Is Europe’s ‘totalitarianism’ of today of a more refined type – not so-violent, and therefore deserving of a ‘pass’?
Remember Jamal Khashoggi? I knew him a little, meeting quite a few times over the years. Clearly he was no regime ‘hack’. He had his differences with the Saudi leadership, but he was essentially a Saudi patriot of demonstrable integrity. In one of his articles published in July 2014, Khashoggi had an experience which shocked him to the core: “At the beginning of Ramadan, I took my family to a Turkish coffee shop in Jeddah following evening prayers. It was a usual Ramadan evening. We exchanged conversation, consumed a lot of calories and Turkish tea”.
The next day, he wrote that he received the following tweet: “I saw you yesterday in (…) the restaurant. “State supporters are everywhere: Be careful!” [State supporters here, refers to the Islamic State (ISIS), not to the Saudi state]. Khashoggi deliberated: “Was this then, a threat, or advice? Or does the person want to tell me: ‘We’re here?'” I checked out the [Twitter] account and realized he’s … no joker – but a committed [ISIS] working member”.
Alastair Crooke Archive
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