Saudi Trade-Off: More Social Freedom, No Political Dissent

24 Nov 2017   Saudi Arabia

In asserting himself over Saudi Arabia, 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is imposing a trade-off that appeals to many fellow young Saudis. The prince, in essence, is broadening social liberties in exchange for closing off the limited political freedoms that existed in the Saudi kingdom. That is an approach that has worked for other Gulf monarchies, most notably the United Arab Emirates. There, no hint of political dissent is tolerated but social and religious rules are relatively relaxed. Women enjoy many rights denied to them in Saudi Arabia. An abundance of entertainment and shopping options keeps potential troublemakers busy. Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s most conservative societies, strictly enforces a stringent interpretation of Islamic religious rules. But the kingdom had allowed a […]

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