The Sunni Islamic monarchy/theocracy's restrictive laws on political expression have become even stricter
this year. This is in response to potentially dangerous dissidents returning to Saudi Arabia from the Syrian civil war. But the categories of offenses are so broad as to define virtually any non-Muslim
as a terrorist, and to ban all independent political expression. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper
on Apr 2, 2014 -
was one of the high society news makers in the 80's, considered by some to be on Donald Trump's level. While things have gone alright for the Donald, Khashoggi hasn't done as well... [more inside]
posted by reenum
on Dec 14, 2009 -
Six new cities are planed in The Construction Site Called Saudi Arabia
. "The vision is to turn the kingdom into a major industrial power by 2020. Drawings
of these new towns depict a cross of the futuristic “Blade Runner” and traditional Arabic design." The cities will focus on petrochemicals, aluminum, steel and fertilizers, and will together have four times the geographical area of Hong Kong, three times the population of Dubai, and an economic output equal to Singapore’s. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach
on Jan 22, 2008 -
So much for Democracy,
Tony Blair has hit back at claims a corruption probe into a Saudi arms deal with BAE Systems was dropped after commercial and political pressure.
posted by zouhair
on Dec 15, 2006 -
Conversation between two mothers in a Saudi supermarket: "Oh hello, haven't seen you for ages, how's little Abdullah?" "Little Abdullah? He's really big now. He went off to Iraq to be a suicide bomber. And little Mohammad?" "Same thing. No longer little either. He also went off to be a suicide bomber in Iraq." "There you go. Don't children blow up quickly these days?" After a spooky year-long hiatus, The Religious Policeman
blog is back, now sticking it to the Saudi Arabian authorities from the safety of England.
posted by dydecker
on Oct 3, 2005 -
Suing the Saudis
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has decided to join a $7 billion lawsuit
that was filed last week
by bond brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald
, which lost 658
of its employees--two thirds of the firm--in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, which was three years ago today. It looks like they may be gearing up to use RICO
: "[The lawsuit said] Saudi Arabia engaged in a pattern of racketeering as it participated directly or indirectly in al Qaida's work through its "alter-ego" charities and relief organisations, which it funded and controlled."
Al Qaida is named
as a co-defendant, and four Saudis are mentioned by name: the interior minister, the defense minister, the governor of Riyadh, and the British ambassador, all members of the Saudi royal family.
posted by Asparagirl
on Sep 11, 2004 -
is the process of hiring Saudi Arabian nationals to join the Saudi workforce and is an interesting counterpoint to the US phenomena of outsourcing. The goal of Saudization is to discourage reliance on foreign workers as well as to combat domestic unemployment, which is worsened by the rapidly swelling ranks of restive, undereducated youth. Unfortunately it's not as easy to put into practice as
posted by rks404
on Apr 19, 2004 -
The Jihadi Who Kept Asking Why
- An unlikely group of onetime religious jihadists have recently stepped into the midst of the debate on Saudi Arabia's future. They belong to a larger circle of liberals, intellectuals, professors, former Wahhabi scholars, judges and even women who are discussing subjects in the media that were taboo before 9/11 -- questions about terrorism, about Wahhabi discrimination toward Muslims of the Shiite and Sufi sects (whom they consider apostates), about alcohol, about AIDS, about the rights of women to drive and work. The ex-jihadists are fluent in Islam and, more important, in the lingo of the underground terrorists, and they've surfaced from the extremist subculture with a message for the Wahhabi official clerics, the royal family and even their complicit American allies: Wake up. It's you who created us. We are not an aberration.
From The Agonist
--where the editorial comment this is an absolutely excellent article and a must read
is quite indisputable. From entering Salafiyya
in Google comes the fascinating polemic The Salafi Cult. better known as the Khawarij
posted by y2karl
on Mar 7, 2004 -
Rebellion brewing in Saudi city
The tiny city of Sakaka in the remote al-Jouf province that borders Iraq may seem an unlikely setting for the beginning of a revolution against the ruling al-Saud family.
But one does not have to spend too long here to realise that this is what is happening.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 28, 2004 -
The Saudi Paradox.
"Saudi Arabia is in the throes of a crisis, but its elite is bitterly divided on how to escape it. Crown Prince Abdullah leads a camp of liberal reformers seeking rapprochement with the West, while Prince Nayef, the interior minister, sides with an anti-American Wahhabi religious establishment that has much in common with al Qaeda. Abdullah cuts a higher profile abroad -- but at home Nayef casts a longer and darker shadow."
posted by homunculus
on Dec 29, 2003 -
With friends like the Saudis, who needs enemies?
"There is, then, no real need for us to be frightened by the loss of the kingdom's oil friendship. But we should be concerned by the evidence of its strategic enmity. It may be true that the Saudis are neither Iraqis nor Iranians nor Libyans; but it is quite dangerous enough that they are Saudis."
posted by homunculus
on Jul 9, 2002 -
Ah, the law in Florida. (NYT)
The rich princess pushed her maid down a flight of stairs, but will be allowed to plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of battery without having to appear in court, pay a $1,000 fine and give a judge a letter of regret about injuries to her Indonesian maid in the incident.
All this because the maid cannot be in court. After she went home to Jakarta in May for her mother's funeral, the United States Embassy there denied her a visa to return to Florida and testify on the grounds that she might try to stay in this country illegally. The maid is also the primary witness in a federal investigation of the princess for possibly employing Ms. Soryono under conditions of involuntary servitude, the Justice Department said. After the court hearing in Orlando, this federal investigation appears likely to end without charges.
posted by semmi
on Jul 2, 2002 -
Hamas accepts Saudi peace plan:
"There has been generation after generation (of war). Now there is a generation who needs to live in peace, and not worry about their safety," said [Hamas executive Ismail Abu] Shanab. "So it is a generation that wants to practice living in peace and postpone historical issues. We speak of historical Palestine, and practical reality."
Since their official position is that "Leaving the circle of conflict with Israel is a major act of treason" (Hamas Charter
, Article 32), this is a dramatic change in policy indeed. I'm gobsmacked; this is utterly unbelievable, yet apparently real. And genuinely hopeful IMHO. What do you think?
posted by boaz
on Apr 30, 2002 -
The best solution I've heard so far
to end the mess in Israel. A Saudi Prince suggests plan that trades occupied land in return for the Arab world recognizing the Israeli state. Is it a viable plan? Will Barak have the courage to give it a shot? Could the Arab nations ever recognize a Jewish state? Could Palestine and Israel coexist peacefully next to each other?
posted by aacheson
on Feb 26, 2002 -