Saudi Arabia And Middle East Stability Essay

1041 Words May 13th, 2015 5 Pages
Saudi Arabia, the Key to Middle East Stability The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s role as the key to Middle East stability is becoming more important in the current world climate, more specifically the United States Central Command Area of Operations. General regional instability of the Middle East, religious conflicts, and Iranian hegemonic intentions add to obstacles for Saudi Arabia to overcome. These issues also undermine United States’ interests to bring peace to the region. Saudi Arabia’s primary religion is Muslim. This is further broken down into Sunni and Shia, with Sunni taking the majority of 85-95% of the population and Shia encompassing another 10-15%. As stated on the CIA World Factbook:
Despite having a large expatriate community of various faiths (more than 30% of the population), most forms of public religious expression inconsistent with the government-sanctioned interpretation of Sunni Islam are restricted; non-Muslims are not allowed to have Saudi citizenship and non-Muslim places of worship are not permitted. (CIA World Factbook) Recent media has highlighted problems with Saudi Arabia’s strict adherence with incidents such as Raif Badawi’s, who was sentenced 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam” on an online media blog. This may seem extreme, but it is surprising to learn that progress is being made in Saudi Arabia. In February 2013, King Abdullah swore in 30 women to the previously all-male Shura council, this was the first time women have…

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