Prince Amir Al Saud

Will Saudi Arabia Weather the Storm over the Executions?

Will Saudi Arabia Weather the Storm over the Executions?

A great number of news headlines read Shi’ite Cleric among the 47 people executed by the Saudi Arabian government on terrorism charges.

The question many now pose is that, if one of the 47 turned out to be not a Shi’ite Cleric, does that make it perfectly all right? One of the very obvious reasons why the Sunni-Shia divide is reaching a boiling point is the sectarian undertones that the media are feeding into the fire.

And world governments are even a lot quicker to condemn such acts without even considering the ramifications of their supposed statements. While everyone is clearly entitled to his or her own opinion, other governments cannot, by virtue of the sovereignty of another, meddle or even influence the laws, customs, and traditions of a particular nation.

Sure, Saudi Arabia may have acted contrary to the norms and legal guarantees of other world governments but it is Saudi law. Dura lex, sed lex. The law may really be harsh, but it is the law, and everyone should abide by the law.

When the Saudi government passed its new terrorism law in 2014, many in the world denounced the measure as a step backwards towards attaining true democratic reforms. The Saudi terrorism law gives immense power to the Interior Ministry to arrest terrorism suspects without the need to the usual due processes. It thus became obvious that even so-called peaceful assemblies can be seen as a threat to national security and integrity as well as cultural identity. It has been almost two years since the enactment of the terrorism law. And now the executions and public outrage.

Can Saudi Arabia weather the storm? Can the Kingdom stand the wrath of the world condemning its action?

History is a great teacher. And if anything can be learned, it is that the initial whiplash is nothing more than a sting that can be healed and nursed back to health. When great nations of the past committed atrocities against mankind, they were never wiped out from the face of the Earth. Sure, geographical boundaries were redrawn, territories were gained by some and lost by some, and government leadership changed. However, did it spur radical changes?

When Iran executes hundreds upon thousands of innocent civilians, does the world condemn them? Yes they do. But, did Iran balk at any future executions and other forms of summary judgment?

When Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and suffered the supposed economic embargo of the west, did it deter Putin from doing what he does best? China has always been expanding its military might in the China Sea, provoking confrontation with neighboring smaller countries.

And while the US and other countries have openly denounced the Chinese expansionism, everything is pure rhetoric.

If there is anything that Saudi Arabia can learn from other world events, it is that many of the so-called world democracies are all talk, no action.

If indeed the 47 people were terrorists, should the world not thank the Saudi government because there are now 47 less terrorists to worry about?

And while some may say that they are not terrorists, how about the Boston marathon bomber or the San Bernardino CA shooting couple? They were very ordinary citizens yet they all had one striking similarity – the spread of terrorism.


Today, anyone and everyone can be a terrorist. Many simply do not recognize it yet. Saudi Arabia is a wealthy nation and a great nation at that. While its customs and traditions may be vastly different from other countries, it is what makes them a unique nation. And no nation on Earth would want its internal affairs to be dictated by the outside world especially when it is the law of the land. Will Saudi Arabia weather the storm?

The very short answer is yes.  

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