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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fallen Soldier

  While you were immersed in the latest pop culture train wrecks, people were dying for the right to protest their oppressive governments. And according to reports, one of these good young people was Saudi activist Faisal Ahmed Abdul-Ahadwas. His crime? Being the Facebook administator of a group calling for a protest march to occur in Riyadh next week.

  According to activists and reported by Aya el Batrawy (Deutsche Press-Agentur), the 27-year-old was shot dead by state security and his body taken to hide evidence of the human rights offense. Saudi Arabia, a prominent western trading partner, has come under fire recently for arresting Shia cleric Sheikh Tafiq al-Amir. Mr. Amir had been calling for free elections and sect minority rights in the regime.

  It's important to truly recognize that while we are cheering people on from the outside, we need to respect just how much of a risk they are taking. In undemocratic societies, merely speaking out requires a degree of fortitute that a western soldier would be decorated for possessing. While you and I are free to speak our minds, merely suggesting that women are intelligent in your blog can bring about an arrest in Iran or Saudi Arabia.

  So when you discuss Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, or any of the other nations where people are fighting for their freedom, be more than a cheerleader. Educate yourself about what it is people are fighting for and just how dangerous their mission is. If an army fights for freedom, a humble young man like Faisal Abdul-Ahadwas should be counted among the bravest soldiers in the real war on terror.

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