Saudi King Introduces Reforms…………… We welcome the decision by His Excellency, the benevolent King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia empowering women. Twenty per cent quota has been set apart for women in the shura, the top consultative body. As per the first amendment (Article 3), women will constitute twenty per cent out of the 150 Shura council members. As per the second amendment (Article 22), women will have all the membership rights in accordance with the tasks entrusted to them. We recognize that the King is under heavy conservative – theological constraints. Conforming to the tradition, Hijab(Veil) and separate places for office, equipments and prayer are insisted. This amply shows that real reform is impossible if the Saudi regime continues to remain under Allaah’s scriptural guidance and Shariah. Another glaring fact is that even enlightened and benevolent rulers cannot bring about satisfactory changes in an Islamic regime where the majority of population is fanatic believers. Though this part of his decision does not come up to the modern humanistic standards and sophistication, we would like to temporarily ignore ‘unrealistic and extreme’ views. We hope that the women nominated would do their utmost to utilize this opportunity opened before them for the benefit of all women in the kingdom. We hope that their work will make it possible to re-interpret Islamic concepts so as to make them compatible with the 21st century world order. We also hope that His Excellency the king will exert his good grace to bring in an atmosphere of fair chance for free thought and humanistic expressions which will prove beneficial to the welfare and satisfaction of the progressive sections of society. We extend our best wishes to the King and the people of Saudi Arabia. We call upon the progressive section of the Saudi society to take upon themselves the task of educating the comparatively less fortunate among their people so as to herald a New Enlightenment. It is up to the Humanist activists, Human Rights agencies and intellectuals with scientific outlook to create ways and means for educating the masses taking in to account the limitations of existing constitutional – legal situation. Humanist individuals have the potential to create ever widening and increasing ripples. Let us be positive and optimistic.
We salute our brothers in the march for freedom of expression:
Turki al-Hamad, Raef Badawi, Hamza Kashgari, Sultan Assalal …
Post Script I:
Post Script II:
On further scrutiny it has come to our notice that the measures proposed above serve the purpose of an eye-wash. The countries generally characterized as ‘western democracies’ have been duped by such steps. Saudi Arabia is a hell of blatant human rights abuses. Please see the articles below:
Join #FreeThe4 , #FreeRaif , #FreeWaleed, …….
Post Script II :
The continuing human rights abuses by the king and his sons in charge of repressions have opened our eyes. Previously we thought that the king genuinely wanted to take the country forward with informed legislative and educational measures befitting a benevolent monarch. We wanted to give the regime enough time to gradually bring about changes leading to empowering the citizen since the king declared that there will be Elections in 2015. Any human being with a modicum of common sense can understand that putting secularists, human rights activists and religious minorities behind bars, no democratic process can genuinely be initiated. We are providing additional reading materials corroborating our modified stand: