The more that you hear about Saudi Arabia, the less that you want to hear.
In the latest news, the United Nations just reprimanded Saudi Arabia's practice of torturing children.
Specifically, the Saudis were urged to “repeal all provisions contained in legislation which authorize the stoning, amputation and flogging of children.” Also, Saudi Arabia needed to “unambiguously prohibit the use of solitary confinement, life sentences on children and child attendance of public execution”.
In particular, girls face extreme discrimination and a lack of opportunity, as well as sexual exploitation. According to the report, Saudi Arabia “still does not recognize girls as full subjects of rights and continues to severely discriminate (against) them in law and practice and to impose on them a system of male guardianship”.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child also blasted Saudi Arabia's airstrikes on neighboring Yemen.
However, Wahhabism reigns supreme in Saudi Arabia, which recognizes strict interpretations of sharia and Islamic laws. The chairman of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, Bandar Bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, answered criticism of his country by suggesting that these Islamic laws were more important than all other laws and treaties, including those of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Still, the Kingdom does have the political desire to protect the rights of children, he said.
My question is why we are such close allies with this ridiculous regime? This country, Saudi Arabia, has funded some of the most notorious terrorists in recent history, and their human rights abuses are almost off the charts. Women are not seen as equals with men and, in fact, are relegated to, at best, the status of second class citizens. Non-Muslims are not welcome and, moreover, there are segregated highways within the country for Muslims and non-Muslims. And Wahhabism, the most extreme and damaging form of Islam, the one responsible for terrorism, came from Saudi Arabia and reigns supreme there, as does Sharia law. In short, this country represents the very worst things that any regime could represent, and it has been allowed to get away with these abuses time and time again. It is hardly a mystery to figure out why.
Had the United States, and the rest of the West, gone ahead and developed energy independence, as President Jimmy Carter urged us to do decades ago now, we would have been able to end our reliance on Saudi Arabia, and these dehumanizing and criminal practices would surely have been targeted for economic sanctions, boycotts, and divestment, much like South Africa faced during the apartheid years. Surely, however arrogant the men in charge may by, they would quickly find it in their hearts to reform if the money stopped coming in.
However, since our own values favor oil over human rights, that particular message is continually ignored, and Saudi Arabia continues not just to ignore these criticisms but, as their official response suggests, to flaunt the fact that they can well afford to ignore any criticisms, as well.
UN Tells Saudi Arabia To Stop Stoning And Executing Kids by The Associated Press, 10/07/2016: