Tag Archive: Saudi Arabia

Wahabbi Clerics, Saudi Arabia

Wahhabist Ideology: Why It’s a Problem

A year ago, Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel of Germany rebuked Saudi Arabia for financing Wahhabi mosques worldwide. In the case of Germany, he added, such mosques had fostered extremists who threatened public security. That campaign by Saudi Arabia as well as other nations or organizations in the Gulf has been fueled by oil-wealth and has taken strategic advantage of Saudi control of the holy sites in Mecca and Medina. And it has been carried out by states that rely on the military, security, and economic ties with the United States and by other Western nations. Is Wahhabist ideology a problem, and if so,…
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Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died at age 90

Jailed and Tortured for Being Atheist

MAY GOD HELP HIM – The hardline Islamic state of Saudi Arabia has a law defining atheist beliefs as ‘terrorism’ A COURT in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to ten years in prison and 2,000 lashes for expressing his atheism on Twitter. The 28-year-old reportedly refused to repent, insisting what he wrote reflected his beliefs and that he had the right to express them. The hardline Islamic state’s religious police in charge of monitoring social networks found more than 600 tweets denying the existence of God, ridiculing Koranic verses, accusing all prophets of lies and saying their teaching fuelled hostilities. The court…
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Driving dangerously does not prove “You’ve got balls”

Traffic Laws in Saudi Arabia Between Infraction and Enforcement

Every year in Saudi Arabia, misery visits households across the land as the lives of approximately 7000 people are cut short as a result of traffic accidents. Some 39,000 more people suffer non-fatal injuries, with many incurring a disability as a result of their injury, according to an official of the Traffic Safety Committee in Saudi’s Eastern province who added that the figure of 29 deaths per every 100,000 motorists put Saudi Arabia high on the list globally. This was disclosed during a workshop organized by the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The official also added “the committee…
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Saudi Change of Women’s Sporting Right

Saudi Arabia is projecting miniscule steps to reverse decades of denial of women’s sporting rights as evidence of significant changes in the kingdom that aim to diversify its energy-dependent economy and upgrade its autocracy. The steps include the appointment of a member of the ruling family to oversee women’s sports and the doubling of the number of women participating in Olympic Games from two to four.

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Saudi Celebrates Local Artists

The Kingdom has unveiled plans to showcase the arts and grow its media industry to counter negative stereotypes. The initiatives are part of the wide-ranging National Transformation Program 2020. “The intention also is to transform the society,” Culture and Information Minister Adel Al-Toraifi told reporters on the sidelines of a briefing about the NTP on Tuesday. Under the NTP, a Royal Arts Complex would be developed, as well as a Media City. Al-Toraifi said although some Saudi artists and performers have exhibited and gained popularity abroad, they “did not find the platform and space to support them” at home. That will change with…
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Saudi security forces take part in a military parade in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (AP)

What Happens When Arab Autocrats Left to Fend for Themselves?

It is a difficult task to explain everything about the Middle East in a short article. So what I am going to do is to present an important, yet sometimes provocative series of headlines for a more lively analysis. The first point is that the rise of Asia shares significant responsibility for the turmoil the Middle East is experiencing. What I mean to say with this is that popular wisdom has it that a war weary, indecisive and weak President Obama’s disengagement from the region lies at the root of nations with Saudi Arabia in the lead adopting more assertive foreign and defensive policies…
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Women Face Jail for Checking Husband’s Phone in Saudi Arabia

What about a man who beats his wife? What about a man who does not give his wife her rights? The law should do something about this too. Women in Saudi Arabia face flogging and imprisonment if they check their husband’s phone without his permission. The offence would be prosecuted as a violation of privacy because it is not covered in the country’s Islamic laws, senior lawyer Mohammad al-Temyat has said. The issue has been a source of growing debate in the kingdom, with high profile cases leading to almost 35,000 tweets under a trending Arabic hashtag which translates as “Flogging of…
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Oman in Divided Region

In a fractious, unstable region rife with conflicts, one country appears to be unscathed. It is telling that Oman emerged not only intact from the ramifications of the Arab Spring, but also shied away from the tense polarisation that has hijacked the rest of the Middle East. Oman’s position on the various regional issues is self-evidently peaceful and different from the other Gulf monarchies. In fact, behind this peaceful and unique position lies a hive of activity of which many are unaware. As part of the revolutionary wave, a series of popular demonstrations were held in Oman with the masses…
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