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Saudi Arabia Against Jihad Recruitment for Syria

10:34 AM, Feb 13, 2014 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
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Saudi Arabia has already seen social changes that may not be reversible. An article in the January 30 Financial Times, “Saudi women defy tradition to enter workplace,” included a comment by Saudi blogger Eman Al-Nafjan that she “disagrees with the argument that society is balanced against women’s rights, including driving. . . . She took part in driving protests, [and] most members of the public were supportive. She estimates that the [Wahhabi] wing of Saudi society determined to keep women at home now amounts to roughly 20 per cent of the population.”

In addition, the received wisdom that seeks to distinguish between “peaceful activists” and “suspected terrorists” may have a justifiable place in America, with our protections for free speech. But it is wearing thin in countries where jihadist agitation is more common.

The “peaceful” arguments of Wahhabi jihadists—“jihad of the pen”—no less than those of Iranian regime supporters, lead straight to violence—“jihad of the sword”—except where they can be headed off by official strategies and encouragement of defections.

Other countries with citizens sensitive to the slaughter in Syria have adopted similar sanctions on jihadism.

Two days after announcement of King Abdullah’s decision, the Sarajevo newspaper Dnevni Avaz (Daily Voice) reported that the legislature of Bosnia-Herzegovina was prepared to adopt regulations that would prohibit “organizing, recruiting, promoting, or participating directly in armed conflicts” outside Bosnian territory.

And on Friday, February 7, the Kosovo daily of record, Koha Ditore (Daily Times), disclosed the arrest by legal authorities of two young local men, Alban Kelmendi and Armir Bytyci, at the airport in Pristina, the Kosovo capital. The pair intended to travel to Syria to join al Qaeda, officials said.

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