Khaled al-Dakhil, assistant professor of sociology at KSU, was a guest on the Washington Post Live Discussions on Monday to answer questions about his new research into the ascent of Wahhabism and the Saudi state in the early 20th Century. I asked him a question and he answered:
Hofuf, Saudi Arabia: Last year you were speaking during a cultural event in Riyadh and you were fiercely attacked by a religious man when you described the Shiite minority as a part of Saudi Arabia and that the rest of Saudis should understand and accept that. Do you think this attitude toward Shiites in the Kingdom will ever change? How do you see the future of Saudi Shiites?
Khalid al-Dakhil: There are indications that change is taking place here. I think it will change, although this will take time. The govt. should play the leading role to promote such a change. The Shiites in SA are citizens just like everyone there, and should be taken as such. But, at the same time, the Shiites themseleves should not behave as Shiites. They should behave and act as citizens, and insist on their rights first and foremost as Saudi citizens, and not as Shiites. This does not mean that they should abandon their beliefs. NO. But these beliefs should be enriching part of the the cultur and politics of the whole society. In other words, the Shiites should promoters of religious diversity in the country.
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I dont know whats ur view on it, but for me it didnt seem encouraging enough, i am refering to:
“They should behave and act as citizens, and insist on their rights first and foremost as Saudi citizens, and not as Shiites”
what do you think of what he said, u didnt write about ur view on this
I tend to agree with him because I think the Shiites’ demands are inseparable part of the reform that all Saudis are looking for: the freedom to practice their beliefs is a part of freedom of expression, and the equality they are demanding is not something exclusive to them because all of us are looking forward to the day when the words of King Abdullah become a reality: justice for all.
well by calling for equality, i dont fear that the government will not give it to the Shiites eventually, what i fear is whether “some” people are willing to accept that…..
As far as secrecy prevails in the corridors of Saudi government and even amongst the Saudis – its futile and worthless to meet anyone. The top priority is to first get rid of the thing called “secrecy” and indulge in more transparency and accountability.
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