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  Middle East & Africa
Op-Ed Special
Arabia, the Bastion of Darkness
Special Contribution
By Prof. Abdelkader Zerougui
American University
The Saudi desert

Arabia is often portrayed as a lawless jungle, a world apart, stripped from morality and responsibility. In fact nothing came out of the vast no man's land, except the Prophet Mohammed who was voraciously fought by his own tribe. The project of enlightenment that Islam brought was hijacked and institutionalized by the Bedouins. Ibn Khaldun a 14th century philosopher clearly explained how the Sultans in Arabia manipulated religion and tribal linages to subdue the semi-independent communities.

The tribal-states, since the 1600–the Umayyad, Abbasids, Ayyubit, Fatimid, and Almohad would not allow the emergence of stable -modern states or forms of government that can endure. After 300 years, these tribal-kingdomss remain in existence. Sultans have played sect against sect, tribe against tribe, and used the sword to settle disputes, and annihilate any divergent groups. This herd culture might take different forms and colors, but remains anti-individualistic and seeks to silence any form of dissent. The "Darth Vaders" are not fictional characters, but are true individuals in the Middle East.

The so-called "progressive changes that are often advocated," are mere cosmetics that will not change fundamentally this medieval world. Only a global revolution can bring some light into these kingdoms. Millions of people perished in senseless wars and rivalries. People were tortured, and killed in such "innovative" ways that dwarf the French Guillotine used to behead "criminals" in France.

The oil discoveries in the region in the 1960s have brought more calamities to the region, and the world. Absolute monarchs - strengthened by an unearned wealth engaged into rivalries, wars, and self-absorbed and imaginative glories. From Iraq, to Sudan to Libya to Yemen to Syria, and to the internal divisions within the Gulf states, and failed blockade against Qatar there is no clear vision for the rulers themselves, who continue shifting alliances, and spend generously to corrupt Western regimes into supporting their thrones.

The US, France, and the United Kingdom have always looked the other way, because of the lucrative deals and economic interests associated with supporting these rotten monarchies. What is even humorous is that these absolute tribal-states have infiltrated international organizations, use PR firms, and hired guns to reshape the world's perspective on their despotic rule.

Saudi Arabia – with its Wahabism- and the rest of the Gulf region poured millions of dollars to buy souls, and reengineered religion that has no compass. Invoking their so-called
"descendance" from the Prophet, and/or they are ruling in the name of God, and following the Shariaa. The media and the educational system sell this ideology and present it as a " preordained and a blessing from a higher power. V.S. Naipul accuses the culture of Arabia as being the source of their misery, for one reason, it stands against all forms of humanism. Slavery might have ended in its traditional form in Arabia, but culturally it is no better than India's caste system.

In the last few years, the tribal-states turned to the Trump administration, and Israel to look for protection and the continuity of their dynasties. The ultimate goal of the tribal-states is survival and any price. The enemy is from within, and Western nations are accomplices to this status-quo, by providing political and military support. The French Revolution and the Declarations of Human Rights and the Woodrow Wilson's principles of government, freedom and liberty never reached the shores of Arabia. On the contrary this region became more and more to resemble medieval Europe.

Would Arabia join the rest of the free world, and would the people rise to break their chains of oppression? The likelihood is nil. As long as these Sultans have access to the tremendous wealth, their thrones will remain intact, especially that Western governments prioritize their immediate economic interests than human rights and morality. The only scenario that can reverse the trend in this parts of the world, is the Sultan's dwindling wealth or the shift to use a new form of energy. Then, tribal-states will cease to exist.

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Prof. Abdelkader Zerougui is an adjunct professor of sociology at American University in Washington DC, where he received his MA and PhD in sociology. Prof. Zerougui’s writings have appeared on many respected media including the Washington Times and The Seoul Times.






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