Petty Victories

Sabq talks about an email that has been circulating over the past few days. I have been trying to get a copy of this email with no luck so far. The email allegedly contains a list of what some conservatives consider achievements they have gained in the last six months. According to Sabq, the list includes:

  • Canceling movie screenings in Jazan, Taif, EP, and Abha.
  • Canceling the summer music concerts in Abha.
  • Canceling scholarships for talented female highs school students.
  • Canceling Onaiza cultural festival.
  • Canceling events for liberal thinkers Turki al-Hamad and Abdullah al-Ghathami.

There is no question that the conservatives have been enjoying a powerful push lately, and they are trying to take full advantage of this period by flexing their muscles as much as they can and in every direction. But seriously guys, this is pathetic. What’s next? Celebrating that you managed to cut the afro of three young men in Tahlia?

Advertisements

32 thoughts on “Petty Victories

  1. The email may just be a strawman but where are the constructive things that conservatism wants to take responsibility for?

    Just imagine a headline “imams preach about driver safety, accidents plummet!”!

  2. Whether the conservatives see these activities as triumphs or not, it seems they are representative of increasing activity against liberalization.

    Unfortunately hair styles do herald social changes, and maybe the Afro (soooooo 60’s- 70’s) symbolizes the “loose” times pre-1979. Forcibly shaving heads is a very punitive act, with reminders in the West of what was done to women collaborators after WWII. At the very least it is militaristic, again, at least in the West (military cuts are partly for uniformity, and partly to remind new recruits who is boss).

  3. What is notable is that the items identified to be achievements all involve the disruption or cancellation of cultural events.

    As such, these are all actions that negate the voluntary virtuous actions of others.

    One could only imagine what the difference would be if the actions of those who identify themselves to be conservative were to be:
    * the establishment of schools for disabled children
    * the establishment of refugee centers for beaten wives
    * the creation of amusement areas for poor children.

    It should disappoint all those who follow the Rasulullah that our religion is strongly identified with the suppression of culture.

    One should not be surprised if non-believers hold an essentially negative perspective about our society and religion.

    We can and must do better.

  4. They have every right to celebrate their achivements. They are more pwerful and are in full control of our lifes. What is it that we are proud of and what changes have we made to our society? NOTHING. For me at least I am just sitting down watching my country move from the twenty first century back to the middle ages.

  5. Canceling scholarships for talented female highs school students.

    This one annoys me so much. The others are petty, but this one destroys futures and puts SA back another couple of years.

    I also agree with Mohammed, you have to do something to change this.

  6. Cancelling the scholarships for girls has a particularly direct and noxious impact, but the cancellation of cultural activities also has a deep and lasting effect if a more insidious one.

    I agree with all who have stated that Saudis must act to change this. Any suggestions as to strategy, tactics?

    Awareness through blogs is an important part, but what else might be done?

  7. One way is to use the internet to organize flash mobs.

    Set a meeting point, everybody gets to a public place where single men can go and everybody act normal. Then on the hour, with no signal from anybody at all, everybody starts dancing at the same time. Dance with or without music, just dance.

    Dance to the count of ten. Then scatter. Walk, run, whatever, but there was dancing going on.

    Hopefully somebody had a cellphone recording in video and then it gets posted Youtube.

  8. Well it seems I have to shave my long hair before I go back to Saudi to visit my family next holiday … although I personally dislike the “afro” style on those who just do it for sake of “copy and paste” without any sense of style but nonetheless, I feel that the so called achievements as the email claims are mere shallow and typical sticking with surface and appearances fixing that the conservatives seem to really put the majority of their efforts in doing.
    as if we have no other issues that need attention or at least raising awareness towards.

  9. We have been towed by two families in this country . And they serve each other Interests Even if it means to use religion as an excuse .

  10. Liberals actively complain about these things. If these things are so petty, why do you guys always complain about “X conservaties blocking Y event”

    As for the scholarships, in the article it says these were for Grade 11 female students but I wasn’t aware of these pre-graduation scholarships, can someone fill me in on these?

    • Not everybody goes through their entire adult lives content with being treated like stupid children the way the KSA government treats all citizens.

  11. Quoting Mohd S: “Liberals actively complain about these things. If these things are so petty, why do you guys always complain..”

    I agree totally. Sometimes it seems to me that the most important things in the liberal’s life barely go deeper than partying, consumerism and a juvenile don’t-you-dare-judge-me attitude, which is driven by ego and an inability to sacrifice indulgent desires for anything useful, rather than open-mindedness or honesty. They are so vocal about their rights to have fun that they are blind to the underlying objectives of “conservative” movements, which are usually concerned with far deeper causes like family stability via stopping venues of possible corruption. I may not always agree with the methods the “conservatives” employ, but at least they have a point.

    Agreed, orphanages and such must also be given importance. And maybe they are given importance, maybe we just don’t hear about it since they’re not controversial enough (or “petty” enough) to make headlines.

    Also, it just so happens that most of the “progressive liberals” are usually too busy having a good time or complaining that they’re not allowed to have it to do anything themselves. One of the reasons why I agree with the conservatives. But while conservatives do try to discourage the idle pursuits that distract our “liberals” from doing anything substantial for society, I do think they should also design *useful* alternatives that can actually convince and appeal to the so-called “progressive” mindset, since it is in such a large proportion that it cannot be ignored.

    • ” Sometimes it seems to me that the most important things in the liberal’s life barely go deeper than partying, consumerism and a juvenile don’t-you-dare-judge-me attitude, which is driven by ego and an inability to sacrifice indulgent desires for anything useful, rather than open-mindedness or honesty. ”

      I had to laugh at this. It’s a typical attitude of conservatives from the US to Saudi to label Liberals as nothing but shallow narcissists. How about they want to make the country fairer and more transparent?

      “hey are blind to the underlying objectives of “conservative” movements, which are usually concerned with far deeper causes like family stability via stopping venues of possible corruption.”

      By driving so-called ‘corruption’ underground, they promote stability? Typical ostrich attitude where ‘if I can’t see it, it’s not there’. I’d like to invite you to live amongst Muslim communities in Western states, so you can see for yourself how ‘corrupted’ we are from Western influences and freedoms.

      May I also ask how denying female scholarships prevents corruption? Or how not allowing women to drive prevents corruption? If you’ve seen through your own eyes how Saudis react once they’re free from Saudi laws, you’d understand why they’re counter-productive.

    • Conservatives pushed and succeeded in getting the production and sale of liquor banned in the US in the 1920’s. Did the Prohibition improve the national character?

      No.

      It created a profitable black market for gangsters and murderers, which forced the government to waste time and resources chasing after those who would profit from the blood money that comes from the continued trafficking and consumption of liquor.

      This is not something new.

      And I’m very sure that the conservative position that women are to be sequestered indoors until they get Vitamin D deficiency because of lack of exposure of sunlight is oh so very good for the stability of the family.

      It’s pathetic, that’s what it is, completely pathetic that conservatives in power in the KSA spends so much time ruining the lives of its own citizens in the name of appearances.

  12. 3 afros lol… maybe them afro guys overdo the use of the hairstyle.

    but the point here is….

    i hope them conservative people wont overdo it too… it’s the nerve of even the people with pure intentions around here right?

  13. Banning talented high school students from getting scholarships was not a good move. But cancelling musical festivals is understandable as it is not halal. Even if we listen to music, we should not rebel against those who don’t and respect them for their values.

  14. “How about they want to make the country fairer and more transparent?”

    So what have you done about transparency and fairness? Have you tried to ensure that people are allowed jobs by virtue of merit versus “waasta”? Or that funds donated to charity organizations are spent where they’re supposed to be sent and not eaten up? Or what?

    There are a few types of Muslims in the West, please don’t make assumptions of whether or not I’ve ever seen them or even been one of them myself. One type of Muslim becomes completely and irreversibly “corrupted”. Most undergo some partial change, here or there. Very few stick wholly to their values. Same as on-ground. Some only need a television to get “corrupted”, some are strong and hold onto their values regardless of peer pressure. This is irrelevant to the fact that in *general*, human minds begin to think along the lines of ideas that they are constantly exposed to. No, banning wine will not completely stop wine, there WILL be black markets, do not jump to the conclusion that anyone is being an ostrich and trying to deny that. But i’m sure you’ll agree that an average person is more prone to consuming (or “getting corrupted by”) something that is readily accessible and rampant in culture rather than when it is hidden away and requires efforts to reach?

    But since you’re so worried about anti-hypocrisy, why not start a campaign of celebrating illicit relationships between married and unmarried couples? Since even teens are at it, why not broadcast it on every channel? We shouldn’t be worried about corrupting minds, since these thing happens anyway, right? Oh, am I being extreme? Porn and concerts aren’t the same, you say?

    But you should keep something in mind. The *principle* is the same. And if today you apply it on cultural music and dance, tomorrow it’ll be applied on violent, unconstrained music and dance, and the day after on the vulgarity and sex that that unconstrained ‘entertainment’ would promote. Pretty soon we’d be onto how “homosexuality” shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet, but paraded out in the open. (That’s right, kids. A new avenue for you to explore, never mind that 98% of you wouldn’t ever have thought of it if we hadn’t been flashing it in your faces). After we’ve all decided homosexuality is just great (which we’re already doing in the rest of the world), what comes next? Incest? Deterioration and corruption happens in stages, and if you don’t keep a check, boundaries will be broken until there’s no looking back. However small it may start out, this is a statistical and historical fact that liberals would do good to open their eyes and ears and understand.

    Never mind the ban on wine in the US, can you tell me where they are now, after *lifting* the ban? I hope you’re not deluded into thinking that the US (an economic, spiritual and psychological disaster, with among the highest rates in the world of broken families and teen pregnancies) is a ‘free’, ‘democratic’ country whose model you would like to emulate? Don’t forget how the majority of them, too, were conservatives (remember the 19th century full-length dresses and veils? The anti-Coca Cola riots? The Magna Carta, that gave the *death penalty* to dealers of interest?) And don’t forget that their “liberals”, as indeed most liberals everywhere, started out with the same arguments as right here on this page. I repeat, deterioration happens in stages. But the liberal mindset persistently suffers from short-sightedness and historical amnesia.

    I don’t remember saying anything about banning female scholarships or driving, so please don’t put words in my mouth, be so quick to judge, or speak with preconceived notions.

    I also mentioned clearly that I do not agree with all the methods employed by conservatives, and that while their motives are positive, they should also try to provide *appealing* alternatives for what they’re trying to ban. You seemed to have overlooked that part of my comment.

    You missed the whole point of my first comment. You still didn’t prove that liberals are actually onto something constructive by whining about not being allowed to ‘have a good time’. (And have you forgotten that people can, and have for centuries had a much better time through avenues *other* than the ones being banned?)

    • “Have you tried to ensure that people are allowed jobs by virtue of merit versus “waasta”?”

      Well, I live in a country where that tends not to happen so no. But are you saying the Liberals haven’t done so?

      “Or that funds donated to charity organizations are spent where they’re supposed to be sent and not eaten up?”
      Yeah, I make sure that any money I donate does end up where it’s meant to. Again, are you saying Liberals don’t care about corruption?

      “One type of Muslim becomes completely and irreversibly “corrupted”. Most undergo some partial change, here or there. Very few stick wholly to their values.”
      Very few become ‘totally corrupted and I’d say most stick to their values. Living in SA or the West makes little difference – the only one being that in the West, the piety is genuine instead of the charade people have in SA to fend off the religious police.

      And how exactly is banning alcohol (which is forbidden in Islam) the same as banning cultural events (which aren’t)?

      “But since you’re so worried about anti-hypocrisy, why not start a campaign of celebrating illicit relationships between married and unmarried couples? ”
      The point is, you have no right to judge. It is indeed hyprocritical for conservatives to ban events that supposedly ‘celebrate/propagate’ illicit relationships when some of them are guilty of such behaviour.

      “And don’t forget that their “liberals”, as indeed most liberals everywhere, started out with the same arguments as right here on this page. ”
      Not exactly no. Liberals elsewhere did not start off with such ideas. Cultural events were never banned.

      “I don’t remember saying anything about banning female scholarships or driving, so please don’t put words in my mouth, be so quick to judge, or speak with preconceived notions.”
      Female scholarships were mentioned in the original post and conservatives are behind the idea of not allowing women to drive.

      “You missed the whole point of my first comment. You still didn’t prove that liberals are actually onto something constructive by whining about not being allowed to ‘have a good time’. (And have you forgotten that people can, and have for centuries had a much better time through avenues *other* than the ones being banned?)”
      Liberals organise such events in the first place, only to see them get banned. Conservatives on the other hand, are too busy trying to impose their values on the rest of society to add anything constructive to it. And are you saying culture hasn’t existed over the past couple of centuries? Poetry? Art? How about conservatives look in the mirror before attempting to interfere in the lives of others.

  15. Oh and one more thing. I hope no one jumps to the conclusion that any of my points support people who do not practise what they preach who and use the name of religion as a means to further their own non-religious objectives (as “liberals” are so quick to judge).

  16. Anon, you made a very good point. Although, wrong in the way they do things, conservatives (not including those who preach and practice) do consider the bigger picture which is beneficial for the mankind.

    I would appreciate if you could e-mail me at salmanabdulaziz@hotmail.com. I would like to speak with you regarding something which I will explain to you later.

    Regards,
    Salman

  17. Shafiq,

    It is not ideal to criticize muslims in Saudi Arabia by saying that all the islam they practice is to avoid the religious police. Would you criticize the wana be criminals of not committing crime in fear of police? No, Then why criticize the muslims,

    And you do have to agree that the muslims who migrate to western nations in search of better opportunities do suffer a cultural clash of the vast extremes and get lost between them. Large number of immigrants who migrate when they are young, adoloscents or teenagers get spolied because they are exposed to the negative culture at such a small age.

    And muslims in western countries do have a tendency to show off as well. Since practicing muslims easily come under attention of muslims as being the religious elite, there are some among those who show off.

    • I’m not criticising all Saudis, I’m just saying that there exists a certain number of them who practice the religion for the sole purpose of keeping up appearances. This is no different from Muslims in the West who do not practice the religion at all.

      In the end, it is the parents’ responsibility to make sure their children are brought up correctly. If this is done, then no amount of Western culture will corrupt them. If this is not done, then no amount of societal pressure will stop them from corruption.

      As for religious Muslims showing off, I’d say that’s no different to what happens in Muslim states.

  18. Your point is valid. If parents teach islam and moral values to their children, they will be good muslims in any country. However, most of the parents are not doing what they are supposed to do. They don’t want their children to go against islamic values, while not teaching them islam at the same time.

    In many situations, parents do try to keep their children in positive direction, but the western culture has a stonger impact on the children than their parents. The society acts as an obstacle in the child’s learning and implementing of islamic values. When you see more muslims around you, you are can be motivated to become a muslim. Women feel discouraged to wear hijab in those countries because they face discrimination and majority of the women do not do so.

    And there will be show off muslims where ever you go. But your previous comment only referred to showoff muslims in Saudi arabia because of which I mentioned that you can find them in other countries as well.

Comments are closed.