In the reading by Stephanie Lacroix, we learn about a variety of social activist groups and how they continuously reformed, even though the Regime would shut them down. Some of the earlier movements started in the 1970’s and defied the royal families. One of the larger, well known movements was the of the Sunnic Islamic movement, also known as the Sahwa. They protested and lead many of them to be imprisoned. The movement eventually split into two different groups, one which focused on “society” issues and the other on “political change”.
If we look at movements in more current times, it is easy to see how much technology advancements have impacted social media movements. Lacroix explains in her journal, “the young themselves were becoming more actively politicized” through the new media platforms such a Twitter and Facebook. Thus, opposing a new threat to the Regime and demonstrating the ongoing issues in Saudi Arabia. A number of Sahwa activists were able to establish the Kingdoms first political party, known as the Islamic Umma Party. As a result of, allows people to question the royal families power and the government system they have in their State.
Throughout the piece, I am able to see how social movements create a new threat to the Regime. Not just by it being virtually available, but because it was easier to get people together to protest. The more people are able to see the problems they have in Saudi Arabia, the more effective their movements will be. I feel there are still too many things left to be acknowledged and gradually changed but these changes have been embedded since the 1970’s. There will be a change, if not know, there is hope for tomorrow. As Lacroix states towards the end of her article,”Though the royal family has undoubtedly won the first round of the game, it could therefore experience more challenges to its authority in the not-so- distance future.”
The article Saudi Islamists and the Arab Spring by Stéphane Lacroix, addresses the influence of revolutionary protest and deadly repression. The article does an impressive job applying contextual knowledge to research. Lacroix’s writings discussing the Saudi Arabian royal family’s response to the Arab Spring is narratively written and well balanced on the development of the Arab revolutions’ Saudi Arabian interests. I think Lacroix made some really insightful representations of both sides. With Saudi Islamists playing a pivotal role in the new political generation of Saudi youth, the importance of the subject was received in respect to the prevailing religious and cultural experiences. I found the information presented by Lacroix, establishes a curvilinear between oppositions within reach of resolve. However, even-tempered as the opinions may seem the unification of ideas is further from the truth.
The current debate within Saudi society, is introducing a whole new perspective on the significance of the Sunni Islamist Sahwa movement in the Saudi Arabian political environment. The Sahwa, meaning the Islamic Awakening, is infusing the pervading social movements of the Saudi youths with strong social and political protests against the royal family. However, these demonstrations have been severely met with heavy resistance from religious detractors. The revolutionary stance by Saudi Islamists on the social activism of Saudi youth and the disparaging political oppositions against constitutional reformists have been strongly influenced by the development and use of social media in Saudi Arabia.
Through communication and technology, both Saudi youths and reformists were able to grow convincingly influential by politically challenging the traditional authority of Saudi government. Intellectually funding the legitimacy of their social activism, young reformists developed an extension of their political positions, through demonstrative writing and academic pursuit. Three separate petitions for reform, represented by the different activist groups, were effectively influential on the overwhelming religious authority among the Saudi public. However, by taking both an economically supportive stance in favor of funding Saudi society and then subsequently incarcerating the youth movement’s most influential activists, the Saudi government furtively discredited the accomplishments of Islamists further dividing Saudi society by minimizing the issues.