Like other totalitarian regimes that have no legitimacy and no base of support, the Saudis are wrapping themselves in religion. Saddam Hussein in the 1990s and currently Bashar al-Assad – the heads of the Baath party in Iraq and Syria – both played the religious card. However, Baathist doctrine in Iraq and Syria is basically irreligious. The Saudis are using religion as their excuse now, labeling the recent mass executions as preserving their religion when they are actually a message to frighten their citizens into submission.
Early in the Arab Spring of 2011, out of fear of losing its grip on the country’s citizens, the Saudi government allocated $35 billion in open giveaways and services to Saudi citizens. Although this monetary inducement succeeded in tamping down any thoughts of revolution at the time, the Saudis only deferred the day of reckoning. The impulse to fight against the sense of injustice is strong among those who live in that police state, with no democracy, and obscene inequality(many Saudi residents are working residents, with no rights at all).