Arabia springs surprise as Saudi royal hits new low

By Soroor Ahmed,

Instead of coming out of the hole, the Saudi royal family chose to go deep into it, and possibly get buried. In a shocking move on April 28 it decided to shut its embassy and recall its ambassador from Egypt in protest against a demonstration by about 1,000 Egyptians, who were upset over the arrest of Ahmed El-Gezawi, a lawyer who went for pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis, on the other hand, said that the lawyer was caught on April 17 for having in his possession more than 21,000 pills of the anxiety drug Xanax, which is banned in Saudi Arabia. It was alleged that he had smuggled the pills inside bottles of infant milk formula and boxes intended to hold the Koran.

Incidentally, the Gulf Kingdoms and Sheikhdoms chose to support Saudi Arabia on the issue and media blitz have been launched against the lawyer. This infuriated none else but the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, whose political wing said the protests at the Saudi embassy showed “the desire of Egyptians to preserve the dignity of their citizens in Arab states.”

It further said: “We call on the military council ... to take serious measures to resolve the Gezawi problem in a way that guarantees the dignity of Egyptians and at the same time preserves the strength of Egyptian-Saudi ties.”

At present Egypt is being ruled by a military council, which is going to hand over the power to the President after May 23-24 election, which Brotherhood’s candidate is likely to win. It is the largest party in Parliament too.

However, Gezawi’s wife and others in Egypt, alleged that the lawyer was detained in Saudi Arabia when he arrived for pilgrimage after being sentenced in absentia to a year in prison and 20 lashes for insulting King Abdullah.

Whatever be the truth the manner in which the Saudi monarchy is handling the situation reminds one of the post-Islamic Revolution days in Iran. The ruling class in Saudi Arabia always suspected the Iranians and charged them with instigating Shias in the east of the Saudi peninsula. The Saudis and other Gulf monarchies incited the then Iraqi dictator Saddam Husain to attack Iran. The Americans and the West openly sided with Iraq and other Arab countries as they wanted to teach Iran a lesson. It was much later that they decided to punish Saddam.

If any trouble occurs in any Muslim country where Iran is remotely associated––as for example in Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and Lebanon––the Saudis are quick to see a Shia conspiracy. By whipping up this passion they did succeed, however, partially.

But what had prompted them to take such a drastic step against Egypt. A demonstration by 1,000 Egyptians outside the Saudi embassy in Cairo does not merit such a sharp reaction––unless and until there are other motives involved.

There is no doubt that the Saudi kings had a very good relationship with the then dictator of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak. But how can the Egyptian expats living in Gulf or the fledgling regime in Cairo make life insecure for the royal family of Riyadh and other Emirates and Sheikhdoms?
Saudis are groping for an excuse as Egypt is––unlike Iran––a Sunni-dominated country and the population is Arab. Yet it choses to make the April 27 protest demonstration in Cairo an issue for going to such an extent.

Whether the Egyptian lawyer had actually smuggled the drug or not can only be stated after independent verification; but who can deny the fact that the regime in Riyadh is misusing Islam and Shariah to suppress the people. The way most rich and royal Saudi behave with the white and blue collar workers of the Third World countries is nothing but condemnable and totally un-Islamic. The anger in Egypt had more to do with that as was evident from the Muslim Brotherhood’s statement cited above.

Saudi Arabia, which is increasingly getting isolated, poked its nose in the trouble-torn Syria for obvious reasons. Like the Saudi royal family, Bashar-al-Assad too is a dictator. But the Saudis wanted to play the American and Israeli cards in that country.

Since the leader of Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Riad Shaqfa, has been living in exile in Saudi Arabia for the last many years the Saudi tried to fish in the troubled water and exploited the contradictions. The Syrian Brotherhood are against Assad regime.

But the monarchies in the entire Arabian peninsula will have to realize that a new situation has emerged in the vicinity. It can not go on blaming Iran. There is no more dictatorship in Egypt and Turkey too and the regimes in these two countries detest kingship.

Soroor Ahmed is a Patna-based freelance journalist. He writes on political, social, national and international issues.


Soroor saheb! Your article is

Soroor saheb!
Your article is heavily loaded in favour of iranians.Dont you know shias donot even spare our Pious Caliphs Abu bakar.Usman, and exclusively praise Ali ra who married his daughter to Umar ra but even then this stupids claim that Umar ra was a kafir astaghfirulla.
Shias are the main conspirators in the turmoil in the middle east.Arab spring of egypt and the shia sunni conflict are two entirely different issues.Dont try to mix truth with falsehood.
Why one should assume that this egyptian out of lakhs of egyptians visitors to Makkah who stay in makkah and madina for months and have family relations with saudis in lakhs of cases single out this particular man?If saudis want their king to continue who the hell are we the namesake muslims secularists to criticise them?
Anti islamic world is dieing in rage against saudi arabia as they are the only true islamic sharia folowers all over the world.
Shia imamat religion is opposed to Prophet Muhammad saas as last and final prophet and therefore not in the folfd of true islam.

Good coverage by Mr.Suroor.

Good coverage by Mr.Suroor. Mashallah


The fraudulent entity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Estd. 1920s after WW-I)., will finally be laid to rest very soon. Abdullah is the last king. After that : it is anarchy and an end to monarchy.

The very word "Saudi" is a fraud. There is no term Saudi. It is one Jazira-al-Arab., that comprises of Saudi, Yemen etc. Great Britain after WW-I, activated its agents (Abdulaziz in Najd/Hejaz)., Sabahs (in Kuwait)., to OVERTHROW the regime of Turkey.

Sultan Abdul Mejid Khan was the last Khalifa of Turkey deposed by Mustafa Kemal Pasha in 1926 after the defeat of Turkey in WW-I. So Britain decided to destroy the Muslim societies., by distributing the spoils among its AGENTS ! (Read Nicholson's History of the Arabs., wherein he attests that Abdulaziz was a British Agent., on the payroll of the Agent of Great Britain and received 500 Riyals/whatever currency that was in circulation at that time per month). So these British Agents were installed.

Now it is time for them all to go. But they will not go decently. They will go the GADDAFI way.

@Salafi, if you like the

@Salafi, if you like the corrupt hypocritical members of the tribe of Saud and its 4000 princes, why don't you move over there all the better to serve this family, one of whom is buying a $488 million Euro private jet for his pleasure? Anyone who wishes to learn more about the birth of modern Arabia should read Abdul Rehman Munif who was stripped of his citizenship because he wrote world-class literature:

Good article BUT...

Good article but Mr. Writer has tried to brush the entire situation with color of black and white. Intentionally or un-intentionally the writer has tried to give the good perception of Iran. He might be not aware of the grave situation in Syria where so far 14000 innocent people have been killed by Bashar Asad with the support of Iran but still Mr writer is trying to say that nothing has happened or whatever is happening because of Saudi Arabia. We support the demand of Bahrainin people for democracy based on Islamic principles, the same way can Mr writer dare to support the demand of Syrian people??

We don't support dictatorship, but we support kingdom based on Islamic principle.

I have very pity with the mindsets of some people who try to mix truth with falsehood.

I am favor of Iran but not in favor of their belief which is contradicting to Quran, Sunnah. Iran was never champion for Islamic cause and has not contributed to Islam but they have contributed to cultures mixing some times with the acts of shirk.

Sauidi Arabia

It is only in Sauidi Arabia, the Indian Muslim men along with Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslim Men are considered as eunuchs and fit to accompany lone Saudi females.Saroor has done a very honest reporting.

Monarchies are highly un-Islamic

I don't see any Sunni-Shia fight in this issue. Here a tyrant simply wants to punish or bully a person or his group which has fought for freedom and democracy.As long as USA, Isra-hell & EU support these un-Islamic tyrants, they will continue bullying the forces which demand freedom and democracy.The sooner ME becomes democratic and diplomatic, the sooner Isra-Hell vanishes.

Islam and Qura'an are from Allah and Allah guarantees protection for both.Why should we stand by these un-Islamic despots?


Absolutely correct analysis. Every thing comes to an end., sooner rather than later.

Allah knows what truth is !

Allah knows what truth is ! without any small evidence a regime may not arrest anybody. throughout the report author tried to give some masked color on saudi regime. It is the habit of Iran ,Iranian policy supporter.Islamic brotherhood of egypt is a sunni ideologist,but it is also true that they always praise islamic revolution of iran is a true islamic revolution,not saudi regime.

There is a old saying.....

There is a old saying..... This is Middle East, love or leave it... It is their country, their people and have to keep the balance between the moderate and the religious Mutawwas, and they are fine. In this horrible man-made surroundings, this country is nearly size of Indo-Pak with only Bombays population and amazing is how nicely and smoothly they are carrying-on. Are you really happy in your own house...? Do you want more problems here and there... Say Shukra Al Hamdolillah..
tasnim - spectator