Describing the Salman king of Saudi Arabia in terms that are reserved for God in the Koran, the writer Ramadan al-Anzi thought well. But the sovereign was shocked by this excessive praise and the author was dismissed by his writing.
While some French journalists do not hesitate to compare Emmanuel Macron to the god Jupiter , a Saudi writer has attempted to draw a parallel between King Salman and God – a well-intentioned eulogy which, for the authorities of the kingdom, borders on blasphemy .
The author Ramadan al-Anzi, in a dithyramb in the columns of the Saudi daily Al Jazirah , described the 81-year-old sovereign as “halim” (merciful) and “shadid al-iqab” (hard punishment). Terms which, in Qur’anic Arabic, normally apply only to God.
Containing blasphemy, Ramadan al-Anzi’s apologia was the subject of numerous complaints, King Salmane himself having overshadowed this comparison, judged excessive. According to The Gulf News , an English-language daily in Dubai, the ruler reportedly wrote a letter to the Minister of Culture and Information complaining. As a result of this odd: the management of the newspaper Al Jazirah finally decided to suspend the author of his duties.
Al Jazeera issued a letter of apology and an editorial to explain his decision. “This text is embarrassing and we can not accept or tolerate such an approach,” reads. The leaders of the newspaper, “aware of the danger of indulgence” towards the writer Ramadan al-Anzi, assumed responsibility for his dismissal.
Saudi Arabia is an absolute Muslim monarchy, the heir to the alliance in 1744 between the rigorous preacher Mohammed ben Abdelwahhab, founder of the Wahhabi movement, and Mohammed Ibn Saoud, founder of the still reigning dynasty. This gathering of temporal and spiritual power continues to inhabit the Saudi state, which intends to develop its religious influence in the Muslim world while increasing its geopolitical and financial influence.