[Dr. Saad Al-Fageeh]: MBS has no intentions of changing his ways after the Khashoggi case. The information currently available indicates that there are even more arrests being made, and more repression, and more of the same way of considering even silence as criminal. More torture in prisons. More sexual harassment. More humiliation and degrading treatment in prison. The stories that are being leaked these days are very alarming.
Outside of prisons, there’s more taxes being imposed. More takeovers of public resources. More stealing from the public coffers. More confiscation of private wealth and property. He (MBS) will take possession of more and more companies owned by billionaires, and now he’s targeting those in the 100s of millions range, and then those in the 10s of millions range, and then the millionaires. More travel bans. More denial of public services. More corruption, westernization, and destruction of this society through a number of ways, Allah forbid. More restrictions on Da’wah (Islamic activities) and religious classes. Now, even the classes for Quran memorization are under pressure. Even the ordinary classes by Sheikhs and scholars who are aligned with the state are being put under pressure and banned. More recklessness and capricious policies in the region. Look at the Saudi media and the ‘electronic trolls’ and what they’re saying online.
Has their rhetoric changed after the Khashoggi case? Not at all. It’s still reckless, corrupt, degenerate and using a vile language, Allah forbid. More rushing into the arms of the Zionists. The stories that are being leaked regarding their reliance on the Zionists and their cosying up to them, in line with MBS’s belief that the Zionists are capable of raising the dead and granting honor to those who are dishonored, are ongoing and increasing. More support for dictators. More support for Sisi and Haftar. In fact, now they’ve returned back to supporting the Syrian ruler.
More waging of wars against islamists and liberation movements. The islamists, whether they be the Muslim Brotherhood or others, are being hunted down everywhere. Anyone whose rhetoric contains some sort of political Islam is considered a criminal and a terrorist and a Muslim Brotherhood member, etc. More than that, they’re going after islamic organizations that are outside Saudi Arabia in Europe and America, and they finance right-wing organizations in Europe and America so that they can go after the islamic organizations. Islamic candidates in European and Western parliaments are being harassed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More bribery being paid to Trump and Sisi and others. So, what has improved after the Khashoggi case? Nothing at all. On the contrary, there’s more tyranny and more over-the-top humiliation of this Ummah.
[Dr. Saad Al-Fageeh]: Isn’t the opening of embassies in Damascus and the Arab countries rushing back there a legitimization of (Bashshar) Al-Assad? If so, why is Saudi Arabia taking part in these efforts when this is going to strengthen Iran? Well, Saudi Arabia hasn’t yet opened its embassy there, but it’s on its way to doing that. Also, the Saudis have ordered their media to go easy on the Syrian regime. In fact, even the visit by (Sudan’s) Al-Bashir to Syria was orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, according to our sources. There are two explanations for this.
The first explanation is that this is to give a justification for the US troops withdrawal from Syria, as if the Syrian conflict has been resolved. The so-called jihadi groups would be wiped out, while the (Syrian) regime would be given recognition. The second explanation is that they are disturbed by the Turkish influence, and they fear that if they were to abandon Al-Assad, Turkey will expand. Their antagonism towards Turkey has become stronger than their antagonism towards Iran. Their hostility towards Turkey has intensified. “Let Iran expand its influence, but not Turkey.” Their reasoning is that Iran will be contained by the US and Israel. “Whereas Turkey, we don’t know what it could do in the future.” Hence, according to this second possible explanation, there is behind-the-scenes coordination with Israel going on.
[Dr. Saad Al-Fageeh]: Do you expect MBS to be crowned king this year (2019), and the appointment of Abdullah Bin Bandar as Crown Prince? It makes no difference if it’s this year, or the next, or the year after. Whenever MBS realizes that the abdication of his father will not stir trouble within the ruling family, he will make him abdicate. The problem is if his father dies, what would he do? He would have no other option. He would have to announce himself king. Those within the king’s circles say that he appears to be healthy, but he’s suffering from chest and heart problems, which means he could die at any moment.
So, if the king dies, will MBS confront the ruling family? Some say that the ruling family are not speaking out against MBS out of respect for his father. Yes, his father has Alzeimer’s, and he’s mentally deficient, but they’re saying that the mere presence of the father is the reason why they’re showing respect for this elderly person, much like when (king) Abdallah showed respect for (king) Fahd while at the same time he was the one running the country behind the scenes, although Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd at that time was unhinged and reckless, but Abdallah didn’t say anything. So, they claim that they’re respectful towards their elders. When Salman dies, there would be no reason for the ruling family to show their obedience towards MBS.
In that case, they would be in a better position to make their move against him. MBS is now waiting for the Khashoggi case to completely die down, and he’s hoping that the US Congress won’t take any action. Currently, he’s very anxious that the new Congress that has a Democratic majority might raise this issue again, and that it would open the Mueller investigation, and that that would undermine Trump and MBS as well. So, he’s waiting for this issue to come to an end, so that he can be reassured of Trump staying in power. Only then, I presume, will he proclaim himself as the new king.