There’s more to being a salesman than the horrors of Glengarry Glen Ross, and it must have been a truly inspired PR consultant who was able to persuade the ‘Saudi’ embassy in London (there’s no other conceivable explanation) to produce this remarkable Q&A on the state of human rights in the ‘Kingdom’.
Here’s a sample:
“Q: Is this evolution [in Saudi politics] leading, eventually, to a western type democracy?
A: No. it could lead to more popular participation in all levels, but it is unlikely to culminate in a Western democracy. In democracy, the elected parliament ranks supreme. It can make anything legal illegal, and vice-versa. In Islam what God specified as Haram (illegal), or Halal (legal), cannot be changed by any parliament, or even by the whole population. These imperatives of right and wrong in Islam are unchangeable.”
And in that one word ‘unchangeable’ you have the essence of totalitarian rule – “a boot,” as Orwell once put it, “stamping on a human face – forever.”
But don’t worry too much. As the embassy explains:
“The State protects human rights in accordance with Islamic Sharia.”
So that’s OK then.