Booooooooo. Wrong. Bad move. Go back and start over. Lose a turn.
“Continuity” for Saudi Arabia means more fanatical religiosity governing everything, more theocratic meddling, more sadistic punishments for the utterance of liberal thoughts, more frenzied efforts to conceal the existence of women, more criminally bad treatment of foreign workers, more crawling before “god” and stamping on perceived inferiors.
Within hours of acceding to the throne of the oil-rich kingdom, King Salman, 78, vowed to maintain the same policies as his predecessors.
“We will continue adhering to the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment,” he said in a speech broadcast on state television.
The new king’s profile was updated on his official Twitter account, where he wrote: “I ask God to help me succeed in my service of the dear [Saudi] people.”
Ha, that’s silly – he doesn’t mean people, he means men, and only some of those. He’s not doing any service to Raif Badawi.
Protocol permits no official mourning period, government offices stay open and flags remain at full mast.
The reason is that the House of Saud practises one of the strictest codes of Islam – known as Wahhabism – in which followers try to emulate precisely the behaviour of the Prophet Muhammad and avoid anything seen as un-Islamic “innovations”.
Public displays of grief are frowned upon by a religious establishment which views every aspect of life and death as a submission to God’s supreme will.
That means funerals are very austere and puritanical in character, with a strong impression of egalitarianism in death.
Because humanity has learned nothing in the last 1400 years, so it’s better to try to emulate precisely the behaviour of a guy who died 1400 years ago than to try to improve things for everyone as we learn more about human beings and their needs and wants and how to harmonize them.