"You are calling for more freedoms, what are these freedoms?" I said, all kinds of freedoms; let's start with personal freedom. "So anyone becomes free to choose, and to speak his mind," I added.
Liberty is considered a villain in Saudi Arabia. Take the issue of the abaya. Clerics often imply that the mere absence of a burqa means that a woman is a whore. Similarly, allowing true free speech would invite, by definition, all sorts of un-Islamic (often anti-Mutaween) writings. So, the 'good' policy is to have a totalitarian society.
I find it difficult to understand how someone can be so threatened by the ideas of others, but to feel threatened by the mere appearance of others is really beyond my comprehension.
Look at any totalitarian state from the recent past. How many of them allowed real creativity in terms of physical appearance? I can't think of one. They all enforced a crude structure on society. Often, the numerous varities of clothes, soaps, cars and other products were defined as 'wasteful' and thus pratically everybody was dealt a single boring and dreadful design.
The smart folks, and those with financial means, often left such nations--leaving behind a poorer country.
Dictators cannot, and will not, allow dangerous things such as creativity and dynamism under their rule since it's exactly that--the roots of freedom--that could one day change the regime. To protect their rule, the Sauds have crushed, and will continue to crush, even the smallest expressions of freedom.
Some guy named Churchill said it best:
You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken – unspeakable! – fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse – a little tiny mouse! – of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.