We’ve got leverage

The New Statesman said something interesting in a piece on January 15th on why protesting the flogging of Raif matters.

Under recent Saudi law, anything from “calling for atheist thought” to “inciting protests” or organizing petitions is now punishable as an act of terrorism.

Despite the crackdown at home, however, Saudi Arabia is angling to present itself as a supporter of free expression abroad.

Oh is it. Is it really.

Not that we didn’t know that – what else were they doing turning up in Paris on January 11th? What else were they doing joining that protest march?

But still. Having it spelled out is clarifying. If the Staggers is right about that, then that’s how we have leverage. If those evil bastards really are angling to present themselves as not 100% evil bastards – then they’ll have to act like not 100% evil bastards, won’t they. Then our yelling and shouting is going to trouble them, isn’t it.


Expect more yelling and shouting, Saudi dictators.


  1. sambarge says

    … what else were they doing turning up in Paris on January 11th? What else were they doing joining that protest march?

    In an interview with Vice, Luz (a surviving cartoonist from Charlie Hebdo) made the same point.


    That’s the only reason I hesitate to say “je suis Charlie” – too many hypocrites are covering themselves in that mantle.

  2. sambarge says

    Yes. He also did the 2011 Mohammed cover that led to the Charlie Hebdo offices being fire-bombed.

    It’s weird that, with all the right-wing abuse that Islamists get, it was a left-wing, pro-immigrant paper that got all the violent response. Then again, I suppose other papers might have been fire-bombed as well and I just didn’t hear about it.

  3. says

    Hmm. I don’t think it’s weird at all. Islamists are right-wing, to put it mildly, and they hate the left. And I’m not sure Islamists do get right-wing abuse…or maybe I just don’t understand what you mean. Anyway their position is with the fascists and the haters of secularism and women and LGBT people and all the rest of the mongrels.

  4. sambarge says

    That makes a lot of sense. Really, except for what to call God and who matters as a prophet, they probably have a lot more in common with right-wing groups than a bunch of lefties.

  5. Dave Ricks says

    Sam, thank you for the link to the video. I sent it to a friend.

    You asked why Islamists haven’t attacked the far right papers as far as we know. I don’t know exactly because I don’t have the mentality of a terrorist. I’ve seen a couple comments that Islamism has an objective to exacerbate incompatibility of Islam versus secularism, and the French far right is already promoting incompatibility, so Islamists don’t need to take any action. That’s not to say Islamists and the French far right are allies, just that each serves their own interests, which are compatible. This reminds me of Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow set in a Europe that continued WWII indefinitely because it served the interests of the powers that be.

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