Al-Muhaya bombings made the initiative a must

By Abdel Rehim Ali, IOL Cairo Staff

CAIRO, November 10 ( – Three Saudi reformists, who contributed to an initiative for halting violence between the monarchy and the armed youth, underscored the necessity of activating this initiative and putting an end to the violence, despite the al-Muhaya compound bombings that took place early Sunday.

Saudi officials positively sympathized with this initiative. Two reformists have already met a Saudi official who gave them the green light to meet those youths and activate their initiative, they told Monday, November 10.

Sheikh Suliman Al-Dowaish, a main party to the initiative, said that he and Dr. Mohsen Al-Awagi met “a senior Saudi official for two hours and the meeting ended at 11 pm Saudi time [20.00 GMT]”.

“Our delegation, comprising Dr. Awagy and me, submitted the initiative, stipulating that the state promises those escaping youth to get fair trials in case they turn themselves in,” he added.

He maintained that “the delegation has received the green light from the Saudi official to meet those youth, refer their views to the Saudi government and promise to deal positively with their demands.”

Earlier, Dr. Awagy, a lawyer, told, commenting on Al-Mahia explosion, that “this incident may emphasize the necessity to put this initiative into force.”

Awagy, a supervisor of Al-Wasatia website and magazine and an advocate of political reform, expressed his happiness with the way Saudi authorities received the initiative, underlining that a meeting would be held between him and a senior Saudi official to deal with the government’s reply.

“A number of scholars met with some close acquaintances of those youth and it appeared that 90% of them would like to turn themselves in but on condition that they face fair trials and human treatment.

“The initiative appealed to a great number of intellectuals and religious scholars in Saudi Arabia. A number of them will attend the meeting with the senior Saudi official,” Awagy added.


Sheikh Sefr Al-Hawaly, a principal party of the initiative that aims at halting violence, pointed out that the bombings in the al-Muhaya neighborhood could not be labeled ‘Jihad’.

A trapped vehicle exploded in the al-Muhaya compound, west of Riyadh, in the early hours of Sunday, November 9, killing 17 people mostly Arabs and wounding at least 122, according to the latest statistics declared by Saudi official and Arab diplomatic sources.

Prior to this explosion, there had been violent confrontations between security agencies in Saudi Arabia and a number of armed youths. Two armed men blew themselves up in Makkah to evade capture Thursday, November 6. Some analysts considered such events serious indicators of the gravity of the crisis in Saudi Arabia.

Commenting of the latest violent explosion, Hawaly told, “These are acts of barbarism.”

On the initiative, Hawaly said, “we have constant contacts with all parties to activate this initiative,” adding that the al-Muhaya incident emphasized the necessity of taking this step in order to stop all forms of violence.

Al-Hawaly addressed the armed youths through saying, “our problem, as Muslims, is with those who want to destroy our religion and they are quite known.”

On the details and items of the initiative, Hawaly said, “We are optimistic. In case the government gives us something through which we can convince fleeing youths to turn themselves in while preserving their safety and dignity, we would have covered a very long distance in this regard.”

For his part, Sheikh Suliman Al-Dowaish declared that the incident might affect the initiative for halting violence on a temporary basis.

“I think that 90% of those youth are ready to turn themselves in. The real battle is not with those youth but with the remaining 10%,” Al-Dowaish told

Several Methods

Dr. Abdel Aziz Al-Qassem, an ex-judge at Abha supreme court, told that “he has not heard about this initiative yet but he will support any initiative that is in favor of the kingdom and its nationals.”

Al-Qassem added that “there are several methods that need to be activated, other than limiting the crisis to security solutions,” pointing out to the necessity of resorting to comprehensive social and intellectual confrontation.

Al-Qassem said that there are three methods to support this approach; first: opening the door for those who wish to turn in and securing their safety and dignity.

The second is to expand the role of popular participation and finding frameworks and ways for peaceful expression of opinion and taking part in drawing the future of the country.

The third method is to expand the frameworks of intellectual confrontation of bad and non-straightforward ideas.

Al-Qassem demanded a Saudi basic role for the intellectuals in this field, warning of “sole dependence on security treatments.”