Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Troublemakers! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

At football matches, troublemakers are dealt with firmly and are not allowed to cause real danger to the security system. In fact, in extreme cases (such as those dealing with British hooligans), these rioters are classified as dangerous people. Undoubtedly however, such disorder is not confined only to football stadiums.

In Saudi Arabia, similar acts take place however in another form. A number of groups, which seemed to have been organized, had protested against various religious and cultural symbols on a number of occasions. Perhaps what had taken place recently regarding the writer and researcher Dr. Hamza al Muzaini during his lecture in the Taif Literature Association confirmed that there had been an “organized” attempt to confront certain figures that adopt moderate and rational approaches in order to restrain such a required and beneficial way of thinking.

Similar action against certain intellectuals was carried out by some groups during the Riyadh Book Fair and elsewhere, Sheikh Abdul Mohsen al Obeikan was targeted whilst he delivered a sermon at a Mosque. Such incidents, of which there are many, are carried out by these groups as an act of “rejection” against certain individuals. These groups believe that these intellectuals follow and present an incorrect method and ideology.

In this regard, we face two important problems, the first of which is the methods undertaken by those who practice rejection that is organized and deliberately directed towards certain ideas.

Nobody objects to the notion of conflicting opinions as the basis of Islam is diversity rather than one mold with one stereotypical voice. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the number of similar lectures until the (monopoly) barrier is completely broken down as well as the psychological factors that have been mobilized and mounted in a questionable manner over the years. Accordingly, convictions have generated convictions over a number of generations, allowing these generations to consider anything that is in contrast to their beliefs as a deviation that needs to be put straight. If reform proves unsuccessful, then campaigns of damnation, cursing and defamation should be launched upon them, as a warning that the battle has begun.

The second problem concerns the way in which the challengers are dealt with. Of course, there are the “spontaneous campaigns” that they launch so that they could occupy key posts in clubs and halls where such meetings and events are usually held. Who gives these people the go ahead? Not to mention the methods that include harsh objections, raised voices and a threatening and intimidating tone. These people can only be described as ill mannered and it would be completely incorrect to describe them as “seekers of knowledge” or by any other respectable or legitimate adjective. The phenomenon of troublemakers attending lectures and conferences is likely to remain strong if disciplinary rules are not implemented against these people who disrespect lecturers and do not respect the setting. The persistence of such foolish acts can only be described as disgraceful.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

More Posts