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Hassan: To progress, Saudis must learn to laugh at selves

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As history has taught us so many times before, the real tolerance test is humour. Saudi Arabia has made much of its new open door policy that allows, for example, cinemas and theatres to operate once again in the desert kingdom after a ban lasting decades.

However, Saudi Arabia remains touchy about those who criticize it, and barbaric punishments and strict censorship remain. No criticism is tolerated of the Saudi role in the continuing war in Yemen — one that has taken a terrible toll on innocent men, women and children.

The world knows what can happen to Saudi citizens whom its authorities see as dissidents. Raif Badawi still languishes in prison after a blasphemy conviction. The terrible demise of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi shows that journalists’ lives can be at risk over what they say about Saudi Arabia or its monarchy, even outside its........

© The London Free Press