March 11, 2011
As unrest escalated across the Middle East, activists in Saudi Arabia demanded a political voice as well. Rather than promises of democracy, they got a $36 billion handout and a slap down from Islamic clerics.
Saudi academics, writers and representatives of the minority Shiite Muslim population called on King Abdullah, the sixth monarch in the Arab world’s largest economy, to move the country toward a constitutional monarchy. Anti-government demonstrators are advocating a “Day of Rage” today, and police in anti-riot vehicles patrolled in central Riyadh, the capital, with checkpoints set up around the Al-Rajhi mosque.