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Friday, May 17, 2024

Saudi Arabia Definition of Extremism Didn’t Sit Well with Saudis

Saudi Arabia came under fire following a disputed video defining homosexuality, atheism and above all feminism, which it is actively pursuing, as forms of extremism.

Saudi authorities reversed a contentious video defining homosexuality, atheism, and feminism as ‘forms of extremism‘ a day after it was posted on the official Twitter account of Saudi Arabia State Security.

The video also listed more than three dozen acts as a form of extremism, warning citizens to be flogged and imprisoned following the violation of strict social codes. “Don’t forget that excess of anything at the expense of the homeland is considered extremism,” a voice in the video was heard saying.

Following the video, Al Watan, a government-backed newspaper, published the report reminding the citizens of dreadful consequences if breached the laws.

Perhaps the international outcry had forced the Saudi authorities to take down the video. The General Department of Counter-Terrorism that had produced the animated video called it ‘baseless‘ and removed it on the purported pretext of having “many mistakes… defining extremism.” Newspaper Al-Watan removed the report on the contentious video too.

Modernity: A Faux Show?

Saudi Arabia has failed to placate the disgruntled human rights campaigners who have expressed serious concerns on the video, which, they say, echoed the Kingdom’s tacit approval for a hardline and strict interpretation of Islam.

The analysts believe the video was a reminder to people of the mighty authority of Saudi monarchs in the land owing to the recent wave of anti-government protests sweeping other Arab nations.

Read more: Saudi Arabia banking on tourism to start economic bonanza

Equating feminism to extremism ran a shock wave among people since Saudi Arabia is seen making prominent progress for women’s rights and freedom in the country.

Various international commentators asserted that the video has blown the lid off from Saudi Arabia’s hidden intention of sustaining authoritarian rule despite flaunting a modernization campaign under Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s Vision ‘2030’.

Some quoted Saudi Arabia’s outrageous move of arresting a dozen Saudi female rights activists’ just before lifting the ban from women driving in the Kingdom. Adding that the message was widespread to the dissidents in the country that reforms in the country will happen upon the will of the Saudi monarch only, and feminism will purely be regulated by state rather than women activists.

Read more: Tourists in ‘modest clothing’ can now visit Saudi Arabia

The Human rights groups across the globe have urged the EU, UK and the USA, the western ally of oil-rich Saudi Arabia, to closely monitor the actions of the country.