Saudi Arabia keeps vouching for its commitment against terrorism but what will it actually do?
When the news came that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met in Riyadh on Tuesday this week and discussed the joint efforts that could be undertaken to combat terrorism a lot of people expressed their delight.
President Buhari commended the Kingdom’s efforts to defeat extremism, saying that:
“Nigeria will support your efforts in keeping peace and stopping the spread of terror in your region.”
King Salman also invited Nigeria to consider becoming a full member of the Islamic military coalition to fight terrorism. The president pledged Nigeria’s support of the coalition, and congratulated King Salman on the formation of it.
King Salman said the Kingdom would support Nigeria in its fight to defeat terrorism, and welcomed the support of the Nigerian government for the anti-terrorism coalition.
It is important to note that Saudi Arabia has been making the moves to tell the world that it stands for peace in the region in an increasingly volatile atmosphere where it sees itself getting cornered by a Shiite Iran on one hand and allegations of promoting Wahhabism on the other.
Many find that Saudi Arabia’s own record of abuse of its Shiite and other minorities and its dismal record on women emancipation to be in complete contrast to what the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands for.
But nevertheless, it is important to note that Saudi Arabia is increasing coming to terms with the ground realities and wishes to win secular nations on its side.
A lot of it could be attributed to the resurgence of Iran in the field of international politics.
Saudi Arabia’’s unilateral approach on the war on terror and its inclusion of Pakistan and Malaysia last year was an egg on its diplomatic efforts when the two countries, that survive of Saudi Aid, denied that they were part of the 34-Muslim country anti-terrorism coalition!
The high-handedness on the part of Saudi Arabia shows that it does not value the sovereignty of other countries. How can a country announce the participation of other countries? Does Saudi Arabia now own these countries that it is making decisions on their behalf?
Forget even these coalitions, if it is serious on the war on terror than the first thing it should do is open the doors for the persecuted minorities of Syria and Iraq and other parts of the Middle-East to take refuge.
These refugees battered and bruised need all the help that can be given then why is Saudi Arabia not interested in their welfare? If there are no minorities left then this region will anyway lose out to extremism. Critics already point towards Saudi Arabia’s lack of interest in providing aid here while it gladly ships money to Western nations and also countries like India to promote Wahhabism, the ideology that is said to be behind the rise of radical Islam!
Saudi Arabia should work and provide the persecuted Middle Eastern minority sections dignified life, just like it is demanding for persecuted Muslims fleeing to Western nations and that will be the first step that the world community must unequivocally demand.
If it is able to do so, then not only it takes a giant leap towards dismantling terrorist dens but also become the force of peace that it aspires to be in the Middle East.
Yes, Saudi Arabia is making all the right noises, but, it is important to state that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to fight the terrorism should be matched with what it does on the ground.
Till then the world should not trust blindly with what they say.
Pic credit: www.themedialine.org