The perils of Saudi nationalism
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Contributor(s): Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed | Mainly the pervasive sub-national identities that dominated Arabia or the supra-national Islamic identity that the regime promoted to achieve legitimacy. But since the rise of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman in 2017, a new populist Saudi nationalism is promoted. This lecture traces the shift in Saudi nation-building from the early days of religious nationalism to the current populist trend. It will explain why only recently constructing a Saudi nation became a priority for the leadership after almost a century of creating a state. The new Saudi national narrative inevitably involves selectively remembering and forgetting aspects of the past in order to consolidate a shift in national consciousness about who Saudis are. But while the new nationalism promises to invigorate the nation, the process is accompanied by serious violence against dissenting voices.
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