Sind die Saudis Fanatiker?

Terroranschläge in Saudi Arabien haben nicht nur dazu geführt, die Chancen des Weiterbestandes des regierenden Königshauses Al-Saud infrage zu stellen, sondern auch die Frage aufgeworfen, ob es sich bei diesem Königreich um einen grundlegend dysfunktionalen und destruktiven Staat handelt. Es hat den Anschein, als ob die saudische Gesellschaft eine Welle gewaltsamen Fanatismus hervorgebracht hätte, der seine Inspiration aus der extremen religiösen Orthodoxie bezieht.

Die Tatsache, dass 15 der 19 Flugzeugentführer der Terroranschläge vom 11. September 2001 in den USA aus Saudi Arabien stammten, festigte die lang gehegte Ansicht, das Königreich wäre eine Bastion des Autoritarismus und der Intoleranz. In mancherlei Hinsicht stimmt das auch, aber insgesamt kann diese Auffassung nicht auf die breite Öffentlichkeit in Saudi Arabien übertragen werden. Ganz im Gegenteil, es wäre ein schwerer Fehler zu glauben, dass die Haltung der Saudis gegenüber der Religion gänzlich von fanatischem Islamismus definiert sei.

Zwischen 2001 und 2003 gehörte ich einem Team an, das in Saudi Arabien, Ägypten, im Iran und in Jordanien eine umfangreiche Wertestudie durchführte. Unsere Ergebnisse zeigen ein erstaunlich nuanciertes Bild der Werthaltungen in Saudi Arabien. Im Vergleich zu den befragten Personen in Ländern des Mittleren Ostens, waren Saudi-Araber im Allgemeinen weniger religiös und ihre Einstellungen zu Themen wie Demokratie und arrangierte Ehen offenbaren einen moderaten Unterton.

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