Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Saudi reforms

"Saudi Arabia is printing 1.5m copies of an edict by religious scholars outlawing protests in the conservative kingdom as un-Islamic, the state news agency said.  Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter and a major US ally, is an absolute monarchy that does not tolerate any form of public dissent.  It managed to stifle an attempt to stage a mass protest on 11 March with a large security presence on the streets.  Religious scholars issued their fatwa, or religious edict, and senior princes issued warnings in advance.  "The grand mufti requested that a number of government and private firms print and distribute more than a million copies," the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said, adding that 500,000 copies had already been printed."