Conservatives hold back Saudi Arabia
WHEN it rains bad news in Saudi Arabia it really pours!
And last week, the plug was suddenly pulled on the 4th edition of the rapidly-growing Jeddah Film Festival, when orders were issued from high on up in the Saudi government to stop the festival from taking place.
With the sudden cancelation of the Jeddah Film Festival on July 17, just a day before it was to begin, conservative forces in the kingdom have won the latest battle between progressive Saudis and those who want to keep us in the Dark Ages.
According to Jeddawis, Nayef has ordered the mutawiyin to invade the local shopping malls, from which they had previously stayed away, and to raid the city’s resorts, searching for alleged violators of Wahhabi “morality.” The Jeddah Ghair or “Jeddah is Different” summer festival opened this week, but Saudis are complaining that the event has not been advertised, and that it is being monitored by a considerable force of mutawiyin. As one Saudi reformist commented, “people say ‘Jeddah is Different’ but many think the Difference is disappearing.”