The Christian Science Monitor

At stake in Khashoggi affair: control of the Arab world’s narrative

The disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi has done more than strike fear in the hearts of Arab journalists and intellectuals everywhere.

The affair’s outcome, they say, holds in its balance the future of access to information across the Middle East.

Arab academics and press freedom advocates warn of dire consequences if the United States and the West fail to hold Mr. Khashoggi’s killers accountable.

Not only will it encourage strongmen to target journalists abroad, they say, it will silence the voices of reason and analysis in the region, strengthening dictators’ control over the narrative for decades to come.

“We are all living in fear,” says one Arab writer and activist in exile who asks not to be named due to what he believes is a growing campaign against him. “All of us are suddenly within

Pattern of intimidationWorries about a ‘hit list’Checkered pastControlling the narrative

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor4 min read
‘Excited With Life’: David Crosby Talks Sobriety, Love, And Second Acts
The musician’s creative and spiritual rebirth is the subject of the new film “David Crosby: Remember My Name.”
The Christian Science Monitor2 min read
Readers Write: Seeing Both Sides, Art Theft Solution, And More
See what our readers have to say about our abortion debate coverage, solutions for art theft, and Latin plurals.
The Christian Science Monitor6 min read
When Getting The Story Means Years Of Threats, Even Bullets
Singer R. Kelly and financier Jeffrey Epstein faced new charges of sexual crimes after journalists’ investigations. Both were denied bail this week.