November 4, 2011

Political Theory

Recently, there has been a wave of revolution and protest in many Arab countries referred to as the “Arab Spring.” An article posted on CNN’s website brings up that the Hajj, the pilgrimage that nearly 2.5 million Muslims make every year might spread the new revolutionary spirit to Saudi Arabia. This pilgrimage brings together people from the Arab countries where revolution and protest have taken place with Saudi Arabians, who are ruled by a royal family.

The revolutions and protests have called for the elimination of old regimes, which restricted the freedoms of its people in favor of democracy. Given the nature of the Saudi Arabian political structure which consists of non-elected officials, the country is particularly vulnerable to revolutionary ideals.

As the CNN article states, there are no extra security measures being implemented, however it is rumored that the country is reducing quotas on those making the pilgrimage from countries where revolution have taken place.

Thomas Hobbes believed that people move toward what brings peace. In addition, he believed that people sacrifice some of their rights in order to allow for a ruler which enables there to be peace.  At what stage does the people’s need for individual rights outweigh their need for peace? As Pilgrims make their journey to Saudi Arabia, having just gone through revolution, it may be argued that the county’s political stability could be at the breaking point. Rosseau would argue that there is a need for this revolution in Saudi Arabia, because he believed that for there to be true liberty the people have to be in control of government and lawmaking.

Do you think that this years Hajj could spark the beginning of revolution in Saudi Arabia?



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2 Comments on “Revolution”

  1. mpogoda3 Says:

    I believe that it is deffinately possible for a revolution to break out in Saudi Arabia this year during the Hajj. I also think that there main inspiration will come from the revolutions that erupted in the Egypt and Libya. In both of these countries the masses lived under one central authority that virtually controlled their lives. After years of abuse from these oppressive governments the people finally revolted which resulted in the end of their reigns. Although a revolt may break out this year in Saudi Arabia I do not think that it will have the success that the Egyptian and libyian riots had. Saudi Arabia is one of the wealthiest nations in the world and can afford to spend a tremendous amount of money in stifling the revolt. Even if a revolt did not succeed in its goal it would show both the royal family and the world that immediate change is not only desired but needed immediately.

  2. ldahbour Says:

    Do you think that this years Hajj could spark the beginning of revolution in Saudi Arabia?

    As a Muslim, I can confidently say that I do not think that this years Hajj could spark the beginning of revolution in Saudi Arabia. There are two reasons that contribute to the confidence in my thought. The first is the reason people go to Hajj. The reason for Hajj is to demonstrate the solidarity of the Muslim people and their submission to Allah. It is very unlikely that Muslims would invest in Hajj (as it is a very intense and expensive process) and ultimately remove their focus from their religious duty and begin protesting the Saudi Arabian government. Hajj is a holy time and the importance of regional rulers is scaled down. My second reason is the socioeconomic status of Saudi Arabia. There is a very small lower class in Saudi Arabia because of its oil reserves. As a result, there is not an alarming need to overthrow the country’s monarchy. Although there are many oppressive laws in SA (specfically towards women), Hajj is not the opportunity of revolution to ignite.

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