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    Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince (OP)


    Salaam

    Lets look at whats happening in Saudi Arabia.

    BAKU - King Salman of Saudi Arabia named his favourite son Mohammed bin Salman as next in line for the throne on June 21st. In addition to promotion, the King removed all titles from the former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

    The reorganisation is nothing less than groundbreaking. Typically, Saudi Arabia has been ruled by kings in the 70s or 80s. But, in his 30s, bin Salman will become the youngest ruler in the history of the kingdom and thereby preside over the political, economic and social reforms in the country.



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    Re: Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustTime View Post
    Why would you want that? It isn't permissible
    Where in Quran it is impermissable? Quran says idolators, not Jews and Christians, shall not get close to Masjid al-Haram. Not even the entire city of Mecca.

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    Re: Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince

    Quote Originally Posted by anatolian View Post
    Where in Quran it is impermissable? Quran says idolators, not Jews and Christians, shall not get close to Masjid al-Haram. Not even the entire city of Mecca.
    Arguably most modern Christians are Mushirkin but that's a whole other discussion, it's in the hadiths that Jews and Christians are not allowed in Mecca.

  5. #83
    Junon's Avatar
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    Re: Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince

    Salaam

    Another update

    Saudi prince rejects allegations of royal family rift after London comments

    Ahmed bin Abdulaziz told protesters in London that King Salman and crown prince are responsible for Yemen war, not entire royal family


    Saudi King Salman's brother has played down controversial remarks he made to anti-Saudi protesters in London that sparked furious speculation about possible discord within the royal family.

    Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz al-Saud apparently asked a crowd in London to stop chanting slogans against the Saudi royal family over the kingdom's involvement in the three-year conflict in Yemen.

    "What does the family have to do with it? Certain individuals are responsible... the king and the crown prince," he said, according to a widely circulated online video of the incident in London.

    The comment was seen as rare criticism from a royal family member of the kingdom's leadership as well as its role in the Yemen conflict, dubbed by the UN as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.



    But in a statement, the prince dismissed that interpretation as "inaccurate".

    "I have made it clear that the king and the crown prince are responsible for the state and its decisions," the prince said in the statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency late Tuesday.

    "This is true for the security and stability of the country and the people. Therefore, it is not possible to interpret what I said in any other way."

    In a bid to suggest unity within the royal family, multiple pro-Saudi social media accounts posted images of Prince Ahmed kissing the hand of King Salman.

    The internal affairs of the royal family are shrouded in secrecy and a public airing of disagreements is extremely rare.

    The remarks come as powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tightens his grip on power by cracking down on dissent with the imprisonment of prominent clerics, women and human rights activists.

    Bin Salman earlier detained several members of the royal family, including global investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, over allegations of corruption. They have mostly been released after agreeing to financial settlements.

    The crown prince, architect of the kingdom's 2015 intervention in Yemen, has drawn criticism over the conflict that has left at least 10,000 people dead and pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine.

    In an interview with Middle East Eye, dissident Prince Khaled bin Farhan urged Prince Ahmed and Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz to seize power from the powerful crown prince to protect the kingdom from his "irrational, erratic and stupid" rule.

    Prince Khaled, who was given political asylum in Germany in 2013, said that if Ahmed and Muqrin were to unite ranks, then "99 percent of the members of the royal family, the security services and the army would stand behind them".

    "There is so much anger within the royal family," Prince Khaled told MEE back in July. "I took this information and appeal to my uncles Ahmed and Muqrin, who are the sons of Abdulaziz and are highly educated, well versed and able to change things for the better. I can say that we are all behind them and support them."

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-prince-rejects-allegations-royal-family-rift-after-london-comments-362128903

  6. #84
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    Re: Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince

    Salaam

    Another update

    Xenophobia, tribalism and imagined enemies: Mohammed bin Salman's brand of Saudi nationalism

    Being ‘Saudi’ rather than 'Arab' or 'Muslim' is now key to Saudi crown prince's plans to consolidate his power


    It is debatable whether Saudi Arabia is a nation. But current Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, known as MBS, is determined to develop a new Saudi nationalism among the youth. The slogan of this trend is "Saudi Arabia for Saudis" and the Trump-like "Saudi Arabia first".

    Both have been prominent in the discourse of writers enlisted in the state-owned press and social media. The new narrative is not simply a spontaneous grassroots movement but a state-led initiative under the auspices of the crown prince.

    MBS: A role model?


    Always reminding his audiences of the young age of his subjects - Saudis under 25 years old represent almost 51 percent of the population - the crown prince presents himself as a role model to be emulated if Saudis are to be counted among the modern nations. He plays on their needs and aspirations to foster a new sense of belonging.

    Since they are his priority, MBS expects them to make Saudi Arabia theirs. He promises them greater employment, a flourishing national heritage and culture, an increasing connectedness with the outside world, and the illusion of future liberal modernisation. But the remaining 50 percent of the population seem to be forgotten.

    By constructing the youth as a homogenous category, MBS defines their needs, dissolves their differences and abolishes their diversity. The new nationalism promises the youth a break from past economic stagnation, religious zeal and social conservatism. It is only after the destruction of the old that the new nation will be born.

    The new Saudi nationalism is a top-down initiative. Its purpose is to create a glue that binds young people to the monarchy. Like all nationalisms, this new Saudi template needs intellectuals, entrepreneurs and young advocates to spread it at the grassroots level.

    Being "Saudi" rather than "Arab" or "Muslim" is now key to MBS's plans for his own consolidation of power, the future outlook of Saudi Arabia and the success of his economic transformation - the three goals that underpin most of his policies.

    MBS is a latecomer to the game of nationalism. His narrative about who Saudis are or should be, their destiny, responsibility and national characteristics suffer from the common contradictions of nationalism that has flourished elsewhere throughout the world.

    Ultra masculine egos


    The feminine and masculine sit uncomfortably together in the new Saudi nationalism. While there is a celebration of hyper-masculinity in the context of the Saudi military intervention in Yemen and the conflict with Iran, the young nation must be feminised to include women as avant garde economic contributors to the prosperity of the nation.

    While women are drawn to become spectators of football matches in an all-masculine environment, they are also skilled workers whose expertise is needed to fulfil the promise of a post-oil economy. But the inflated national masculinity excludes the children of Saudi women married to foreigners. They remain non-Saudis.

    Women can drive but they should seek the permission of their male guardians to travel abroad. They must also seek permission from their guardians to marry. When the husband is a foreigner, the Ministry of Interior should issue a licence.

    Men are easily granted such licences but women have to seek permission from their guardians to marry a Saudi or a foreigner, thus incurring a double burden as a result of simply being women.

    Women can be football fans, attend concerts and watch circuses but if they dance in provocative ways or embrace their musical icon, they will certainly be detained for violating the masculine honour of the youth cohort that MBS needs to keep obedient and under control.

    MBS avoids provoking the ultra-masculine egos while at the same time enlisting women into his new nationalist project of building a service economy less dependent on oil. MBS wants to fashion the new nation as young and hyper-modern, with gender equality as the symbol at the core of the brand.

    Real and imaginary enemies


    The new nationalism is also meant to draw the boundaries between Saudis and foreign residents, whose numbers are dwindling. Since he came to power in 2015, almost 700,000 foreigners have left the country. Compulsory Saudisation programmes - popular among the youth but not among owners of private businesses who are reluctant to incur the high cost of employing Saudis - accelerated the flight.

    Inflated visa and resident permits fees have also meant that the kingdom is no longer a lucrative place to stay for the majority of poorly paid Asian workers. The youth are happy as they hope jobs will be vacant for them to occupy. But the unemployment rate among the young is still high, standing at over 30 percent.

    Moreover, the new nationalism strengthens the domestic front against real and imaginary enemies like Iran. The old justification behind conflict with Iran is no longer the heretic Shia faith of the Iranians but the imperial longings of the Persians, who once upon a time controlled substantial parts of the shores of the Arabian Peninsula.

    Saudi nationalism is the mobilising force to keep the momentum of the rivalry with Iran alive among the youth.

    Saudi homo economicus

    Finally the new nationalism is seen as integral to creating the Saudi homo economicus. This new kind of Saudi is no longer the pious Muslim eager to defend the honour of his devout co-religionists, the recipient of lavish welfare benefits or the idle Bedouin who spends most of his time either herding camels or composing heroic poetry.

    He is now expected to be the bearer of the knowledge economy, the vanguard of neoliberal services, the consumer of a wide range of products, and the risk-taking creative entrepreneur. Like MBS, he is the connected global ideal man, dressed in a white thawb, but with a smartphone rather than a now defunct old Nokia.

    Women are no longer required to be draped in a black abaya but can drive to the shopping malls wearing colourful veils, symbols of their modernity, cosmopolitanism and new sophistication. Saudis are now asked to be both nationalists and internationalists, with the apparent contradictions surfacing even in government propaganda.

    Tribal and regional conflicts


    The contradictions become more troubled. Saudi nationalism is at odds with the deployment of tribalism in regional conflicts. This surfaced most clearly during the one-year-old dispute with Qatar when Saudi Arabia mobilised Saudi tribal groups against the emirate, composing derogatory Bedouin poetry that not only denounces the Qatari emir but also picks on his allegedly inauthentic genealogy.

    The Wahhabi mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz Al-Shaykh, together with 200 members of this family issued a statement claiming that Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, does not belong to their family. The statement was published in Okaz, an official Saudi newspaper. Both the emir of Qatar and the Al-Shaykh family claim decent from the Banu Tamim central Arabian tribe.

    This is the tribe that produced none other than the founder of the Wahhabi tradition, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab whose 18th-century alliance with the Al-Saud created the kingdom. To negate the tribal origins of the Qatari emir amounts to a serious insult in Arabia whose population and royalty are proud to flaunt their nobility and tribal ancestry.

    Tribal festivals mocking the Qatari emir were quick to be held across the Saudi border with Qatar with the opposite side returning the insult. All this exposes the contradictions of the all-encompassing nationalistic agenda to create new Saudi citizens out of tribal fragments that are deployed more effectively to fight a media war with Qatar.

    In the effervescence of tribal wars and poetry, both nationalism and diplomacy sink into oblivion.

    A contradictory illusion

    The novelty of MBS's social engineering project of nation-building is a contradictory illusion, like all past and present nationalist projects. A mild form of patriotism is appreciated to mobilise citizens into action, but xenophobia, tribalism and superficial cosmopolitanism are hardly consistent with a neo-liberal project to transform Saudi Arabia into a productive economy, a tolerant country and open society.

    While all nationalism is a construction, the current Saudi variant does not seem to stand on solid ground. No doubt MBS has appealed to the youth by opening the social and cultural fields but the latter need more than football matches or rock concerts to turn them into entrepreneurial Saudi nationals.

    MBS cannot only sell the youth words, symbols and promises. He needs to make nationalism yield concrete benefits such as jobs, low inflation, and security. He cannot be at the head of all decisions and expect the nation to have a stake in the success of his projects.

    As long as the youth remain an excluded category in decision-making and in government, they will entertain themselves with waving flags at each football match and cheer their national players.

    But political exclusion such as that experienced in Saudi Arabia among all citizens will make the nation a fragile construction that will wither and collapse as an ideal. It can only produce counter productive xenophobia and bigotry.

    The national Saudi dream will be gasping for air should it remain a mere government project unsubstantiated by concrete benefits to all citizens.

    To avoid the dark side of excessive nationalism, MBS needs to realise that exclusion is the enemy of sustainable nation-building. Nationalism built on exclusion is neither just nor sustainable. Nation-building is predicated on inclusion.

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/saudi-arabia-first-mohammed-bin-salmans-new-nationalism-125935461

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    Re: Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince

    Salaam

    The pathetic Blair speaks, He (as a gloablist proxy) wants to remake Saudi Arabia, quite open about it.

    Tony Blair admits receiving more than £9m of “donations” from Saudi Arabia


    The former UK prime minister, Tony Blair’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has come under the spotlight following revelations that the non-government organisation he runs has received millions of pounds from the Saudi regime.

    Accounts which were published earlier this week by the Tony Blair Institute confirmed earlier reports that Blair had received “donations” of up to £9.3m from Riyadh.

    The Financial Times reported that the Saudi funding came via an organisation called ‘Media Investment Limited’ (MIL), which is a subsidiary of the Saudi Research & Marketing Group, registered in the tax-free haven of Guernsey.

    Publication of the accounts confirmed earlier report in July that the Tony Blair Institute had made an agreement with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman earlier this year to assist with a “modernisation programme” for the oil-rich Kingdom.

    The Telegraph’s report in July resulted in the institute to defend its dealings with the Saudi regime, claiming that the ex-prime minister did not receive any money from Riyadh and profits are not generated from its consultancy work.

    They added that that their objective was “to promote stability and reform in the Middle East” – with staff ironically based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a key ally of Saudi Arabia in the region.

    After the revelation, concerns were raised over the institute’s decisions, including Blair himself, who led the UK to war in Iraq based n false intelligence, as well as supporting military intervention in Syria.

    The Tony Blair Institute also published articles praising Bin Salman during the Saudi prince’s visit to the UK earlier this year.

    One article stated: “Britain should learn from Saudi Arabia and how it has demonstrated a clear commitment to tackling the politicisation of Islam to inform policymaking”.

    Another article overtly supported Bin Salman’s political vision for Saudi: “As part of his broad, sweeping and ambitious plans to revolutionise Saudi Arabia, economically, socially and religiously, the crown prince has demonstrated a level of conviction, clarity and coherence in identifying and understanding the nature of Islamist extremism that Western policymakers should seek to learn from”.

    However, the Kingdom has recently seen some of the worst repression under Bin Salman, as popular scholars and female activists face the death sentence for criticising the policies of the ruling monarchy.

    https://5pillarsuk.com/2018/09/08/to...-saudi-arabia/
    Last edited by Junon; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:38 AM.

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    Re: Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince

    Salaam

    Another update

    How Kushner Played Matchmaker Between Israel and Saudi Arabia, According to Woodward

    Bob Woodward's new book 'Fear' claims Kushner championed MBS in early 2017 as most important figure in Saudi Arabia, clashing with U.S. intelligence


    Veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s new book on the Trump presidency claims Jared Kushner has been working to encourage an alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia, sometimes against the advice of other senior officials in the White House.

    According to Woodward’s account in the just-published “Fear,” Kushner’s efforts began during the first months of the Trump administration in early 2017. Woodward says it was the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser who first proposed that the president’s first official foreign trip should include two stops: Saudi Arabia and Israel. The idea was to send a message about the U.S.’ commitment to forging closer relations between the two countries, who are both regional enemies of Iran.

    Woodward writes that Kushner discussed the issue with Derek Harvey, a retired military colonel who was in charge of Middle East policy at the National Security Council during Trump’s first year as president. Harvey told Kushner that choosing Riyadh as the first foreign capital to be visited by President Donald Trump would “fit perfectly with what we’re trying to do, reaffirm our support for the Saudis, our strategic objectives in the region.”

    Woodward adds that the thinking was that “making Saudi Arabia the first presidential trip could go a long way to signaling that the Trump administration had new priorities. A summit in Saudi Arabia would also benefit Israel. The Saudis and Israelis, both longtime foes of Iran, had both open and important back-channel relations.”

    After writing that Kushner had strong ties to the most senior levels of the Israeli government, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Woodward then describes a disagreement between Kushner and other senior U.S. officials over who was the most important figure to work with in Saudi Arabia.

    Woodward claims that while senior U.S. intelligence officials believed that the most influential Saudi was the then-crown prince, former intelligence chief Mohammed bin Nayef, Kushner had a different reading of the situation.

    “Kushner told Harvey he had important and reliable intelligence that the key to Saudi Arabia was the deputy crown prince, the charismatic 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS,” writes Woodward. Some intelligence chiefs in D.C. disagreed.

    “The message from them was that Kushner better be careful,” Woodward wrote. “The real solid guy was the current crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, 57, who was known as MBN. He was the king’s nephew credited with dismantling Al-Qaida in the Kingdom as head of the Interior Ministry. Showing favoritism to the younger MBS would cause friction in the royal family,” he added.

    Woodward doesn’t specify which intelligence sources Kushner relied on for his assessment that Salman was more prominent than the actual crown prince, Nayef. He does state, however, that, based on his own contacts in the Middle East, including Israelis, Harvey “believed that Kushner was right – MBS was the future.”

    Kushner and Harvey allegedly pushed for a major summit to be held in Saudi Arabia during Trump’s visit, as a way of bringing the American-Saudi relationship back to the center of U.S. foreign policy, and that MBS became their main point of contact for organizing the president’s arrival.

    Woodward writes that Defense Secretary James Mattis was skeptical about Kushner’s suggestions, as were two other top administration officials: Then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and then-National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster (who was officially Harvey’s direct boss), both of whom, like Mattis, had extensive experience working in the Middle East.

    Tillerson, who had worked with the Saudi leadership during his years as CEO of ExxonMobil, cautioned against Kushner’s wish of negotiating a number of large deals with MBS. Woodward writes that Tillerson also believed “engagement with MBS should be taken with a grain of salt. The U.S. could work hard on a summit, and in the end have nothing.”

    Woodward adds that “no one supported the idea of a summit” in the spring of 2017, as Kushner was offering. Yet Kushner eventually got his way. With the president’s support, and despite the other senior officials’ objections, Kushner pushed for a visit to Saudi Arabia. “When it looked like they were close, Kushner invited MBS to the United States and brought him to the White House,” Woodward writes. The visit took place in March 2017, two months before Trump’s trip to the Middle East.

    Woodward notes that MBS had lunch with Trump in the White House’s State Dining Room, which is usually reserved for meetings between the president and other foreign leaders. “This violated protocol, unsettling officials at the State Department and the CIA,” writes Woodward. “Lunch at the White House with the president for a middle-rank deputy crown prince was just not supposed to be done.”

    Two months later, Trump arrived to Riyadh and continued from there to Jerusalem – making Saudi Arabia and Israel the first two stops on his inaugural foreign trip as president. According to Woodward’s version of events, things played out exactly as Kushner had planned them.

    Woodward concludes the chapter on the subject by noting that “the next month, Saudi King Salman at age 81 appointed MBS, age 31, the new crown prince and next in line to lead the Kingdom.”

    The effort to bring Israel closer to Saudi Arabia remains a major objective of the Trump “peace team” led by Kushner, though Saudi officials have recently expressed skepticism about the administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

    Saudi officials have indicated to the U.S. peace team that Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last December has made it more difficult for the Kingdom to pressure the Palestinians into accepting the administration’s plan.

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-how-kushner-played-matchmaker-between-israel-and-saudi-arabia-1.6467657

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    Re: Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince

    Salaam

    another update

    Blurb

    Known for its output of hydrocarbon resources and for its close proximity to some of the world’s busiest maritime traffic lanes, as well as the cradle of the Islamic faith, Saudi Arabia has a monumental impact on the political events in the Middle East. Yet, the kingdom also faces several inherent domestic and foreign complications that shape its geopolitical behaviour.


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    Re: Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince

    Salaam

    Another update


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