Bush has urged Saudi Arabia to expand "the role of its people in determining their future." But, despite muted US State Department criticism, the Saudi Kingdom has largely ignored US encouragement to become democratic.
Saudi Arabia is far from backing away from Islamic rule, as militant Wahabi Islamists swept the latest municipal elections. Women were not allowed to vote or take any part in the local elections.
Just this weekend, Saudi Arabia detained 40 Christians for praying within the country, which has made the practicing of any non-Islamic religion illegal. The Christian men, women, and children from Pakistan were found praying in a private residence and were immediately arrested according to Al-Jazeera. The Arab news station also reported that Christian tapes and books were found and confiscated.