The Magazine

Blogging Saudi Arabia

Undermining the Wahhabis, one post at a time.

Jan 30, 2006, Vol. 11, No. 19 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
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"Saudi Blogs": For all its simplicity, the phrase has a revolutionary ring, like "Continental Congress" or "Polish Solidarity." Poland and the other Soviet-bloc Communist dictatorships were liberated with the help of the mimeograph and Xerox machines. Saudi Arabia and Iran may be freed by blogs and camera phones, perhaps giving Saudi King Abdullah more than he bargained for in the way of "an advanced Muslim technology." For now, the Saudi authorities continue to block conventional websites maintained by reformists, like, while permitting infamous Wahhabi hate sites, like, to operate. But the tyrants are falling behind and losing control of events. The spirits of the pamphleteer Benjamin Franklin and the great communicator Ronald Reagan must be tickled.

Stephen Schwartz, a frequent contributor, is the author of The Two Faces of Islam.