Al-Hurra website interview with Saudi tweeter, Mujtahid
Translated in tonight’s Daily Briefing from our Mideastwire.com (for a trial email firstname.lastname@example.org):
On May 13, the Al-Hurra website carried the following interview with Saudi tweeter, Mujtahid: “…Q. Some link your name to the head of the Islamic Movement for Reform, Dr. Sa’d al-Fakih while others believe that you are close to the ruling family in light of the kind of information that you are leaking. Who is Mujtahid?
“A. There are many theories with respect to Mujtahid’s identity but any question in this regard cannot be answered.
“Q. When will Mujtahid turn from a mere Twitter account into a real person for the Saudi people?
“A. If a real movement was to be launched and if I see an interest into modifying the role then yes, the role will be modified.
“Q…How do you perceive the changes that were started by late King Abdullah and continued by present King Salman Ben Abdul Aziz?
“A. What reforms are you talking about?
“Q. For instance, the Kingdom is following the politics of involving youth in the governmental institutions and bodies. The Crown prince and his deputy are from the youths. Is this not part of the reforms that you are calling for?
“A. Are these reforms in the political sense? There has been no change to the fact that the Saud family have full control over power and an absolute immunity against accountability. There has been no change in expanding transparency, the independence of the judiciary, the freedom of speech, and the freedom to form groups. On the contrary, these things are now worse… Imagine that there is no decent water network in the major cities. People stand in long lines in Jeddah in order to obtain water transferred to them through tankers. So what kind of reform are you talking about? There are no services, no army, no universities, no political participation, no accountability, no transparency and no freedom. So where’s the reform!!
“Q. Do you believe that reform should happen with or without the ruling family? In other words, should there be a reform of the ruling family or a reform of the country?
“A. The problem with the ruling family is that it can’t be reformed. Any real reform in terms of political participation, accountability, transparency and the independence of the judiciary will lead to a revolution by the people against this family and to calls for trials of the prominent princes. Because they know that, they are refusing to launch the first step, which consists of releasing the political prisoners… How could the Saud family allow the freedom and expression and of forming groups when they know that Mohammad Ben Nayef and Mohammad Ben Salman will be the first parties to be attacked under these freedoms?
“…Q. How do you assess the experience of the Arab spring some four years after its launching and how can the Saudi people benefit from it?
“A. The Arab spring represents a march in one direction even if it has stumbled. The counter-revolutions that are now taking place is a natural and expected thing. But all these counter-revolutions will fail and the Arab spring will come back stronger, and firmer in order to eliminate the corrupt past. The sad part is the extent of our country’s financial and religious participation in these counter-revolutions and the extent of these counter-powers dependence on the Saudi and Gulf support. I believe that as the power of Al-Saud subsides, this will give a strong push to the strong return of the Arab spring…
“Q. But the Kingdom supported the spring in Syria?
“A. Where is the proof? Do you have a documented proof or are these mere claims that you’re making? The Saudi government only supported its agents, Salim Idriss, Jamal Maarouf, and Zahran Alloush. The main mission of these was to fight the Jihadist movements before fighting the regime…
“Q. The Al-Hazm storm created a dynamic on the Arab level all the way to forming a joint Arab force. What do you think about that?
“A. Al-Hazm storm revealed the external, intelligence, and foreign politics failure of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia had natural allies in Yemen such as Islamists and Sunni tribes. The Saudi government boycotted these allies and allies itself with Ali Abdullah Saleh… The air raids failed to achieve a thing. The Houthis kept expanding and controlling the cities and the rest of the army forces. They also managed to bombard areas within Saudi Arabia…
“Q. How do you view the future of the Saudi people?
“A. The ruling family is going through its last phase. I don’t know if it’s going to last more than two years after Mohammad Ben Salman. The family dispute and the regional challenges constitute two threats that could bring the family to an end. The people will suffer and will go through a phase of chaos but they will succeed in fixing things.
“Q. Do you believe that the American-Iranian rapprochement serves the interests of the Gulf in general and Saudi Arabia in specific or is it the contrary?
“A. There is no such thing as the Iranian-American rapprochement. There’s an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program with an Iranian subjection that Saudi Arabia served to achieve by increasing the oil production and reducing the prices thus forcing Iran to accept the American conditions…
“Q. Are you optimistic regarding the future of Saudi Arabia in light of all the changes seen at the level of the ruling family?
“A. It’s neither optimism nor pessimism. These are predictions based on the reality of the situation. The Saud family does not have the ability to persist in light of the present ruling mechanism.””