Just a moment... Why are you attacking us?


A FEW days ago, Tim Sebastian, a television journalist from the German channel Deutsche Welle, asked Minister of State Adel Al-Jubeir: “You are telling the European Union ‘not to lecture us’ and then how can the West deal with you?

While the interlocutor argued with Al-Jubeir with regard to the details of the Saudi internal affairs, it is worthy to draw attention to the remarkable statement made by French President Emmanuel Macron. The statement compelled all those following these incidents to say: “Just a moment... indeed, you are lecturing us and at the same time why are you attacking us?

The story is as follows. Less than a month before the upcoming French municipal elections, President Macron said that he would impose restrictions on receiving foreign imams and teachers in his country with an objective to eliminate what he described as the risk of “discord,” according to Reuters, especially while taking into account of the fact that France hosts the largest Muslim community in Europe.

Macron said he would gradually end the system under which Algeria, Morocco, and Turkey send imams to France to preach in mosques in the country, adding that ending this system is “extremely important to curb foreign influence and ensure everyone respects the laws of the Republic.” Macron pointed out that these countries annually send 300 imams to his country, and that 2020 will be the last year to receive these numbers of imams.

The president also noted that his government asked the council that represents Islam in France to find ways to train the imams on French soil, and to make sure that they speak French and not to spread hardline ideas. “I will not allow any country, whichever it may be, to nurture discord ... You cannot find Turkish law applied to French soil,” Macron said adding: “This cannot happen.”

Well, Macron has all the right to say what he thinks right for his country but why this right is being denied in the case of Saudi Arabia? The Kingdom is a target of criticism when it rejects the “discord” speech on its soil, and among its people?

Why Saudi Arabia is being criticized when it rejects foreign interference from the Muslim Brotherhood, Turks, Qataris, and others, while France has the right to toughen up to “curb foreign influence and ensure that everyone respects the laws of the Republic!”

Why is the French president entitled to define who is an extremist and who is a moderate, and at the same time Saudi Arabia has no right to do that? Rather, the complicated question here is: Why did Saudi Arabia become a target of criticism earlier on the pretext that it did not suppress the discourse of extremism and not willing to establish tolerance but when Saudi Arabia does this, it is being criticized again on the pretext of human rights?

Anyone who follows the Saudi affairs can realize that the pace of reform is continuing in full swing. Rather, not a single week is passing without the Council of Ministers taking decisions with regard to upgrading and updating its rules and regulations.

What is actually required from Saudi Arabia? Why Saudi Arabia is being criticized while it is keen on protecting its values as well as its society from “discord,” while it is acceptable for France to prevent feeding “discord” as it defines?

What is the worst double standard!