During the past week an uprising in the small town of Awamia, Qatif rocked the stability of Saudi Arabia. The trigger of this small uprising was the imprisonment of an old man in an attempt to extract his son. From another angle, it was the authorities acting as mafia goons by taking hostages to force others in doing their bidding. Whether this action has been approved by the Ministry of Interior or not, the aftermath of this action has shown us the level of wisdom our “wise leadership” has. If they issued they did not issue the order, then the actor should be punished accordingly. If not, a public apology needs to be issued to the individual.
Qatif has always been a problematic and tension filled region for the Wahhabi regime of Saudi Arabia. Yet, it seems that the regime has never attempted to eliminate or at least reduce these tensions. At the beginning the regime injected many non-Shiite (the primary Islamic sect in the Eastern Province) within the borders of Qatif and its surroundings in an attempt to reduce the Shiite percentage in the region. They then attempted to erase the Shiite identity by closing down their mosques and prohibiting their traditions. The event mentioned above has re-triggered another famous card and that is the public doubting of the loyalty of this minority.
My only question here is what has the Saudi regime done to gain the loyalty of this minority? Has it guaranteed their rights as citizens? Or has it maintained their dignity and self-respect? Has it implemented any legislation to prosecute against their discrimination? Or has it seriously punished against their public slander? In truth, there was no serious action by the regime to answer any of the questions mentioned above. Till this day there is no law that is put in place or is implemented to ensure this group’s contribution to the success of Saudi Arabia. And a country which distances some of its public because of faith or tribe cripples itself in its progress.
To enable Saudi Arabia in ensuring the events of Awamia do not repeat, it should seriously reconsider its policies with regards to minorities. The old war games that were played thirty years ago will no longer work as technology has enabled people to connect and contribute to each other’s experiences. No longer is the public hiding behind its geographical were they are told by the regime of what is going on outside. The influence that the regime had one day on its people no longer applies as the same people can confirm the information from various channels. Unless the Saudi Regime revaluates it treatment towards its common public it will struggle to maintain its legitimate hold on its people.