Insulting Royalty- Saudi Arabia and Beyond

Many countries with royal families tend to be extremely protective about defending their honor. Thailand was recently in the news because of the jailing of an Australian writer for insulting the monarchy and his subsequent pardon. A few weeks later a British professor ran from Thailand with similar charges against him. Several years ago Spanish magazines were pulled off the shelves for depicting insulting images of the royalty.

Saudi Arabia is similar to many of these countries regarding the high regard for the royal family, with an additional aspect- the Saudi monarchy are the ACTUAL rulers of the country, not just figureheads! This seems to elevate them to an even higher standard where criticism is not allowed at all and makes people very sensitive about the topic. Blogs that criticize the Saudi royals are blocked in the country as are several human rights web-sites.  Defacing the currency is a big no-no as it has images of the royalty on it. People discuss issues like corruption off the record in “safe” settings with trusted friends only. 

These cultural sensitivities were highlighted last week when the coach of the Al-Hilal football (soccer) team was fired and told to leave the country because he threw down his shirt that had the picture of Crown Prince Sultan on it. This happened right after his team won at the Crown Prince Cup. The organizers of the match did not allow the whole team to come to the podium; in anger the coach did not go to the podium and threw his shirt. The next day he was fired. His apology was not accepted.

5 Responses

  1. […] View original post here: Insulting Royalty- Saudi Arabia and beyond « life thru dusty lenses […]

  2. I say he should’ve lead his team to loss, then he’ll get someone up there to defend him…

  3. I think it’s offensive that they wouldn’t allow the whole team to go up to the podium. To me it shows that the coach values every member of his team, and not just his best or most popular players. This is the kind of coach I would want leading my team. I don’t believe that he intentionally insulted the prince by removing his shirt and throwing it down to the ground. He was protesting and standing up for the lesser members of his team who were being slighted. I get really tired of people and groups taking offense at every little thing nowadays when none was intended.

  4. I agree. This is the sort of coach you want for your team. It speaks volumes about the team spirit. KSA tends to be VERY sensitive abt the royalty.

    Susie, you know the names of the doors at the Haram in Makkah? My hubby referred to one by name once without saying “malk”/king before it and his Saudi colleague corrected him and chided him abt it!

  5. They ‘re not God istagefor Allah , they are not masaomen from being wrong .But most of all they should be very humble and accept criticism and allow dialog .

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