Foreign Policy has published a rather interesting and somewhat balanced (in my opinion) piece called Insulting the Sultan in Oman. I highly recommend reading it before it is quietly removed off the Omani version of the world wide web. I'm not entirely sure whether the busy creatures monitoring the internet in Oman will appreciate reading the F-bomb and the Sultan in the same sentence.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
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Labels: freedom of speech, human rights, law, politics, Sultan Qaboos
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I have all the respect for you, as woman, as an intellectual above all as an Omani who wishes all the best for the Sultanate of Oman.
But seeing some words you write like "creatures monitoring the internet in Oman" deeply saddens me. Patriotic men and women who select chaff from the grain in the information super highway and discard the chaff when need be, are NOT "creatures" but simple human beings.
I wish, you sometimes weighed your words more wisely.
Accessible from here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100146646232137568790/posts/3PZTYKS715KReplyDelete
Two negatives about this piece though: firstly, they do not bother to mention that the Shura was granted some legislative powers - exactly what these "activists" were asking for. And secondly, it gives a very misleading picture of the demonstrations and gatherings last year as all being about "political reform" with some kind of united, clear agenda, which is nonsense: most of the demonstrations last year had no clear purpose or policy agenda, and raised such weighty issues as government help paying off car loans.
That's not to understate the importance of some of the serious issues raise, but this article fails to acknowledge either that few of the protests had a clear or serious request, and that those that did, were largely answered positively.
The references to beating people with bars and virginity tests, make me feel nauseated. By all means enforce the law, and personally I have no problem with the laws on lese majeste. But enforce them properly. The kind of intimidation described, is repugnant.
I have mixed feelings about the piece. I also have mixed feelings about the activists interviewed. Nevertheless, it was interesting to read and he highlighted some very valid pointsReplyDelete
And Uncle Mti - Humans are creatures. Creatures are humans.ReplyDelete
An interesting article indeed.ReplyDelete
I agree with LS's comments. It brought to mind a quote from Terry Pratchett's Discworld (Small gods) "Fear is a strange soil. Mainly it grows obedience like corn, which grows in rows and makes weeding easy. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground."
This article and your previous post together show how complicated politics in Oman is.
Quote "The references to beating people with bars and virginity tests, make me feel nauseated." Unquote.ReplyDelete
I don’t think the above torture claim is true. Take my words; NO security agency in Oman applies torture to suspects. Torture is not practiced at all in extracting info from those being interrogated. It is just question and answer session with coffee and dates provided. No physical violence no threats and no black mail. Just very long Q&A sessions.
Uncle Mti - in this case is it safe to say that you are an interrogator? :)ReplyDelete
Uncle Mti interrogates only sha3ri and barracuda. I respect his loyalty to the Crown, but sometimes his love for his country, like many of our passions in life, is blind.ReplyDelete
We all know the law prohibits torture, and he's right to say that "political" questioning tends towards the velvet glove rather than the iron fist. But just as with corruption or other problems, beatings do happen.
None of us know the truth in this case, but it's fair to say that we can no more dispute these allegations than confirm them.
Quote "Uncle Mti interrogates only sha3ri and barracuda." Unquote TLS.ReplyDelete
The above statement is very true. Most Omanis online [at least since 1999] do know my occupation. Am a fisherman. That is all there is to it.
The internet in Oman is extremely rarely ever censored on political grounds. This article on Foreign Policy will not be "quietly removed from the Omani version of the world wide web". I find this overly dramatic.ReplyDelete