“Arab Media Look Other Way” on Saudi Violence
Writing in The Guardian, Hayder al-Khoei asserts that recent violence in Saudi Arabia’s eastern city of Qatif have “been overlooked by major western media outlets such as the BBC and CNN,” as well as major Arab news outlets, and he adds that “Had these deaths occurred in Libya, Egypt or Syria, the world would be paying attention.” Saudi Arabian security forces fired on protesters near the Shi’a-dominated city of Qatif in recent days, killing four demonstrators and wounding many others.
The author suggests that “the Arab media is obsessed with the protests in Syria, eagerly following developments in Egypt and excited about elections in Morocco. Yet when it comes to innocent young men dying in Qatif, it appears on the news ticker only if they’re feeling generous.” Al-Khoei contends that “The Saudis picked a very good time of the year to provoke their Shia citizens. As the month of Muharram has started, the authorities can exploit this yearly mourning period to paint the Qatifis as sectarian ‘others’ and ensure any violent crackdown will go unnoticed in the Arab world.”