Those gloating are also exposed to scandal

Turki AlDakhil
Turki Al-Dakhil

Turki Al-Dakhil

By : Turki Al-Dakhil

Major U.S. newspapers have written about last week’s incident when members of the Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice detained a pastry shop’s cross-dressing mascot for “violating religious values.” Such acts affect our reputation, which we have been spending millions on since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Selective hearing

Other societies do not form an opinion about us by reading the work of philosophers such as Ibn Khaldun, Averroes and al-Kindi, or listening to musicians such as Naseer Shamma, Umm Kulthum and Fairuz, or learning about Islamic scholars such as Tahar bin Achour and Abdallah bin Bayyah. Rather, they form their opinions via what we ourselves produce and circulate via the internet. This is why they do not listen to moderate voices.

Other societies form their opinions via what we ourselves produce and circulate via the internet. This is why they do not listen to moderate voices.

Turki Al-Dakhil

Amid social-media reaction to the incident, moderate Saudi figures such as Adil Kalbani, Mohammad al-Jathlani and Issa al-Ghayth made reasonable statements. They are sheikhs and scholars in their fields, but since they are moderate, no one mentioned their tweets, and their statements were not translated and circulated.

When a religious edict is issued allowing the killing of Mickey Mouse, we harm our image. We disfigure our face with our own hands. However, to all those gloating about the mascot incident, you too are exposed to scandals.

Turki Al-Dakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in the Column section are their own and do not reflect RiyadhVision’s point-of-view.


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