Establishing equality in Saudi Arabia

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Time: October 09, 2018     

The royal decree issued by Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, granting former judge of the Department of Endowments and Heritage in Qatif, Sheikh Mohammed al-Jirani, the first grade Order of King Abdulaziz, is a confirmation of important principles, embodied in the following precepts:

1-To strengthen the concept of full citizenship and equality among all segments of the population where everyone in Saudi Arabia is equal and where there is no difference between one sect and another and an area and another and that the basis for honoring individuals will be their contribution to their national work, knowledge and loyal efforts in countering violence and extremism.

2-Those who have been subjected to violence or have been killed because of their national stances will be appreciated by the political leadership in their lives and after their deaths. Their families will be taken care of and they will receive the highest honors, just as the case is with judge Jirani who was killed for taking a position of peace and his stance against raising arms against the state.

3-Confronting terrorism and extremism by all means is an ongoing process that will not end until the security and safety of the society is ensured. The assassination of individuals will not intimidate state institutions, national voices and civil actors, and will not prevent them from playing their roles in criticizing and confronting the fundamentalist ideology.

Granting Jirani the first grade Order of King Abdulaziz is very significant and indicates the determination of the state to strengthen the concept of full and impartial justice for all citizens

Hassan Al Mustafa

State’s determination

The political leadership in Saudi Arabia could have simply settled the matter with King Salman receiving the Jirani family in January when he ordered naming of a street after him, and gave his family a home and directly offered condolences to the family.

However, granting Jirani the first grade Order of King Abdulaziz is very significant and indicates the determination of the state to strengthen the concept of full and impartial justice for all citizens, which is one of the main concepts of the modern state.

In a related context, King Salman bin Abdulaziz frankly stated at a ceremony in Medina, organized by people in his honor in September: “Everyone in the kingdom is equal, there is no partiality towards one or the other. In some countries, immunity is granted to some, while in the kingdom anyone can file a complaint against anyone.”

The king’s speech emphasized the principle of “the rule of law” and that everyone is equal before law without any favoritism and that the reference is only what the law determines and stipulates.

This emphasis on the “rule of law” requires, in order to be implemented, the implementation of a culture about the concept of law and the significance of respecting it to build a civil state that is free of chaos and nepotism and where everyone avails the same set of opportunities.

Hassan AlMustafa is Saudi journalist with interest in middle east and Gulf politics. His writing focuses on social media, Arab youth affairs and Middle Eastern societal matters. His twitter handle is @halmustafa.

This article was first published in Al Arabiya English  

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