Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents
How does this fit with the following statistic from 2012? Hope all courageous non believers in Saudi will be OK!
I've never heard of a country declaring an entire group to be terrorists based entirely on their thoughts, particularly as atheism is apolitical and nonviolent.
This country is our ally?
Isn't that the political equivalent of the US passing a law that all Muslims, or Wiccans, or Shriners are terrorists?
This is, indeed, thought-crime. From any orthodox muslim, it would make sense, too, because Saudi Arabia is effectively founded in large portion on islam and the quran and with those, shariah law. Atheists, by being skeptical and contesting the validity of that foundation, threaten the power structure which the Saudi oligarchy live and die on. And sadly, yes, so long we and much of the world remain reliant on fossil fuels, the alliance between the House of Saud and the US will likely remain intact.
For myself, I could not have imagined any reason before now that I would have to visit the Arabian Peninsula. With this news, rest assured: they will NEVER see me in their country in ANY capacity.
Article one of the new provisions defines terrorism as "calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based".
So talking about religion or nonreligion in any way that doesn't pander to the "truth" of Islam could be thoughtcrime!
Loren nailed it: "Atheists, by being skeptical and contesting the validity of [Saudi Arabia's Islamic] foundation, threaten the power structure which the Saudi oligarchy live and die on."
I'll admit, I haven't watched the video, but you almost don't have to. These idiots have oil, therefore they have money, power and influence. From where they sit, there's no need to give so much as a rotten dump about anyone else and pretty clearly, they DON'T.
For myself, I can't wait to see what happens when all those hotshot oil sheiks run out of hydrocarbons.
When oil runs out, times may be harder for a while, but in the long run it will most likely be better for the people of the region and the wider world I think. Human rights violations will not be easily swept under carpet too. In other words, oil is a curse right now.
So, according to the second article, on Skeptical Science, 25% of all Saudis are non-religious. Which means the the new law categorizes one quarter of the entire nation as terrorists. And, simply for thinking differently than the accepted government view. How charming. Why the US is allied to these SOBs is beyond me. We complain of Iranian religious oppression, but politically get into bed with these degenerates. Good reason to work harder to become energy independent. Whether they run out of oil or not, if the market bottoms out, they're left high and dry. Then what's the West's justification for protecting them?
Let them sell as much sand as they like.
What I don't understand is why they want to do this now. What possible motive is there at this point in history? Maybe this is just more cranky old me, the arteries in their brains hardening saying "get the hell off my lawn" (or we'll cut off your head).
For years I've thought getting off oil is a national security issue. It really is a worldwide human rights issue as it threatens democracy of any type.
Honestly, I don't know one way or the other, but it's possible that those in power in Saudi Arabia are seeing the rise of secularism and atheism in the West, and that is what is scaring them out of their skivvies. They know that islam and its attendant support of male superiority is a healthy portion of what keeps them in power, never mind fearing an attitude which says, "Question EVERYTHING." So, quite naturally, they demonize and criminalize that position.
The $64 question at this point is: what do the atheists living there do now? Do they hunker down and keep a low profile, do they get all up-front and in-your-face with the government (probably NOT good for the health!), or do they do something in the middle, like start creating associations and networks and build a backbone of an organization which may eventually be able to confront those in power? Pretty obviously, my guess/hope would be for Door Number Three, though again, I really have no idea.
One thing I do know is this: nothing makes something so popular as making it ILLEGAL. In that regard, it's likely the House of Saud has shot themselves squarely in the royal foot!
"Maybe this is just more cranky old me"
Ha!!! WTF am I doing? I meant "cranky old men". My honesty comes to the surface once again to sabotage my point.
I'm the cranky old man. Get off my lawn dammit.
Loren Miller has it correct.
This Saudi action is not about religion, it is about power and control, just as it has been so often throughout history.