Saudi Arabia, Human Rights and the UN … some shocking news

You would perhaps expect Saudi Arabia to be facing considerable pressure from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), but apparently not. Let’s first make this abundantly clear … The Mandate and goal of the UNHRC is that it is … a United Nations System inter-governmental body whose 47 member states are responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around … Read more

Atheism explodes in Saudi Arabia, despite state-enforced ban

A recent article in Salon reports on the rising tide of disbelief in Saudi Arabia … In this country known as the cradle of Islam, where religion gives legitimacy to the government and state-appointed clerics set rules for social behavior, a growing number of Saudis are privately declaring themselves atheists. The evidence is anecdotal, but … Read more

Teaching “Proper Islamic Principles” to counter the extremists… would it really work?

Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, an Iislamic scholar of Sufism and also a politician in Pakistan, has written an article in the UK’s Guardian in which he suggests that “Teaching proper Islamic principles will help stem extremism”, he writes … Radical ideology depends upon a framework of (distorted) theological reference points and scriptural justifications. It is here that appropriate intervention can … Read more

True Political Integrity … Sweden’s foreign minister

By its very nature the cut and thrust of politics is to some degree about compromise, but for some things compromise really should not an option. There might indeed be squabbles about how much to borrow and spend, and what to spend it on, so sorting out such conflicting interests is where compromise is perhaps wholly appropriate, but … Read more

Raif Badawi update – #FreeRaif

If you have been following the news then you may already be aware, but rather sadly Saudi Arabia has upheld Raif Badawi‘s 10 year sentence and 1,000 lashes for the ‘crime’ of enabling social debate online. The BBC reports … Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has upheld the sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years of imprisonment … Read more

Why is Saudi Arabia going Nuclear?

Now this is a disturbing bit of news. The UKs Independent reports … Saudi Arabia intends to buy an “off the shelf” nuclear weapon from Pakistan, according to US officials quoted in The Sunday Times. The report comes amid ongoing negotiations between Iran and other world powers over its nuclear programme, and a potential thawing of relations … Read more

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