September 4, 2018

Despotic Saudi Arabia bans laughter – criminalizes humor: In Saudi Arabia, you can now be jailed for 5 years for posting online satire.

In a despicable, if not surprising move, the deranged desert kingdom is once again attacking basic human rights. In a desperate attempt to prevent any political dissent, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the brutal and despotic dictator running Saudi Arabia, will now punish those responsible for humorous posts on social media that “affects public order, religious values and public morals” with a five-year prison term and a fine of 3 million riyals ($800,000).

France 24 reports:

Saudi Arabia will punish online satire that “disrupts public order” with up to five years in prison, the public prosecutor said Tuesday, as the kingdom cracks down on dissent.

“Producing and distributing content that ridicules, mocks, provokes and disrupts public order, religious values and public morals through social media … will be considered a cybercrime punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of three million riyals ($800,000),” the public prosecution tweeted late Monday.

Commenting on the story via Twitter, Muhammad Syed, President, Ex-Muslims of North America, and human rights activist, noted:

There never was such a statute (against blasphemy, against argument, against free speech) that did not stain the book that it was in and that did not certify to the savagery of the men who passed it. – Robert G. Ingersoll

Make no mistake, Saudi Arabia’s human rights record is appalling. In fact, every decent country, and every decent human being, is morally obligated to speak out against the draconian and inhumane policies of the barbaric and brutal kingdom.

The Saudi kingdom is a brutal regime that gives out the death penalty for being gay, denies women the most basic human rights, and commits many other despicable human rights abuses.

In Saudi Arabia, women are second class citizens, treated more like children than adults. In fact women were not even allowed to drive up until just a few months ago.

Moreover, women are required to dress in black from head to toe, and require permission from a male guardian to travel, work and/or marry.

In addition to the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals, the Saudi regime is a place where migrant workers are routinely tortured and sexually abused, while young children are frequently imprisoned without trial and executed.

In Saudi Arabia, atheists are considered terrorists, and atheism is prosecuted as a crime, with lengthy prison sentences for anyone “calling for atheist thought” or “calling into question the fundamentals of Islam.”

In Saudi Arabia there is no political freedom, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech. It is, in fact, one of the most repressive regimes in recent history, and an affront to human rights and human dignity.

Saudi Arabia does not have a written constitution or an elected legislative body. There are no elections of any kind. All political parties are banned, as are most forms of association. All critical political expression is forbidden. The press is strictly regulated, and assembly is severely restricted.

Bottom line: Saudi Arabia is a backward and brutal theocracy that should be condemned and shunned by all decent people, and all decent countries.

Religion is an idea, and, as an idea, it should be eligible for criticism, discussion, and yes, mockery. The only reason so many believers demand special exceptions be made for religious ideas is because they know full well that their ideas don’t hold up well under scrutiny.

-Amanda Marcotte

Saudi Arabia Criminalizes Humor - 5 Year Prison Term For Posting Satire To Social Media (Image via Twitter)
Saudi Arabia Criminalizes Humor – 5 Year Prison Term For Posting Satire To Social Media (Image via Twitter)
August 7, 2018

After Canada’s foreign ministry criticized Saudi Arabia for their deplorable human rights record, angry Saudis threatened the country with a 9/11 style attack.

Earlier this week Saudi Arabia’s state media sent out an alarming tweet with an image of an Air Canada airliner heading toward the Toronto skyline, evoking for many the barbaric September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the U.S.


Infographic KSA, a state media Saudi Twitter account, posted the tweet on Monday. After the image began generating outrage it was deleted, and the pro-government Saudi Twitter account has since been deleted, according to multiple media reports. Saudi officials have offered an apology for the tweet, and say they are investigating.

The threat of a 9/11 style attack is particularly alarming when one recalls that 15 of the 19 hijackers who conducted the attack on the U.S. were from Saudi Arabia, and Osama bin Laden, the attacks’ mastermind, was an influential Saudi citizen who still has family in the country.

The alarming Twitter threat came after Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador because Canada’s foreign ministry had called for the release of detained human rights activists in the kingdom.

The Guardian reports that the growing hostility between Canada and Saudi Arabia”began with an expression of concern” via Twitter “by Canada’s foreign ministry over the arrest of Saudi civil society and women’s rights activists.” 

Newsweek reports on the growing antipathy between the countries:

Saudi Arabia has canceled the scholarships of 16,000 of its students studying in Canada, also ordering them to leave the country and find academic programs elsewhere.

The move comes amid a growing diplomatic row between the kingdom and the North American country, following comments by Canada’s foreign ministry that criticized Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and called on Riyadh to release detained activists. Responding to the criticism, Saudi Arabia also cut diplomatic ties with Canada, frozen all new trade and investment and canceled flights via its national carrier to Toronto.

Of course, Canada is absolutely right to criticize Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. It is appalling. In fact, every decent country, and every decent human being, is morally obligated to speak out against the draconian and inhumane policies of the barbaric and brutal kingdom.

The Saudi kingdom is a brutal regime that gives out the death penalty for homosexuality, denies women the most basic human rights, and commits many other despicable human rights abuses.

In Saudi Arabia, women are second class citizens, treated more like children than adults. In fact women were not even allowed to drive up until just a few months ago.

Moreover, women are required to dress in black from head to toe, and require permission from a male guardian to travel, work and/or marry.

In addition to the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals, the Saudi regime is a place where migrant workers are routinely tortured and sexually abused, while young children are frequently imprisoned without trial and executed.

In Saudi Arabia, atheists are considered terrorists, and atheism is prosecuted as a crime, with lengthy prison sentences for anyone “calling for atheist thought” or “calling into question the fundamentals of Islam.”

In Saudi Arabia there is no political freedom, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech. It is, in fact, one of the most repressive regimes in recent history, and an affront to human rights and human dignity.

Saudi Arabia does not have a written constitution or an elected legislative body. There are no elections of any kind. All political parties are banned, as are most forms of association. All critical political expression is forbidden. The press is strictly regulated, and assembly is severely restricted.

Bottom line: Saudi Arabia, a backward and brutal theocracy that should be condemned and shunned, recently threatened Canada with a 9/11 style attack after Canada’s foreign ministry criticized the country’s deplorable human rights record.

 Saudi Arabia Threatens Canada With 9/11 Style Attack (Image via Twitter)
Saudi Arabia Threatens Canada With 9/11 Style Attack (Image via Twitter)

 

September 26, 2017

Saudi Arabia, a deplorable nation with one of the world’s worst human rights record, will finally allow women to drive in 2018.

Mean, backward, and ugly, Saudi Arabia is currently the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive. However, according to reports, that is about to change.

The BBC reports:

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a decree allowing women to drive for the first time.

According to the report, the order allowing women to drive should be implemented by June 2018.

While this is a significant victory for women and human rights in Saudi Arabia, it will not change the fact that the Saudi kingdom is a backward, ugly, mean, and repressive Islamic theocracy.

The Saudi kingdom is a brutal regime that gives out the death penalty for homosexuality, denies women the most basic human rights, and commits many other despicable human rights abuses.

In Saudi Arabia, women are second class citizens, treated more like children than adults. Women are required to dress in black from head to toe, and require permission from a male guardian to travel, work and/or marry, and are not allowed to drive (at least until 2018).

In addition to the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals, the Saudi regime is a place where migrant workers are routinely tortured and sexually abused, while young children are frequently imprisoned without trial and executed.

In Saudi Arabia, atheists are considered terrorists, and atheism is prosecuted as a crime, with lengthy prison sentences for anyone “calling for atheist thought” or “calling into question the fundamentals of Islam.”

In Saudi Arabia there is no political freedom, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech. It is, in fact, one of the most repressive regimes in recent history, and an affront to human rights and human dignity.

Saudi Arabia does not have a written constitution or an elected legislative body. There are no elections of any kind. All political parties are banned, as are most forms of association. All critical political expression is forbidden. The press is strictly regulated, and assembly is severely restricted.

Bottom line: Even if Saudi Arabia does allow women to drive in 2018, that will not change the fact that the regime is a backward and brutal theocracy that should be condemned and shunned.

Saudi Arabia Will Allow Women To Drive In 2018 (Image via YouTube)
Saudi Arabia Will Allow Women To Drive In 2018 (Image via YouTube)
April 24, 2017

In a moral failure of staggering proportion, Saudi Arabia is elected to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

UN Watch reports Saudi Arabia has been elected to a 2018-2022 term on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

The Hill reports the election occurred in a secret vote during the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council.

As one might expect, the move has sparked outrage given the fact that Saudi Arabia practices gender apartheid, and is one of the worst places in the world to be a woman.

In Saudi Arabia, misogyny is the norm, and women are treated as property.

About the election, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer said:

Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief.

Neuer added:

It’s absurd — and morally reprehensible.

Neuer is correct. Adding Saudi Arabia to the U.N. Women’s Rights Commission is absurd and morally reprehensible.

In Saudi Arabia, women are second class citizens, treated more like children than adults. In Saudi Arabia, women are required to dress in black from head to toe, and require permission from a male guardian to travel, work and/or marry. In essence, the male guardian controls a woman’s life from birth until death.

Adding insult to injury, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive.

A backward, ugly, mean, and repressive regime, the Saudi kingdom gives out the death penalty for homosexuality, denies women the most basic human rights, and commits many other despicable human rights abuses.

In addition to the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals, Saudi Arabia is a place where migrant workers are routinely tortured and sexually abused, while young children are frequently imprisoned without trial and executed.

In Saudi Arabia, atheists are considered terrorists, and atheism is prosecuted as a crime, with lengthy prison sentences for anyone “calling for atheist thought” or “calling into question the fundamentals of Islam.”

In Saudi Arabia there is no political freedom, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech. It is, in fact, one of the most repressive regimes in recent history, and an affront to human rights and human dignity.

Saudi Arabia does not have a written constitution or an elected legislative body. There are no elections of any kind. All political parties are banned, as are most forms of association. All critical political expression is forbidden. The press is strictly regulated, and assembly is severely restricted.

Bottom line: The election of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women represents a moral failure of epic proportion.

Saudi Arabia (Image via Wikimedia)
Saudi Arabia (Image via Wikimedia)
March 14, 2017

Fail: Saudi Arabia launches Girls Council without women. Photos of the first meeting of “The Qassim Girls Council” in Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia, show only men in attendance.

The Internet mocked the repressive regime after pictures of the Qassim Girls’ Council emerged online. The publicity photos promoting the event that was supposed to promote women’s rights in the backward kingdom feature no women at all.

Instead, photos of the first meeting of the “Girls Council” feature 13 robed men on a stage.

According to reports, women were kept in another room and only allowed to speak via video.

Saudi Arabia, where misogyny is the norm, and women are treated as property, has strict segregation laws regarding men and women.

In fact, in Saudi Arabia, women are second class citizens, treated more like children than adults. In Saudi Arabia, women are required to dress in black from head to toe, and they require permission from a male guardian to travel, work and/or marry.

Adding insult to injury, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive.

A backward, ugly, mean, and repressive regime, the Saudi kingdom gives out the death penalty for homosexuality, denies women the most basic human rights, and commits many other despicable human rights abuses.

In addition to the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals, Saudi Arabia is a place where migrant workers are routinely tortured and sexually abused, while young children are frequently imprisoned, and even executed, without a trial.

In Saudi Arabia, atheists are considered terrorists, and atheism is prosecuted as a crime, with lengthy prison sentences or even the death penalty for anyone “calling for atheist thought” or “calling into question the fundamentals of Islam.”

In Saudi Arabia there is no political freedom, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech. It is, in fact, one of the most repressive regimes in the world, and an insult to human rights and human dignity.

Bottom line: A picture is worth a thousand words. And the image of the first meeting “The Qassim Girls Council” is all one needs to begin to understand the depth of misogyny and discrimination that permeates Saudi Arabia.

First Meeting Of Saudi Arabia’s New ‘Girls Council’ - 13 Robed Men On A Stage (Image via Twitter)
First Meeting Of Saudi Arabia’s New ‘Girls Council’ – 13 Robed Men On A Stage (Image via Twitter)
January 11, 2017

Rex Tillerson argues Saudi Arabia is making progress on human rights, and refuses to label the theocracy a human rights violator.

In his confirmation hearing today, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be secretary of state said he is not sure if Saudi Arabia violates human rights.

At the confirmation hearing Senator MarcoRubio asked Tillerson:

I’m sure you’re also aware of the the lack of both religious freedoms and the lack of rights of women in Saudi Arabia. In your opinion is Saudi Arabia a human rights violator?

When Rubio asked Tillerson if he would label the brutal theocracy a human rights violator, the future secretary of state refused to acknowledge the obvious. Instead of answering the question, Tillerson gave Rubio a lecture about applying labels like “human rights violator” to despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia, claiming such a tactic was counter-productive.

Tillerson told Rubio:

When you designate someone or label someone, is that the most effective way to have progress be able to be made in Saudi Arabia or any other country?

Adding:

I’m also clear-eyed and realistic about dealing in cultures.

Tillerson then went on to suggest that Saudi Arabia is making progress on human rights, although “the pace has been slow.” Tillerson said:

… what I do believe is it (Saudi Arabia) is moving in the direction that we wanted to move and what I wouldn’t want to do is to take some kind of a precipitous action the suddenly causes the leadership and the king of Saudi Arabia have to interrupt that I’d like for them to continue to make that progress

Tillerson’s refusal to simply acknowledge the obvious and accept the fact that Saudi Arabia is a human rights violator is alarming. Indeed, the Gulf State has one of the world’s worst human rights record.

For the record, the Saudi kingdom is a backward, ugly, mean, and repressive theocracy; a brutal regime that gives out the death penalty for homosexuality, denies women the most basic human rights, and commits many other despicable human rights abuses.

In Saudi Arabia, women are second class citizens, treated more like children than adults. Women are required to dress in black from head to toe, and require permission from a male guardian to travel, work and/or marry.

Adding insult to injury, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive.

In addition to the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals, Saudi Arabia is a place where migrant workers are routinely tortured and sexually abused, while young children are frequently imprisoned without trial and executed.

In Saudi Arabia, atheists are considered terrorists, and atheism is prosecuted as a crime, with lengthy prison sentences for anyone “calling for atheist thought” or “calling into question the fundamentals of Islam.”

In Saudi Arabia there is no political freedom, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech. It is, in fact, one of the most repressive regimes in recent history, and an affront to human rights and human dignity.

Saudi Arabia does not have a written constitution or an elected legislative body. There are no elections of any kind. All political parties are banned, as are most forms of association. All critical political expression is forbidden. The press is strictly regulated, and assembly is severely restricted.

In short, if any country can be called a human rights violator, it is Saudi Arabia.

Bottom line: It may not be surprising that Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, refused to condemn the appalling human rights record of Saudi Arabia, one of the largest oil producing nations in the world. However, his refusal to label the backward and brutal theocracy a human rights violator does strongly suggest that he is not qualified to serve as secretary of state.

Watch the encounter between Rubio and Tillerson below. Relevant remarks begin around the 6:00 minute mark:

Rex Tillerson (Image via Screen Grab)
Rex Tillerson (Image via Screen Grab)
November 21, 2015

A Palestinian poet has been sentenced to death by a Saudi Arabian court for renouncing Islam and encouraging atheism.

Earlier this week a Saudi court ordered the execution of Ashraf Fayadh on charges of “doubting the existence of God.”

Human Rights Watch’s Middle East researcher Adam Coogle confirmed that the death sentence handed down to Fayadh was on charges of “apostasy” –

I have read the trial documents from the lower court verdict in 2014 and another one from 17 November. It is very clear he has been sentenced to death for apostasy.

The death sentence comes after an initial 2014 verdict that sentenced the poet to four years in prison and 800 lashes.

Speaking of his arrest, Fayadh, 35, a poet, an expressionist artist, and a key member of the British-Saudi art organisation Edge of Arabia, said:

They accused me [of] atheism and spreading some destructive thoughts into society.

However, at his trial Fayadh denied the accusations, telling the court he was a faithful Muslim:

I am repentant to God most high and am innocent of what appeared in my book mentioned in this case.

Fayadh said his book, Instructions Within, published in 2008, was “just about me being [a] Palestinian refugee … about cultural and philosophical issues. But the religious extremists explained it as destructive ideas against God.”

Fayadh’s supporters say his trouble began after posting a video online showing the Saudi religious police lashing a man in public.

Saudi Arabia has put to death nearly 150 people so far this year. The vast majority of death penalties handed down in the kingdom are for either non-violent drugs offences or murder, although there are exceptions.

Reuters reports Saudi Arabia’s justice system is based on Sharia Islamic law and its judges are clerics from the kingdom’s Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam. In the Wahhabi interpretation of Sharia, religious crimes including blasphemy and apostasy incur the death penalty.

Indeed, the Gulf State has one of the world’s worst human rights record. A backward, ugly, mean, and repressive regime, the Saudi kingdom gives out the death penalty for homosexuality, denies women the most basic human rights, and commits many other despicable human rights abuses.

In Saudi Arabia, women are second class citizens, treated more like children than adults. Women are required to dress in black from head to toe, and require permission from a male guardian to travel, work and/or marry.

Adding insult to injury, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive.

In addition to the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals, Saudi Arabia is a place where migrant workers are routinely tortured and sexually abused, while young children are frequently imprisoned without trial and executed.

In Saudi Arabia, atheists are considered terrorists, and atheism is prosecuted as a crime, with lengthy prison sentences or death for anyone “calling for atheist thought” or “calling into question the fundamentals of Islam.”

In Saudi Arabia there is no political freedom, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech. It is, in fact, one of the most repressive regimes in the world, and an insult to human rights and human dignity.

Ashraf Fayadh (Image via YouTube)
Ashraf Fayadh (Image via YouTube)
September 24, 2015

Over 700 dead and more than 800 injured in Hajj stampede: It is a tragedy that has been repeated many times, yet Saudi Arabia continues to fail to protect Muslims making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

The tragedy was predictable and avoidable.

The New York Times reports at least 717 people were killed, and 863 were injured, in a stampede near Mecca on Thursday morning, around 9 a.m., on the first day of Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest holidays in the Muslim calendar.

CNN reports the stampede occurred during the ritual known as “stoning the devil” in the tent city of Mina, about 2 miles from Mecca, Islam’s holiest city:

Footage taken just after the stampede — obtained by CNN Arabic — shows a disturbing scene. Bodies piled upon bodies, a few moving, but most appearing lifeless. Workers in hard hats and reflective vests can be seen working the edges of the pile of faithful, pulling dead bodies away to get to those who are still alive.

Thursday’s stampede is the deadliest accident to occur in the Hajj since the 1990 stampede that killed 1,426 people. Yet neither incident is unique, and the same sort of tragedy keeps reoccurring. Some notable incidents include:

July 2, 1990 : A stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel (Al-Ma’aisim tunnel) leading out from Mecca towards Mina and the Plains of Arafat led to the deaths of 1,426 pilgrims, many of them of Malaysian, Indonesian and Pakistani origin.

May 23, 1994 : A stampede killed at least 270 pilgrims at the stoning of the Devil ritual.

April 9, 1998: at least 118 pilgrims were trampled to death and 180 injured in an incident on Jamarat Bridge.

March 5, 2001: 35 pilgrims were trampled to death in a stampede during the stoning of the Devil ritual.

February 11, 2003: The stoning of the Devil ritual claimed 14 pilgrims’ lives.

February 1, 2004: 251 pilgrims were killed and another 244 injured in a stampede during the stoning ritual in Mina.

January 12, 2006: A stampede during the stoning of the Devil on the last day of the Hajj in Mina killed at least 346 pilgrims and injured at least 289 more. The incident occurred shortly after 13:00 local time, when a busload of travellers arrived together at the eastern access ramps to the Jamarat Bridge. This caused pilgrims to trip, rapidly resulting in a lethal stampede. An estimated two million people were performing the ritual at the time.

Irfan al-Alawi, the executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation and a critic of how the Saudi government has developed the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, told The New York Times that the disaster was a result of “poor management” by the government, given the number of past disasters.

While Madawi al-Rasheed, an anthropologist and visiting professor at the London School of Economics, said:

There is no accountability. It’s shocking that almost every year there is some kind of death toll.

Saudi Arabia makes billions of dollars from the annual Hajj. In 2014 the kingdom made an estimated $8.5 Billion. Yet despite the tremendous amount of wealth the annual event creates, and the supposed religious significance of the event, Saudi Arabia continues to fail to protect the millions of Muslims making the pilgrimage.

Perhaps it is simply incompetence. Perhaps it is greed. More than likely it is a combination of both. Whatever the case, it is inexcusable. It is obscene that this keeps happening again and again in a situation where the crowd is expected and the rituals and places are always the same.

Yet it should come as no surprise that Saudi Arabia fails to protect Muslims at the annual Hajj. The kingdom is a corrupt and repressive regime with no regard for human life or human rights.

(Image via YouTube)
(Image via YouTube)
September 20, 2015

In a moral failure of staggering proportion, Saudi Arabia has been appointed to head up a key UN Human Rights panel that shapes standards on international human rights.

According to reports, the United Nations has appointed Saudi Arabia representative Faisal bin Hassan Trad as head of a key human rights panel that is tasked with naming experts that determine global human rights standards and report on human rights violations around the world.

About the appointment, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer said:

It is scandalous that the UN chose a country that has beheaded more people this year than ISIS to be head of a key human rights panel.

Petro-dollars and politics have trumped human rights. Saudi Arabia has arguably the worst record in the world when it comes to religious freedom and women’s rights, and continues to imprison the innocent blogger Raif Badawi.

This UN appointment is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief, and underscores the credibility deficit of a human rights council that already counts Russia, Cuba, China, Qatar and Venezuela among its elected members.

Ensaf Haidar, the wife of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for blogging about free speech, called the appointment “scandalous,” saying it meant “oil trumps human rights,” and “a green light to start flogging [Badawi] again.”

Indeed, the Gulf State has one of the world’s worst human rights record. A backward, ugly, mean, and repressive regime, the Saudi kingdom gives out the death penalty for homosexuality, denies women the most basic human rights, and commits many other despicable human rights abuses.

In Saudi Arabia, women are second class citizens, treated more like children than adults. Women are required to dress in black from head to toe, and require permission from a male guardian to travel, work and/or marry.

Adding insult to injury, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive.

In addition to the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals, Saudi Arabia is a place where migrant workers are routinely tortured and sexually abused, while young children are frequently imprisoned without trial and executed.

In Saudi Arabia, atheists are considered terrorists, and atheism is prosecuted as a crime, with lengthy prison sentences for anyone “calling for atheist thought” or “calling into question the fundamentals of Islam.”

In Saudi Arabia there is no political freedom, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech. It is, in fact, one of the most repressive regimes in recent history, and an affront to human rights and human dignity.

Saudi Arabia does not have a written constitution or an elected legislative body. There are no elections of any kind. All political parties are banned, as are most forms of association. All critical political expression is forbidden. The press is strictly regulated, and assembly is severely restricted.

Later this week, a Saudi prisoner arrested when he was 17 years old, will face “death by crucifixion” for taking part in anti-government protests.

The ugly and repressive Islamic nightmare that is Saudi Arabia continues. The fact that the U.S. and other western powers count this backward and repressive regime as an ally only serves to demonstrate the insidious power of oil to shape and move global politics.

Bottom line: The appointment of a Saudi Arabia representative to be the head of a key UN human rights panel represents a moral failure of epic proportion.

(Image via Wikimedia)
(Image via Wikimedia)
January 22, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, the American ally who ruled over a brutal and draconian Islamic theocracy, is dead.

According to reports, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died in hospital Friday morning while undergoing treatment for pneumonia.

Abdullah’s designated successor is Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, his 79-year-old half-brother. An official Saudi statement has named Salman the new king.

A statement on the Saudi Arabian state TV channel attributed to Salman declared:

“His Highness Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and all members of the family and the nation mourn the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who passed away at exactly 1 a.m. this morning.”

Under King Abdullah, the Gulf State had one of the world’s worst human rights record. A backward, ugly, mean, and repressive regime, Abdullah’s kingdom gave out the death penalty for homosexuality, denied women the most basic human rights, and committed many other despicable human rights abuses.

In Saudi Arabia, women are second class citizens, treated more like children than adults. Women are required to dress in black from head to toe, and require permission from a male guardian to work and/or marry.

Adding insult to injury, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive.

In addition to the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals, Saudi Arabia is a place where migrant workers are routinely tortured and sexually abused, while young children are frequently imprisoned without trial and executed—often without even knowing what their crime was.

In Saudi Arabia there is no political freedom, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech. It is, in fact, one of the most repressive regimes in recent history, and an affront to human rights and human dignity.

In fact, under King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia remained one of the very few countries in the world not to accept the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Abdullah is dead, but the ugly and repressive Islamic nightmare that is Saudi Arabia will continue. The fact that the U.S. and other western powers continue to count this backward and repressive regime as an ally represents a moral failure of epic proportion, and only serves to demonstrate the insidious power of oil to shape and move global politics.

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz

 

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