The Limits of Reform

(Economist-UK) If you thought that change was coming soon to Saudi Arabia, think again. Consider the six prominent Saudi liberals who have spent the past week in jail. These recalcitrants refused to pledge that they will stop pestering the country's rulers to reform. The minister of defense and second-in-line to the throne, Prince Sultan, this week dismissed any idea that the Shura Council, an appointed body that vets laws, might become an elected legislature, on the ground that illiterate people might be voted in. For his part, the chief mufti of the kingdom, Sheikh Abdel Aziz al-Sheikh, declared that liberals were as much of a danger as militant religious extremists.

2004-03-26 00:00:00

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