The situation is not new. It has been national identity crisis for years, but the internal complexion of the country is changing and reformers are slowly gaining strength.
If there are more complex regions in the world than the
Since the oil boom in the mid-20th century, the deserts of
Lacking the expertise and skills to extract the oceans oil beneath the sand, the Saudis have employed millions of foreign workers over the past five decades which have had a dramatic influence on the social structure of the country.
The influx of expatriates over the past 60 years is now beginning to take its toll on hard-line Saudi beliefs. While many male members of Saudi society have basked in their unearned wealth and allowed their foreign “employees” do the work, woman in their sequestered world have been finding new ways to educate themselves.
Consequently, more than 30% of the Saudi population is under the age of 30 and over 70% of university students are now women. Youth and education have given rise to a growing reform movement including something called “Islamic Feminism.” The key to the growth of the feminist movement is that it is being debated from a religious perpective.
In other words, Islamic tenets are being used to renounce the Islamists. It’s a troubling concept for true believers.
Other barriers are also gradually eroding. Protests recently erupted in Buraidah in March of this year, but significant aspects of the demonstrations are evidence of the increasing strength of the reform movement.
Demonstrations are banned in
In the past, the government has been able to eliminate opposing factions before they spread, but in this instance, other protests followed in the capital city of
Which brings us back to the oil situation. Whether the present administration in the
Combine that with the fact that the bulk of Saudi oil is in the east where the Shia population is strongest. Simply put, the minority Shiites control the majority of the oil. Not a pretty picture for Sunni opposition, and don’t think that bordering countries are not taking notice.
Stability in the
It is impossible to determine the future of
One thing is certain however. The times they are a-changin’ and Islamic extremists don’t like it one bit. Hence the worldwide terror watch that exists today.
Western oil independence combined with internal Saudi reform, especially by women and by those who are beginning to understand the destructive nature if Wahabbi Islam may dramatically change the volatility of the
Whether it truly becomes less volatile and embraces the brotherhood of man rather than the Muslim Brotherhood is only a matter of time.
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About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world.
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
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