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Showing posts with the label saudi arabia

The Proxy War in Syria

When Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson rather undiplomatically criticised key British ally, Saudi Arabia, for being amongst those 'puppeteering' in Syria, he blurted out the truth. What has been going on in Syria for the past five or so years has been much more than a civil war. Rival regional powers, as well as the West and Russia, have been intervening both directly and via groups on the ground which they finance and arm.

 What started as a bid to spread the so-called Arab Spring to Syria, with the aim of transforming a secular classic dictatorship (one party state, secret police, torture chambers) into a secular political democracy (which would have been a welcome development) was soon hijacked by Islamists of one degree of extremism or another with a quite different agenda. They won the support of the Islamic states, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and of Erdogan in Turkey who would like to turn his country into one too.

 With Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey usin…

Saudi justice

24-year-old Ali al-Khawahir will be deliberately paralysis for stabbing his friend in the back 10 years ago unless he pays his victim 1m Saudi riyals (£177,000) in compensation. diyya, blood money is paid instead of the implementation of qisas – legal retribution. Originally, the religious prescription to seek diyya in lieu of punishment was seen as a way of preventing bad blood fomenting between communities and encouraging compromise. In the modern age it commodifies justice, where the price of crime is arbitrarily determined by the state. An eye for an eye … unless you can afford to be spared. In an another case in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, a father sexually molested and murdered his five-year-old daughter, but avoided jail by paying money to her mother. It has become a way for the rich and the powerful to purchase impunity.


JEREMY PAXMAN:
You called (Saudi Arabia) a friend of the civilised world.

TONY BLAIR:
It is. In my view, what it is doing in respect of the Middle East …

Saudi Arabia back-pedals on women's freedom

Women in one of the West closest allies are still banned from driving cars or travelling alone but it is good to note that the British demands for more women’s rights in the Islamic fundamentalist state is being heeded and having an effect.

 Women can now ride bicycles! But only in parks and recreational areas, not as a means of transport, just for entertainment and pleasure. Of course, a male relative or guardian must still accompany them.

Socialist Courier spots a potential market and business opportunity in selling Saudi Arabia tandem bikes.