MEMRI takes a look at some of the commentary in the Arabic language daily Al-Watan, based in Abha in the conservative Asir region of Saudi Arabia. The paper, with Jamal Koshoggi back at the helm, continues its critical approach to intolerance in religion and religious preaching. This piece also features a cartoon from the pan-Arab daily Asharq Alawsat, the largest circulating Arabic paper in the world. Definitely worth reading.
Columnists in the Saudi press have recently been criticizing the religious discourse in Saudi Arabia, especially the sermons in the mosques, which, they stated, promote extremism and create a rift among the Muslims. Some columnists have also maintained that, since this discourse is rooted in the past and is not in the spirit of this age, it impedes any attempt at reform and progress in Saudi Arabia. Others even proposed to reform this discourse by introducing modern and more humane interpretations of religious texts, by the careful choosing of the preachers, and by the passing of laws prohibiting incitement from religious pulpits.
The following are excerpts from the articles: