You Can’t Kill the Future

It has been two weeks since Matrook al-Faleh was arrested in Riyadh. Despite requests from human rights organizations and the media, the Ministry of Interior is yet to explain why they arrested him.

Activist Fowzan al-Harbi has posted a message to the Saudis for Constitution group this morning saying that a relative of al-Faleh’s has attempted to visit him in al-Hayer Prison yesterday but has been denied. He has been told to go to the ministry, where he asked about the charges against al-Faleh. He has been told the charges are “releasing statements opposing the government and browsing banned websites.”

Jamila al-Uqla, al-Faleh’s wife, has told CNN last week following a visit to her husband in prison that he is in a terrible state. No one has been allowed to visit him since then.

It is truly sad that in a time when our country is trying reform and move towards more openness and freedom that a great intellectual like Matrook al-Faleh is detained for simply practicing his right of free speech by highlighting the miserable state of prisons; in a time when our King says even his majesty is not above criticism, people are being arrested for merely speaking their minds. It pains me to no end that as much as some of us love this country, they keep hurting those who love it the most. They keep on trying to dash our hopes without realizing that they can’t kill the future; they are just delaying the inevitable

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25 thoughts on “You Can’t Kill the Future

  1. God help those who help themselves!! Absoluate freedom in a monarchy is impossible, atleast for the time being. In fact there is peace and stability in the Kingdom because of monarchy. Don;t blame the King, but the system. Freedom of expression or speaking out mind is acceptable to a limit, When anything transgress the limits it becomes intolerable. We have seen how mockery is made of democracy in democratic world.

    Agreed there are some drawbacks in monarchy. And what happens when monarchy tries to crush the freedom of people, is the bright example of the King of Nepal, who was overthrown by the people and had to handover his palaces to the people of Nepal

  2. “Freedom of expression or speaking out mind is acceptable to a limit, When anything transgress the limits it becomes intolerable”

    Exactly how does it become intolerable? I’ve been hearing this argument since i was in high school

    when freedom of thought, expression and religeon is respected and protected by law and when the government is democratic and representitive of all it’s people

    is that intolerable?

    when women are not treated like children
    and people of other faiths are not subject to discrimination

    is that intolerable?

  3. Dear Abu-Dahim, I am surprised that you speak of democracy in a monarchy. Yes, when you disturb peace and tranquilty, it has to be controlled, just as if one does not get better with a normal medicine, he has to be administered bitter dose of medicine.

    Freedom of speech and expression are only visible in democratic world, not in a full-fleded monarchy. Agreed there are many shortcomings in our country,but then that blame lies at the doors of the bureaucracy and the sytem, not at the monarchy.

    Yes, there is a dire need to change the mindset of the Saudi bureaucracy and the government officials at all levels. Even more as the world is changing, there is a equal need for ushering in transparency and accountabiliy. But, I think that is hard to come, unless our masters the Americans feel so.

    First let us make efforts to change the mindset. Let us get on to change the attitude, arrogance and stubborness of the citizens and the government officials. Can we do that? If yes, that would be just excellent. The change will follow for sure.

    Our government system is ridden with sycophancy and sycophants around the Royal family. None has the courage to speak out.And this is the main root of all the troubles that upright people face. We are just impotent and servile to the hilt.

    The government should learn to be tolerable to a certain extent. Constructive criticism should be taken in the right spirit. You cannot gag people for long. The monarchy has to understand that twisting the ears and using strong arm tactics has never been successful and the world has seen how the Shah of Iran Reza Pehlavi had to go under people’s uprising and lately the King of Nepal. You cannot crush the feelings of Citizens.

    Under the garb of Islam the religion, in the name of Allah and his blessed Messenger, the Holy Qur’an as Constitution, the Shariah, people have been subjected to cruelty.This is nothing but hypocrisy. Justice is deprived and those who speak out are thrown into prision and tortured. Protests from Human Rights groups are ignored.This is nothing but mockery of the religion before the world.

    We have the ‘glorfied’ ambassadors who are mocked as “King’s Servile Agents” and the topping is the one ordinary sycophant and civil servant Adel Al Jubeir. He is the biggest propogandist of the monarchy, who tells the world thru the voice of the American masters that all is well in the Kingdom.

    We have to change the complete perception of the Kingdom. We have to stand up and tell the world the truth, We have to shun hypocrisy and get rid of the hypocrites. We have to banish the sycophants and the servile servants. We have to change the servile editors in chief of Saudi media, particularly Turki Al Sudairi.

    I’m optimistic, to the point, very optimistic, that change will come and bring in lots of rays of hopes which we anticipate. But for all these to happen, we need to have patience.

    Inshallah, those who are brave and courageous and not timids, and fighting for the betterment of the Kingdom, would see their dream come true as expected by them. So, let’s keep our fingers crossed till then.

  4. here’s one more example of what I call (tiring policey)
    yes, talk is one thing; action is another. we only get to realize that when we’re placed in the same shoes as Al-Farhan, and Al-Faleh…
    hurray for our deranged version of freedom of expression! This new defenition has to make it to the dictionaries somehow!
    I’m off to cry in a corner over the hopelessness of our situation

  5. Most Saudis think that bureaucracy and corrupt government officials and “our American masters” are what is standing in the face of change

    while it is true that corrupt officials are part of the problem, I think their corruption is a result of the current climate more than a cause of it

    what is standing in the way of change is the religious establishment and how much they can get away with by saying we are following god’s commands and you filthy sinners shouldn’t have a say in the matter

    well my brothers not all Saudis think the way you think and believe in what you believe in

    what needs to change is that Saudis need to start thinking for themselves and listen to all sides of the debate

    as for America and indeed the international community, i think they would like nothing better than to see a constitutional democracy in Saudi Arabia

    our country has a tremendous influence in the arabic and islamic worlds and democrizing it will certainly lead to a more stable region

  6. Abu-Dahim is 100% correct that the West (America included, of course) would like nothing better than a constitutional democracy in Saudi Arabia. A REAL democracy. In the West there is a feeling that in autocratic states, like Saudi Arabia, where the clergy have huge power, democracy would be in great danger of the phenomena called “one man, one vote, one time” meaning that the clergy and there backers would obtain power initally, because there exists no real alternative political parties, and immediately change the rules to keep themselves in power permanently. Thus trading your dismal monarchy for a more dismal theocracy. There is little worse than zealot clerics runnning a country. Think IRAN.

  7. In reading all of these statements, there is a lot of “What we would like to see.” The question is, what are Saudis truly prepared to do in order to make a constitutional democracy a reality? Will it take a revolution in total? Will it take something else altogether? There is a great deal of information identifying what the problems are, but what are the real solutions?

    There is an oft quoted line from Thomas Jefferson: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

  8. Well, I think brother Abu-Dahim understood what I meant. I don’t really understand as to what will happen to monarchy after the Americans thrust in democarcy? Will they suffer the fate like that of dictators like Marcos, Shah of Iran and the King of Nepal? Where would these 50,000 odd so-called arrogant Royal family members take refugee? Wherever, the royals go, they would be ordinary citizens like you and me, with no protection. I do not know if they had taken a leaf out of the troubles many such royals faced.

    Americans have never been friends of anyone.That’s a fact. We have all seen and read how Marcos was made to run from one country to another and then died in Honolulu. Then the Shah of Iran too faced a terrible death like Marcos and died in Egypt, and now the King of Nepal is looking for shelter in neighboring India. President Musharraf of Pakistan, the dictator, is finding ways to escape.Where in Saudi Arabia?

    Yes, the Americans are indeed planning to usher in democaracy. They have a game plan and would execute it at the right moment. As per Western media reports, they are promoting former Oil Minister Ahmed Zaki Yemani to be the president of Republic of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ghazi Al Gosaibi as the Prime Minister, and Khalid Al Mina the chief editor of Arab News as the Information Minister.

    If the Americans under pressure plan to usher in democracy, then it would have good and bad effects. Good that the clerics and corrupt govenrment officials would be punished for their crimes against humanity, the royals ousted out from their palaces which will be turned into museums, liberilzation, while the bad things would be that people may come on streets and demonstrate and indulge in violence.

    We wont. in these circumstances see Fouad behind bars or supression of the voices of the people.

    Let’s hope for the best Abu-Dahim

  9. Ismail, I agree with you to some extent, not fully. Yemani, Ghosaibi and AlMina are all American government puppets.They are no better than the royal, who would face the music and go to prison after democracy comes in the Kingdom.

    While Yemeni is learning the tricks from the Americans, Gosaibi from the Brits and AlMina from the Indians, they would only help increase corruption. So, there should be better options than these people. We have plenty of good people for the jobs.Of all, I think installing AlMina would be the biggest blunder, though we all read the Saudi bashing by the AlMina family including his wife, brother and daughters.
    On the diplomatic front, the sycophants or the lackeys of the royals like Adil Al Jubair and his brother Nail Al Jubair and like minded diplomats like them, all deserve to be thrust into prison. There is now a popular rising for freedom of speech and freedom from the clerics. Let us breathe with ease and enjoy the liberty given to us by God. Inshallah, we would soon see a new star in the horizon.

  10. Mr. Nighttime raises an important point, how do we make these proposed changes a reality

    although it is true that the number of people calling for freedom of speech is growing they are nonetheless a minority. A minority that is often accused of being secularists (like if it was a bad thing)

    a violent approach to the problem is the worst solution possible we must stand up and fight for our rights peacefully

    the media, writers and intellectuals need to be more vocal and educate the public about there rights

    while this approach is a slow one and we might not live to see all the changes that we want to see but it’s the only way to secure a sustainable democracy

    in other words you must make the public want it and want it bad

  11. “Absoluate freedom in a monarchy is impossible”_____Freedom is possible in a constitutional monarchy, such as you see in Britain and several ther European countries. Here, the monarch acts as the symbolic Head of State, and can advise the elected government, but cannot overrule government decisions.

  12. Don Cox you’re right. Abu-Dahim seems to be in a flickering state of mind. In a different world of today, changes can either take place instantly, slowly or not at all. “Our Masters in America” decide it. I have written enough on the role of monarch, the royals, the plans, the treachery of the American master and the gone with the wind situation of some monarchy.

    The people voicing their dissent against the monarchy in the Kingdom, I am afraid, is very minimial and not quite enough what Abu Dahim states. The media is impotent to the hilt. With scycophant editors and low key journalists, forget about the support. The editors are only wagggng their tails as tame dogs before the government. Who can be as bold and brave as the young Fouad Farhan? The day the Americans want to bring a revolution of freedom in the Kingdom or any Gulf country they can do it in seconds with their fire power and the large number of their army personnel based in the Gulf. What can a total defense force of 50,000 can do in front of the might of the Americans? Beleive me, the day the Americans want to do something mischievous, they can just bring in a coup within no time. And this is bound to happen.Are we prepared for democracy?Thats the bottom line.

  13. RJ I agree with that thought. So if people think they are under control from outside forces the main source of outside control is America….and then why does America wonder why they might be targeted??? It is crazy really when you think about it but I GET YOUR POINT….I

  14. Also I think America has a threshold of tolerance and Saudi maintains the fine balance. However, I think America has blinded itself to many occurances for an amount of money.

    So what option does a “rational” mind have to take………….Because such arrests as Fouads and this dude’s are BAD KARMA BANGABOO

  15. “Freedom of expression or speaking out mind is acceptable to a limit”

    Frederick the Great was an absolute monarch, and he simply ordered that the press be free. He led his nation through war and peace and it was noted that occasionally he would reach out and straighten anti-Frederick placards posted on the streets, so they wouldn’t look untidy. That was the extent of his limits on free speech.

    Freedom of religion was also a policy of Frederick the Great. However, the absolute monarch did impose an absolute limit: freedom of speech and freedom of religion was tolerated, freedom to commit violence and demonstrate in the street was not. The system worked well and it was only the personal whim of his successor that led to a reversal of Prussian policy.

  16. it is very sad time for matrook and his family unfurtunatly ksa wants people live in dark ages and dont want let them have their freedoom and for being successfull on their mission always use religion and to keep on power use force and turture and killing becuse they must stay on power

  17. wtf is your problem. you’re some lame housenegro or something. saudi arabia is awesome. all your posts are garbage. you’re an ungrateful POS. i would love to live in saudi arabia. you want to trade place you whiny little girl? america love little whiny biotches like you. who cares about you and your cornball pseudo-intellectual clowns you want to have sex with you confused schmuck.

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