November 30, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2670

Saudi Prince: A Curse on Anyone Who Seeks to Institute Western Democracy in Saudi Arabia

November 30, 2009
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 2670

In an op-ed in the Saudi daily Al-Watan, Saudi Prince Saud bin Mansour bin Saud bin 'Abd Al-'Aziz [1] took on Saudi and Arab liberals and reformists and the Western ideal of democracy. Without naming names, he said that these people were promoting Western democracy despite all its flaws and despite the fact that Islam is vastly superior. Calling democracy "demo-khratiyya" (i.e. "demo-mendacity"), the prince said that writers who criticized Saudi Arabia needed an "ideological bloodletting" to purge them of their corrupt ideas.

Following are translated excerpts from his article: [2]

Unfortunately, Some Arab Media Are Trumpeting Democracy Instead of Islam

"Democracy according to their interpretation [that is, that of the Arab reformists] is a Western social regime that works for the interests of the majority, under many protections and conditions, in order [to enable] political stability, development and advancement, as well as reduced corruption, poverty and hunger, and freedom of expression. This freedom is always plastered like a placard on the wall of democracy - in [full] knowledge that Plato called it the rule of the people for itself and by itself.

"Most unfortunately, some of the Arab media mouthpieces are trumpeting [democracy] as a means of [progress], forgetting that democracy's principles include that of separation of religion and state. They enslave the term [i.e. democracy] to their own twisted interests, and to their prattling that gives their listeners a headache.

"Have the owners of these mouthpieces [i.e. the Arab media] forgotten that Islam laid out an order that is incompatible with foreign ideology, and that it is a sound and pure religion - and that the respect for the individual in Islam... is supreme? [Have they forgotten that Islam] is the best source for the appropriate freedom and for [ideals of] humanity, and that it is the best protector of mankind?

"Those who hasten to endorse the Western 'openness' - whose arrows appear gentle but [carry] a fatal load - have they forgotten our principles and our clarity? Have [these people] not noticed that the West is always marketing democracy as a secular and civil system, not a religious [system]? [Struck by] waves of political Alzheimer's, they keep telling us that Islam is not democratic.

"A curse on anyone who wants to enforce this demo-khratiyya on all political and constitutional issues. A curse on all those dictatorships that masquerade as demo-khratiyya in order to destroy what they define as third-world countries!

"It should be remembered that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the Custodian of the Two Holy Places, and that the sons or residents of the homeland have never been denied their rights. Our country's structure is perfect [thanks to] Islam, which has established the [concept of] shura [i.e consultation] and the protection of rights, freedom, justice and anything [else] of value, as laid down by this generous religion."

"Writers [Who Criticize Saudi Arabia] Need an Ideological Bloodletting in Order to Remove [Their] Corrupt Ideas"

"Members of the Arab and Muslim media are miserly when it comes to highlighting this Islamic freedom, and do not present our just Islamic system. Let us be more mature than these ideas, that lead a divisive and cheap style aimed at dividing the country into factions and groups.

"How can we be indifferent to the fact that the various Arab media are replete with booby-trapped imported ideas?! Not to mention the perversion represented by video clips or [soap operas], which some people look forward to more than the month of Ramadan itself so that they can enjoy the garbage of those artists, marketers, and actors. All this is aimed at dismantling religious obligation, under the slogan of democracy.

"...Most of our Arab media platforms [are filled with] sensationalism, exchange of insults, debauchery, agitation, fitna [i.e. civil strife], perversion, and reactionism. We read amazing things written by some [Saudi] writers, in which the term 'the Saudis' is used in a generalizing manner to include anything disgraceful, and anything that crosses red lines.

"These writers need an ideological bloodletting in order to remove [their] corrupt ideas. They must be taught not to generalize like ignoramuses.

"Oh my country, rush to glory and grandeur by having your sons cling to Islam, Arabness, and Saudiness!"


[1] The prince is the great-grandson of the founder of the Saudi kingdom 'Abd Al-'Aziz (ruled 1932-1953) and the grandson of King Saud (ruled 1953-1964).

[2] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), October 19, 2009

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