Saudi Arabia, Syria And Political Hypocrisy

by
Fatimah Mazhar
It is a well-known fact that Saudi Arabia wants to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Saudi Arabia, Syria And Political Hypocrisy

It is a well-known fact that Saudi Arabia wants to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Saudi Arabia has long supported an Arab League plan for a “democratic transition” that would end the ‘oppressive’ Assad regime. The country’s ruler, King Abdullah last year, denounced United Nations Security Council’s failure to act on Syria. He declared in a statement, “The world is ruled by brains, by justice, by morals and by fairness.”

As far as brains are concerned, Saudi Arabia is the country that allowed women to ride bikes only for ‘entertainment’ purposes and not for traveling. Justice and fairness, again, are not really King Abdullah’s forte as women, minorities and journalists in Saudi Arabia are still persecuted.

Why is Saudi Arabia, then, bothered about ‘democratic transitions’ in the Middle East when it is the only thing that the country’s ruling family fears (and hates) the most?

According to Saudi Prince defector, Khalid Bin Farhan al-Saud, democracy is the last thing his family wants in their country. Dissidents (mostly Shiites) and journalists are constantly being targeted and jailed for raising their voice against the injustices of the Saudi government and ruling family.

Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on dissidents, including a highly publicized case involving Raif Badawi, is garnering global condemnation. According to a human rights monitoring and advocacy group in Saudi Arabia, several rights activists have been sentenced to jail for being ‘outspoken’ or allegedly inciting religious hatred. Human Rights Watch cites Saudi Arabia has stepped up arrests and trials of peaceful dissidents, and responded with force to demonstrations by citizens.

But Saudi Arabia doesn’t seem to care. Last week, the country offered to buy billions of dollars worth of arms from Russia in return for a Moscow commitment to ease its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and to not block any future United Nations Security Council resolutions against the Damascus regime. The deal was not reached with the Saudis because Kremlin refused to change its stance on Syria.

It’s about time Saudi Arabia realized that it’s being really hypocritical as far as its policies regarding Syria are concerned. After all, charity begins at home. Doesn’t it?

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