Why did Shoura Council reject national unity law?

MEMBERS of the Shoura Council refused to endorse a draft law.

Why did Shoura Council reject national unity law?


Yusuf Al-Muhaimeed




MEMBERS of the Shoura Council refused to endorse a draft law that would have further cemented our national integrity. The draft law included punishments for racism against any of the country's citizens who are all equal in the eyes of law.

The members did not specify why exactly they were adamant in their refusal to approve the law, especially at this grave juncture where our citizens are discriminating against each other on various grounds, including religious sectarianism.

It is true that the system of government in one of its articles has made a reference to the issue of national unity. This, however, is not a good reason for the council members not to pass the law.

Furthermore, having a special law issued by the Shoura Council to severely punish anyone who may dare to undermine the country's unity or follow an exclusive policy against any member of society is of crucial significance. Such a law will protect national unity and prosecute anyone who may dare to stand against it.

However, it was not surprising that the council members rejected this draft law, which was aimed at protecting Saudi citizens, especially women, and safeguarding their rights. These very members rejected previously the sexual harassment law on flimsy grounds. They claimed that if they passed the law they would be legalizing mixing of genders. They asked how harassment can happen if the men and women are not together in the workplace.

The members should realize that the mixing of gender is a fact of life. Men and women are actually mixing in public places all over the world and our country is not an exception. It is this very gender mixing that has necessitated the issuance of a law cracking down on harassment.

The draft law was tabled at the council after social media reported a number of incidents in which irresponsible young men were shown publicly harassing women and young girls who could not defend themselves and were unable to retaliate.

What do the council members want when they refuse national projects that will protect the country's unity and safeguard the dignity and honor of its men and women?

Who are these members? Are they really an overwhelming majority or are they in fact a minority that attracts and secures the votes of those who do not have clear stances on many issues?

Why do we have in the council such weak and indecisive members? Why do we have members who have no clear-cut views on national issues?

All the reasons behind the rejection of the national unity law by the council members were feeble, if not totally absurd.

I wished so much that the opponents would have appeared on the TV and the local media to explain to us in clear terms why they rejected the national unity law. They should discuss this with the journalists in addition to the citizens.

If the logic of the members proved to be fallible, the draft law should be presented for the second time to the council to discuss and approve.

As long as many Shoura Council members talk too much on TV, enjoying full freedom and transparency, it remains the right of the citizens to know why the members reject important laws.

The citizens feel that this council represents them though they have not elected its members or voted for them. A number of economic and social decisions that the council had taken had adverse consequences on society. People now strongly believe that the council is working against their interests.

This makes our Shoura Council an entity different from all the other parliaments in the world that were chosen to represent their people.