Thursday, September 06, 2007

Saudi Arabia Must Be Culturally Open

An intersting piece sent in by Memri. One reason the Arab World is so actively pursuing peace with Israel at the moment is the problem of the radicalisation of the populations of the region as the status quo festers on:

In an article in the Saudi daily Al-Watan, Saudi columnist Sa'ud Al-Balawi criticized attempts by Saudi religious streams to sabotage the country's annual cultural events, thereby transforming Saudi Arabia into a Taliban society, isolated from the rest of the world. The following are excerpts:

Last Tuesday, Al-Watan reported that eight extremists had threatened to disrupt vocal concerts organized as part of the annual Jeddah festival, after trying to persuade the public not to enter the concert hall. Having failed, [the extremists] began to shout, threatening to stop the festivities by any possible means... "Extremist tendencies are becoming increasingly widespread in our midst. This kind of attitude reminds us of past incidents such as [the disturbances] at the international book fair and at Al-Yamama College...


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