort of real freedom of speech, with maybe the partial exception of troubled Lebanon. Satellite channels as well as the Internet threaten that obsolete concept of total control and this declaration is actually a major expression of deep fear by the dictators of this part of the world.

Edit: read Aljazeera's reaction.

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