How much different is Charedi society then Saudia Arabia?
This sounds very strange but when you think about it you realize that it is not so far-fetched. The NY Times has an interesting article Reformers in Saudi Arabia: Seeking Rights, Paying a Price. Many of the things mentioned in the article could apply in some measure to Charedi society as well. Some examples:
- The overwhelming emphasis on religious education to the detriment of secular education
- The complete segregation of the sexes (think of the Tznius patrol etc.)
- The role of women
- The intolerance of dissent (e.g. the Slifkin affair)
- The denigration of science and Western culture in general
Clearly there are major differences, especially regarding respect for life, and many many other issues, but I still believe that the comparison is valid.
Today it is almost impossible to close your society off from the rest of the world as the Saudis are seeing. The Charedi leadership is attempting to do the same thing by banning internet, cell phones, etc. I am very skeptical that this will work and this approach may cause major problems when Charedim are exposed to the outside world with little or no preparation.