Thursday, April 1, 2010
"This is the second Angry Arab interview in the series. More will follow. Here are the answers by comrade Madawi Al-Rasheed....
4) What is your assessment of the Saudi control of Arab media, publishing, and think tanks?
I occasionally write in al-Quds al-Arabi in London and it is the only newspaper that tolerates my critical opinion. Other media is totally dominated by petrodollar and is shut to any critical evaluation of current affairs. Saudi control of the media was the subject of a book I edited. In Kingdom without Borders, I focused on the new Saudi control of the media and explored its impact on public opinion in the Arab world.
The interests of the West and Saudi Arabia are connected and this meant that even Western Academic circles, the media and think tanks are now careful not to criticise Saudi regime or write about the country in a way that implicates the regime. The West sees Saudi Arabia as a strategic ally, a source of oil and investment, and a regime that can be trusted to shape the Arab and Muslim world. As a result, criticising Saudi Arabia amounts to undermining Western interests. But this does not bother me as there is always an opportunity in the West to voice a dissident opinion that is not silenced by Saudi Arabia....."