Arabia's tantrums are age-old and its sense of entitlement only a pretence. Two
types of countries are normally unaffected by Saudi mood excesses: Their
arch-enemies who can speak in a tough language and those who have surrendered
in a sycophantic way.
countries have a relationship with the Persian Gulf kingdom falling somewhere
between the two radical positions. Three groups of countries matter to the
fear-driven Saudi ruling family a lot: Western countries with economic and
military might, Arab states with considerable populations and resources, Muslim
countries with good economies, proper political systems and robust diplomacy.
uses every relationship to obtain approval for its self-appointed leadership of
the Islamic world and the regime's long-term survival without any public
discussion around this subject. The United States and other Western powers can
exploit these Saudi desires to their utmost advantage, offering protection in
return for the monarchy advancing their interests in the Islamic world as well
as in tilting the balance of global power in the West's favour.
countries are under the kingdom's significant influence due to economic
pressures as well as the relationships the Saudi royal family has developed
with Arab administrators on a personal level. The more authoritarian a country,
the easier it becomes for Saudi Arabia to cultivate a relationship with it.
of intellect are always a great force in forging such alliances.
countries, Saudi Arabia never hesitates to use Islam as a tool to reap
political and economic benefits for itself and its Western protectors.
interests of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries do align, it is often a
matter of chance or something obvious rather than due to deliberate strategic
always insists on its interests taking precedence over other people's concerns
and most often Western powers would give minor political concessions in return
for major cash rewards in terms of export orders, contracts to their
corporations and weapons deals.
countries have been at the receiving end of Saudi Arabia's churlish tantrums
because either they want to be nice to the custodian of Islam's holiest cities
or lack the courage and cards to play against Saudi subversive tactics.
Muslim countries, in particular, have lost out on opportunities in their wider
international engagements due to a clash with Saudi interests in multilateral
relations. The Saudis have also intervened on behalf of the West to influence
Muslim diplomacy to the detriment of the Ummah's, i.e. the Muslim Community's
such as Palestinian statehood, stopping Israeli aggression, Iran-U.S. tensions,
the Pentagon's wars, and global issues affecting the community, the Saudi
kingdom wants to be the sole arbiter.
Prime Minister Imran Khan discovered to his international embarrassment how far
the Saudis would go in arm-twisting leaders.
was forced to withdraw from the Kuala Lumpur summit of Muslim leaders because
the Saudis thought the event undermined their self-styled guardianship of
attributes of power, Pakistan is far superior to the combined strength of both
Saudi Arabia and its troublemaker ally the United Arab Emirates, but Saudi
Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman managed to exploit the situation, aided by the
traditional churlishness and tantrums.
conducted themselves in a brutish manner, despite the assurances that the
summit's objectives were to find solutions to the problems being faced by
Islamic countries and there was no agenda to undermine them.
those who complain that Saudi Arabia is good for nothing and the Jeddah-based
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) deserves to be derided as "Oh I
See" (and do nothing) proved right.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Saudis used economic threats against
Pakistan to prevent its participation in the summit.
we see that Saudi Arabia pressures Pakistan. Now, there are promises that the
country has given to Pakistan regarding the central bank (fund deposits).
However, more than that, 4 million Pakistanis are working in Saudi Arabia. They
[threaten by saying that they] would send [Pakistanis] back," Erdogan
frustration and anger in the Islamic world that Saudi Arabia has facilitated
the Pentagon and Israel's war plots against other Muslim countries.
hobnobbing with Zionists no longer a secret, Muslims are bound to ask who
really controls their holy places.
assured, anyone raising tough questions about the Saudi kingdom will face its
Abdullah Ahmad, group editor-in-chief of Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times,
had to quit following an article critical of the Saudis.
article is immensely readable and I would like to quote some passages:
"The legitimacy of the House of Saud rests on its allegiance to the
severity of Wahhabi doctrine, which has not only encouraged militancy and
fanaticism but elevated the hypocrisy of the royals, who live alternate lives
in their luxury Manhattan penthouses, London townhouses and mansions in the
English countryside, and fritter away millions in the casinos of Las Vegas,
Monte Carlo, Cannes, St. Moritz, et cetera."
belief, even the pretence of it, makes the Saudi monarchy resistant to change
and democracy. Like any other totalitarian system, an attempt at pluralism will
weaken both the regime and the dogma that upholds it."
wrote that "like any other totalitarian system, the Saudi regime is
nothing if not adept at its own preservation" and "it has played a
double-edged foreign policy of Wahhabi proselytisation on the one hand and
pro-Americanism on the other."
reflected the writer's erudition and his deep historic understanding of what
Saudi Arabia stands for. "The Treaty of Sevres [Aug. 10, 1920] caused the
dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, ironically by Arab collusion with the
West. Since then, Islam has lain prostrate in defeat and humiliation," he
Saudi Arabia wanted no more of such articles and the editor lost his job,
reportedly due to Saudi intervention.
appeasement can give Saudi Arabia a sense of entitlement, the arrogance to
undermine the sovereignty of others, and removes any motivation for it to
correct its behaviour.
even get emboldened to commit a murder. The assassination of Jamal Khashoggi
inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul is too fresh in our minds to mention its
message has to be sent to Saudi Arabia to either align its interests with other
Muslims or stop becoming an obstruction to those who commit themselves to end
conflicts and work for improving people's lives.
57 OIC members and even if five or seven of them get together for a cause, they
can make a difference.
The days of
conducing a diplomatic theatre under Saudi leadership are gone. It's time for
real work and real outcomes. Massaging Saudi egos is not the job of Muslim
Saudi Arabia's standing in the Muslim world
Source: The Daily Sabah