Different activist groups coming together

I think that an interesting issue the reading touches upon is the fact how in Saudi Arabia people from different groups came together to achieve common goals, but only to a certain degree. If members of different groups and from different background pursue the same goals, one might think that it only makes sense that they fight together. This was the case in Saudi Arabia when people from different sectarian groups signed the petition “Towards a State of Rights and Institutions” to demand an elected parliament and the appointment of a prime minister. Groups might have realized that they are not that different and learned to accept each other. However, significant differences might persist and a group likely does not want to be associated with another group’s beliefs and values if they do not mirror their own. The Saudi government used that to discredit and divide the activists by raising word of an Iranian conspiracy and Shiite responsibility for the movement. Sunnis didn’t want to be seen in that light and a degree was reached at which the different groups couldn’t work together anymore. The government succeeded in its attempt to stop the protests.

I can see why certain groups might feel the need to uphold their credibility and identity and how that can easily be threatened if the public learns about their collaboration with a different-minded group. However, a single group might often not be enough to bring about change so the pros and cons of the collaboration have to be weighed carefully. It should also be taken into account if the goals really are the same and which measures one is willing to take to achieve these goals. Should a peaceful group of protesters work together with a radical organization knowing that they might only reach their goal because others used violence? In some cases, a collaboration might do more harm than good, but in other cases groups are only held apart by societal constraints. People of different age, gender, religion, ethnicity, or social status are often seen as different groups merely because of outer aspects, but they might share the same values, attitudes and beliefs and might be much more powerful as a group. Moreover, if everybody believed and acted in that way, there would be less need for activism in the first place, but that is something that John Lennon already imagined years ago.

Different activist groups coming together

2 thoughts on “Different activist groups coming together

  1. lizpina says:

    Well said! I agree, if different groups are encountering the same issues of other areas of the Middle East it seems as though fighting together is the best idea. However, like you said it is not always true because of the different circumstances each group is in. Not only is it hard to be on the same page as other people, but it can create consequences for either groups. Working together, can eventually become a weakness and accomplish less of what they believed they could accomplish together.


  2. gabmaria93 says:

    I like that you illustrated on the point that Saudi Arabian people from different groups can come together in hopes of achieving a common goal, but only to an extent. An example, as you noted, was the petition “Towards a State of Rights and Institutions.” Even though people from different walks, the regime took this notion of difference, including religious beliefs and affiliations, to stop the movement. I feel if this wasn’t the case, if we didn’t focus so much on our differences, there can be so much positive change in the world. Great analysis of the reading.


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