Saudi Arabia is becoming liberal

Wikileaks revelations : Party nights in strict Saudi Arabia

The latest victim of the Wikileaks revelations is the double standard in Saudi Arabia: In the Wahhabi kingdom, which officially follows a particularly strict interpretation of Islam, alcohol is drunk, celebrated and even prostitutes are found behind closed palace doors. This emerges from the records of the US consulate in the port city of Jeddah, which the Internet platform published on Wednesday. A US diplomat who was supposed to observe the “social interactions” of the youth of the Arab upper class describes a prince's Halloween party in the city on the Red Sea, which is much more open and liberal than the ultra-conservative capital Riyadh.

“The underground nightlife is flourishing,” writes the diplomat. The elite in the port city practically do not have to forego anything. “The full range of worldly vices is available: alcohol, drugs, sex - but everything behind closed doors.” Alcohol is officially banned in Saudi Arabia and is dearly traded on the black market. There is no trace of celibacy monitors, because "the religious police stay away when such parties are held with or hosted by members of the royal family," according to Wikileaks.

However, there are thousands of princes in Saudi Arabia - the members of the ruling family are estimated at around 10,000. The name of the prince who had invited to the extravagant festival in Jeddah had been blacked out in the Wikileaks document. It was not one of the potential heir to the throne, writes the author. "Beneath the surface, the youth in Saudi Arabia enjoy a relatively large amount of freedom, including when it comes to sexuality," the US diplomat concludes.

It is common knowledge that members of the ruling family who can live like a king without ever having to work have a dissolute lifestyle. This can be seen in Geneva or London in the unbearably hot summer months. The less affluent Saudis are drawn to Beirut or Cairo, where more than a few enjoy belly dancing and buying sex with prostitutes.

In Saudi Arabia, Jeddah is already a Mecca of liberal lifestyle compared to the capital Riyadh. The port city is the gateway for pilgrims from all over the world and has always been connected to the outside world. On the Corniche you can see women jogging who only wear short coats over their sportswear. The headscarf lets your hair free. In the country's southern Asir region, women are sometimes even allowed to drive in the countryside. But even in Riyadh, young people hang out in shopping centers or exchange phone numbers at traffic lights and then meet in secret.

The debauchery of members of the ruling family is one of the reasons why Osama bin Laden declared war on the al Sauds. He accuses the family of having turned away from Islam with their lifestyle and politics. Every upright Muslim therefore has a duty to overthrow this regime.

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