While much has been made of American exceptionalism, society in Saudi Arabia is not immune to the allure. Writing in the Arabic daily Al-Hayat (here translated and republished by Saudi Gazette), Badriya Al-Bisher comments on how Saudi citizens often behave as though they stand apart from history. Sometimes, even apart from the religion they claim to profess.

On double standards and the Saudi contradiction
Badriya Al-Bishr | Al-Hayat newspaper

It was noted that when using social media websites, appearing on TV talk shows or writing in newspapers, many Saudis would strongly defend their fanatical and extreme views under the pretext that Saudi society is somehow exceptional. Such people often use verses from the Qur’an and Sunnah to support their distorted views, something they then use against anyone who dares contradict them by accusing them of undermining the Holy Book and the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

In other words, the verses of the Qur’an and Sunnah they use make it imperative not only on the listener or viewer to follow and accept but on all of society.

Interesting enough, this “Saudi opinion” only insists on its exceptionalism if it is widely aired on satellite TV channels and social media websites. When a person receives so much attention and is a constant guest on TV shows and the center of popular media websites, he will naturally insist his ideas are unique and right.


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