Tag Archives | Saudi Arabia

The Arab World’s Wealthiest Nations are Doing Next to Nothing for Syria’s Refugees

European countries are bowing to pressure to accept more refugees; why aren’t the mega-wealthy Arab nations like Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia? The Washington Post does a great job shaming them, but will they care?

The world has been transfixed in recent weeks by the unfolding refugee crisis in Europe, an influx of migrants unprecedented since World War II. Their plight was chillingly highlighted on Wednesday in the image of a drowned Syrian toddler, his lifeless body lying alone on a Turkish beach.


A fair amount of attention has fallen on the failure of many Western governments to adequately address the burden on Syria’s neighboring countries, which are struggling to host the brunt of the roughly 4 million Syrians forced out of the country by its civil war.

Some European countries have been criticized for offering sanctuary only to a small number of refugees, or for discriminating between Muslims and Christians.

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Saudi king gives prize to Islamic scholar who says 9/11 was an ‘inside job’

"Dr Zakir Naik" by maapu - Source Link. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Dr Zakir Naik” by maapuSource Link. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Ishaan Tharoor Via Washington Post:

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman awarded a prestigious prize to Zakir Naik, a televangelist and religious scholar from India, heralding him as “one of the most renowned non-Arabic-speaking promulgators of Islam.” Naik, a trained doctor, founded the Peace TV channel, which supposedly reaches an audience of 100 million English-speaking Muslims. His popular YouTube stream includes videos titled “Who is deceived by the Satan, Christians or Muslims?” and “Does eating non-vegetarian food have any effect on the mind?”

Naik’s creed is an expansive one. “Islam is the only religion that can bring peace to the whole of humanity,” he said in a video biography aired at the ceremony.

The preacher is not short of controversy. His orthodox, Wahhabist views — affiliated closely with the Saudi state — are polarizing in India, which is home to a diverse set of Muslim traditions and sects.

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Claims Against Saudis Cast New Light on Secret Pages of 9/11 Report

Zacarias Moussaoui.jpg

Zacarias Moussaoui

The New York Times is really pushing for the declassification of 28 pages of the 9/11 congressional intelligence committee report that supposedly points blame for the attacks at Saudi Arabia:

A still-classified section of the investigation by congressional intelligence committees into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has taken on an almost mythic quality over the past 13 years — 28 pages that examine crucial support given the hijackers and that by all accounts implicate prominent Saudis in financing terrorism.

Now new claims by Zacarias Moussaoui, a convicted former member of Al Qaeda, that he had high-level contact with officials of the Saudi Arabian government in the prelude to Sept. 11 have brought renewed attention to the inquiry’s withheld findings, which lawmakers and relatives of those killed in the attacks have tried unsuccessfully to declassify.

“I think it is the right thing to do,” said Representative Stephen F. Lynch, Democrat of Massachusetts and an author of a bipartisan resolution encouraging President Obama to declassify the section.

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First Head Chopped Off with New Saudi King – Saudi’s Chop off Heads for Murder, Rape, Witchcraft

Salman bin Abdull aziz December 9, 2013

Salman bin Abdull aziz December 9, 2013

The AP via The New York Times:

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia on Monday executed a man convicted of raping several girls in a case that has captured the kingdom’s attention and marks the first beheading carried out under the newly enthroned King Salman.

The Interior Ministry said Moussa al-Zahrani was executed in the city of Jiddah. The ministry statement, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said al-Zahrani was convicted of luring underage girls, intoxicating them, forcing them to watch pornographic videos and then physically and sexually assaulting them.

His alleged victims were children assaulted in 2011 in a string of attacks in Jiddah.

The case has caused a stir on social media — which is unusual in Saudi Arabia for cases of violent crimes — in part because al-Zahrani claimed his innocence throughout the trial and two later appeals.

Last year, al-Zahrani appealed in a 20-minute video for Saudi King Abdullah, who died on Friday, to intervene.

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Darwin Booking Flight To Middle East As Saudis Kiss Their Camels In Defiance Of MERS

You’ll get my camel when you pry its lips from my cold, dead MERS-infected mouth.

Saudi Arabia’s government issued a public health warning last week asking people to wear face masks and gloves around camels in order to halt the deadly surge in Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) cases.

International health experts believe camels are behind the spiraling infection rate of the disease, which has killed over 100 people in Saudi Arabia since it was discovered in the kingdom in 2012, according to NBC News.

But The Independent reports that the role of camels in the spread of the illness had been largely absent from debates inside Saudi Arabia.

With a strong historical attachment to their animals due to the kingdom’s nomadic past, some Saudi citizens have expressed disbelief and are posting photos of themselves on social media in very close contact with their camels.

via Saudis Kiss Their Camels In Defiance Of MERS Warning.… Read the rest

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Human Body Parts Rain From Sky Over Saudi Arabian City

JeddahVia Arab News, the most gruesome weather possible:

Human body parts fell from the sky in the city of Jeddah Sunday, with police saying they could be the remains of a person trapped in an airplane’s wheel bay.

“Police received a telephone call at 2:30 a.m. from a witness reporting the fall of human remains at an intersection in Mushrefa neighborhood” in Jeddah, spokesman Nawaf bin Naser Al-Bouq said in a statement.

Initial indications were that the remains “fell from a plane’s landing gear,” said Bouq, adding that investigations were ongoing. Police would not say if the body parts have anything to do with the Saudia airplane that made an emergency landing at the airport in Madinah also early Sunday.

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Saudi Arabia’s Brutal ‘Anti-Witchcraft Unit’

saudiThe Atlantic on the Saudi government squad which arrests hundreds of people (many of them low-paid foreign workers) on charges of witchcraft, punishable by long prison sentences or even death:

The campaign of persecution has shown no signs of fizzling. In May, two Asian maids were sentenced to 1,000 lashings and 10 years in prison after their bosses claimed that they had suffered from their magic. Just a few weeks ago, Saudi newspapers began running the image of an Indonesian maid being pursued on accusations that she produced a spell that made her male boss’s family subject to fainting and epileptic fits.

The Saudi government’s obsession with the criminalization of the dark arts reached a new level in 2009, when it created and formalized a special “Anti-Witchcraft Unit” to educate the public about the evils of sorcery, investigate alleged witches, neutralize their cursed paraphernalia, and disarm their spells. Saudi citizens are also urged to use a hotline on the CPVPV website to report any magical misdeeds to local officials.

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The CIA Has A Secret Drone Base In Saudi Arabia

I wonder, what other news is hidden from the public under an “informal arrangement”? The BBC reports:

The CIA has been operating a secret airbase for unmanned drones in Saudi Arabia for the past two years. US media have known of its existence since then, but have not reported it. The New York Times published its report on Tuesday night, ending an “informal arrangement” among several news organizations not to disclose the location of the base.

The facility was established to hunt for members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen. A drone flown from there was used in September 2011 to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric who was alleged to be AQAP’s external operations chief.

Construction was ordered after a December 2009 cruise missile strike in Yemen. It was the first strike ordered by the Obama administration, and ended in disaster, with dozens of civilians, including women and children, killed.

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Saudi Arabian Cleric Calls For Babies To Wear Burqas

I suppose the idea is that we are born sinners. The Telegraph reports:

A Saudi cleric’s declaration that babies should wear burkas to protect them from sexual attacks has drawn widespread criticism.

Sheikh Abdullah Daoud said all female newborns should wear a full face veil in an interview with an Islamic television station. He told al-Majd TV that wearing a burka would stop incidents of sexual attacks on babies, and tried to support his claim by quoting unnamed medical and security sources.

Sheikh Mohammad al-Jzlana, a former judge at the Saudi Board of Grievances, urged Muslims to ignore “unregulated” fatwas and said the ruling was “denigrating to Islam and Shariah and made Islam look bad”.

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