Viewing cable 05MUSCAT1218
Title: OMAN ONLINE: THREATS AGAINST FOREIGNERS; KING FAHD'S

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT12182005-08-03 07:28:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MUSCAT 001218 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ARPI, NEA/PPD, NEA/P, IIP/G/NEA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO SOCI MU
SUBJECT: OMAN ONLINE: THREATS AGAINST FOREIGNERS; KING FAHD'S 
DEATH 
 
¶1. (U) Summary:  The Omani Internet message boards "al-Sablah" 
and "al-Majarra" are the liveliest and most comprehensive Arabic- 
language fora for political and social discourse in the country, 
touching on issues and personalities rarely addressed in the 
conventional media.  While not totally free, nor wholly 
reflective of Omani public opinion, these popular sites 
nevertheless offer a worthwhile window into the hot topics and 
unvarnished views of the day.  This edition of Oman Online 
contains the following topics: 
 
-- Concerns about threats to foreigners 
-- King Fahd's passing 
 
End summary. 
 
--------------------------------- 
Threats Against Foreigners in UAE 
--------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (U) On July 30, al-Sabla sported nearly 30 pages of postings 
that condemned a website that allegedly warned all foreigners 
living in the UAE to depart or face being targeted by terrorists. 
Comments against the alleged threats, noted the immorality of 
killing innocents and the negative impact on tourism. 
 
------------- 
Rest In Peace 
------------- 
 
¶3. (U) Completely overshadowed by Omantel chats (with most 
participants following every change in the stock price of the 
recently floated IPO), the death of King Fahd prompted remarkably 
few expressions of sorrow.  Compared to Omantel threads which 
generated 11,000 hits and more than 200 comments, the death of 
Fahd led to just two separate postings, with a total of eleven 
comments. 
 
¶4. (U) Remarks about the deceased monarch were respectful and 
religious, with respondents praying for his soul's repose, asking 
for God's mercy and compassion on Fahd's family and country.  One 
typical response:  "May God grant you to rest in peace...I offer 
my personal condolences to the royal family, his sons, and all 
Saudis, as well as all Arabs and Muslims."  Such commentary 
prompted another participant to ask "are you Omani or Saudi?" 
leading yet another respondent to comment that in death, "all 
Muslims are the same, Saudi or Omani, and there is no 
difference." 
 
¶5. (SBU) Comment:  The general response in Oman to Fahd's passing 
has been muted.  Although the government declared three days of 
mourning and Sultan Qaboos himself led the funeral delegation, 
many Omanis feel detached from Fahd's death.  For example, 
restaurants were unexpectedly still selling alcohol.  As one 
senior Omani official and keen observer of regional politics told 
the DCM, "For Omanis, Fahd has been dead for the past five years. 
What matters now is how King Abdallah attacks the enormous 
challenges facing the kingdom; his success or failure will have 
an big impact on Oman.  The Saudis need to begin to pass power 
vertically rather than horizontally." 
 
BALTIMORE