Customer Review

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3.0 out of 5 stars Religious Extremes, 1 May 2013
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This review is from: Inside the Kingdom (Paperback)
Lacey's book merits credit insomuch as his portrayal of life within Saudi Arabia avoids direct criticism of the regime albeit it does contain subliminal inferences from which one can draw their own conclusions.
Perhaps his description of the birth of the Saudi state could have been more detailed by making reference to the impact of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War and the external influences and pressures prevalent during this period.

A further criticism would be that there is little analysis of the impact of the influx of foreign skilled workers from Western Europe and the US during the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s and the reasons for the marked depletion of this workforce in the 1980s.
It is admirable that Lacey identifies the religious fanaticism that is prevalent within the state and the influence and impact it has on social and political polices however he avoids drawing the obvious conclusion that many of these problems arise from Islamic medieval doctrines and their fundamentalist interpreters.

Their restrictions of secular education and the indoctrination of their children in religious beliefs, is not dissimilar to that of the Catholic Church or the narrow minded blinkered stupidity of the Evangelical Creationists of the southern states of the US however only time will tell who proves to be the most dangerous.

This book gives a general outline of life within Saudi Arabia and the pressures within the society however it understandably fails to predict if the country will instigate reform or deteriorate into another rogue state.
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