Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Yet another reason to boot the UN

BREITBART: United Nations Elects Saudi Arabia to Women’s Rights Commission

by Joel B. Pollak – 23 Apr 2017


Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. This sick perversion of justice is happening right in your face. 

This is mad. It is insane and suicidal. 


Saudi Cleric: Posing For Photos With Cats Is Forbidden

grumpy cat

From MSN: A prominent Saudi cleric has declared photographs with cats, and other animals, unless completely necessary due to an upsurge in Saudis “who want to be like Westerners.”

On a televised broadcast, Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, was told about “a new trend of taking pictures with cats has been spreading among people who want to be like Westerners.”

He replied: “What?! What do you mean pictures with cats? Taking pictures is prohibited. The cats don’t matter here.” The sheikh continued: “Taking pictures is prohibited if not for a necessity. Not with cats, not with dogs, not with wolves, not with anything.”

Footage of the televised broadcast was published on YouTube on April 17 and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute monitoring group.

Under the country’s strict, ultraconservative brand of Islam, known as Wahhabism, many things that are normal in Western daily life are outlawed. In January, Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti allegedly ruled that chess is forbidden in the kingdom as it encourages gambling. Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh said that chess was “a waste of time and money and a cause for hatred and enmity between players.”

Another game to be banned in the country is the Pokemon franchise, with the grand mufti saying that it promoted other religions, such as Christianity or Judaism because of the crosses or the Jewish Star of David that were displayed on the cards.


Saudi Prince Urges American Voters To Make The Right Choice: Don’t Vote Trump

For the life of me, I cannot believe that anyone would take advice from a royal from a country like Saudi Arabia, which treats women and homosexuals like second class citizens.

Prince Nosy Body...

Prince Nosy Body…

Huffington Post: Representatives of foreign allies tend to tiptoe around the issue of U.S. elections, hesitant to risk offending a candidate who may later be elected president. But the ascension of real estate mogul Donald Trump to the position of the presumptive Republican nominee has compelled some foreign officials to try to sway American voters away from backing the bombastic candidate.

With carefully chosen words, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former ambassador to the U.S., warned against a Trump presidency. “For the life of me, I cannot believe that a country like the United States can afford to have someone as president who simply says, ‘These people are not going to be allowed to come to the United States,’” Turki said on Thursday evening, referring to Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country.

“It’s up to you, it’s not up to me,” Turki continued, speaking at a Washington Institute For Near East Policy dinner hosted at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. “I just hope you, as American citizens, will make the right choice in November.”

The former top Saudi intelligence chief is known for his close relationships with U.S. officials and his ability to charm an American audience, even as the United States grows more critical of the Gulf state’s dismal human rights record at home and high-casualty war in Yemen.

As a student in the 1960s, Prince Turki said he enjoyed “the spectacle” of American elections, which he described as “sometimes uplifting, other times the opposite.” Later on, as ambassador, he told U.S. lawmakers he should get a vote since American policies have such a direct impact on the kingdom.

“When we have elections in Saudi Arabia, you can vote there too,” Prince Turki assured the crowd, a self-aware joke at his own country’s undemocratic monarchical system of governance. (Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute and the moderator of the event suggested that if the prince enjoyed the “spectacle” of American elections so much, he should perhaps try them out in his own country.)

Read the whole story here.


Saudi court sentences poet to death for renouncing Islam

Wonder if Hillary believes that “human rights” are to be applied to those with different religious beliefs as well? No worries, more donations should keep her quiet on this matter.


The Guardian reported yesterday that Ashraf Fayadh (35), a Palestinian poet and leading member of Saudi Arabia’s nascent contemporary art scene, has been sentenced to death for renouncing Islam.

A Saudi court ordered the execution of Fayadh, who has curated art shows in Jeddah and at the Venice Biennale. The poet, who said he did not have legal representation, was given 30 days to appeal against the ruling.

Fayadh is a key member of the British-Saudi art organisation Edge of Arabia. He  was originally sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes by the general court in Abha, a city in the south-west of the ultraconservative kingdom, in May 2014. After his appeal was dismissed he was retried last month and a new panel of judges ruled that his repentance did not prevent his execution.

If you are aware of human rights (such as they are) in Saudi Arabia, this should come as no surprise. Systematic discrimination against women and religious minorities is prevalent. “I was really shocked but it was expected, though I didn’t do anything that deserves death,” Fayadh told the Guardian.

Ashraf Fayadh/Photo from his Instagram account

Ashraf Fayadh/Photo from his Instagram account

A migrant rights activist from Kuwait, Mona Kareem, has led a campaign for the poet’s release, said: “For one and a half years they promised him an appeal and kept intimidating him that there’s new evidence. He was unable to assign a lawyer because his ID was confiscated when he was arrested [in January 2014]. Then they said you must have a retrial and we’ll change the prosecutor and the judges. The new judge didn’t even talk to him, he just made the verdict.

Fayadh’s supporters believe he is being punished by hardliners for posting a video online showing the religious police (mutaween) in Abha lashing a man in public. “Some Saudis think this was revenge by the morality police,” said Kareem. He also believes that Fayadh has been targeted because he is a Palestinian refugee, even though he was born in Saudi Arabia.

Fayadh was first detained in August 2013 after receiving a complaint that he was cursing against Allah and the prophet Muhammad, insulting Saudi Arabia and distributing a book of his poems that promoted atheism. Fayadh said the complaint arose from a personal dispute with another artist during a discussion about contemporary art in a cafe in Abha.

After one day in jail, he was released on bail but the police arrested him again on January 1, 2014, confiscating his ID and detaining him at a police station until he was transferred to the local prison 27 days later. According to Fayadh’s friends, when the police failed to prove that his poetry was atheist propaganda, they began berating him for smoking and having long hair.

You are not allowed to practice or preach a different religion in Saudi Arabia other than Islam. Hence Fayadh is in the position he is in now. “They accused me [of] atheism and spreading some destructive thoughts into society,” said Fayadh. He added that the 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.”

During Fayadh’s trial in February 2014, complainant and two members of the religious police told the court that Fayadh had publicly blasphemed, promoted atheism to young people and conducted illicit relationships with women and stored some of their photographs on his mobile phone. He denied the accusations of blasphemy and told the court he was a faithful Muslim. According to the court documents, he said: “I am repentant to God most high and am innocent of what appeared in my book mentioned in this case.”

The case highlights the tensions between hardline religious conservatives and the small but growing number of artists and activists who are tentatively pushing the boundaries of freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia, where cinema is banned and there are no art schools.

Saudi Arabia has a complete intolerance of anyone who does not share government-mandated religious, political and social views. But that is not unexpected from those who adhere to Sharia Law.

sharia law


Engineer says collapse of Mecca crane, killing 107, was “an act of God”

As the birthplace of Muhammad and the site — a cave — of his first revelation of the Quran, Mecca in Saudi Arabia is regarded as the holiest city of Islam.

On Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, during a rainstorm, a huge construction crane crashed into the court of the Grand Mosque at Mecca, killing 107 Muslims and injuring another 200 of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims from around the world gathered there for their annual hajj pilgrimage.

The crane was there for a massive expansion of the mosque undertaken by Saudi Binladin Group (SBG), which is owned by the family of the now-dead Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The AFP reports (via ZeeNews) reports that a day later on Sept. 12, the engineer for SBG said the collapse of the crane was “an act of God” and not due to a technical fault.

The engineer, who asked not to be identified, said the crane, like many other cranes on the project, had been there for three or four years without any problem: “It was not a technical issue at all. I can only say that what happened was beyond the power of humans. It was an act of God and, to my knowledge, there was no human fault in it at all.”

The engineer said the crane was the main one used on work to expand the tawaf, or circumambulation area around the Kaaba — a massive cubed structure at the center of the mosque that is a focal point of worship.

Kabaa in the middle of court of Grand Mosque

Kabaa in the middle of court of Grand Mosque

The engineer explained that the crane’s heavy hook, which is able to lift hundreds of tonnes, began swaying and moved the whole crane with it, toppling into the mosque. He said the crane “has been installed in a way so as not to affect the hundreds of thousands of worshippers in the area and in an extremely professional way. This is the most difficult place to work in, due to the huge numbers of people in the area.”

A witness said the accident occurred during winds that were so strong they shook his car and tossed billboards around.

lightning strikes crane in Mecca Grand Mosque

The development project is expanding the area of the Grand Mosque by 4.3 million square feet, which would accommodate up to 2.2 million people at once.

God does work in mysterious ways!


Amnesty report finds Saudi Arabia executed 175 in past year

ISIS approved!


Associated Press: Saudi Arabia has executed at least 175 people over the past 12 months, on average one person every two days, according to a report released Tuesday by Amnesty International.

The 43-page report titled “Killing In the Name of Justice: The Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia” said that between January 1985 and June 2015, at least 2,208 people were executed in the kingdom. An Associated Press tally based on official announcements shows that Saudi Arabia executed 109 people since January, compared to 83 in all of 2014.

The kingdom follows a strict interpretation of Islamic law and applies the death penalty to a number of crimes including murder, rape and drug smuggling. Though not as common, Saudi Courts allow for people to be executed for adultery, apostasy and witchcraft. People can also be executed for crimes committed when they were below 18 years of age.

“Saudi Arabia’s faulty justice system facilitates judicial executions on a mass scale,” Said Boumedouha, acting director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa program, said in a statement.

In one case highlighted in the report, two sets of brothers from the same extended family were executed in August 2014 in the southern city of Najran after being convicted of receiving large quantities of hashish. Amnesty said the men claimed they were tortured during interrogation and sentenced to death largely based on confessions made after being beaten and deprived of sleep. Amnesty said it reached out to the Saudi Interior and Justice ministries, but received no reply.

Most executions are carried out by beheading, though some are also done by firing squad. In rare cases, executed bodies have been displayed in public to deter others from committing crime.

Islamic law as practiced in Saudi Arabia allows for retribution in some cases, whereby relatives of the murder victim have the right to decide if the offender should be executed or pardoned. If pardoned, compensation or “blood money” is often paid to the family. In one case reported in Saudi media in 2012, a father pardoned his son’s killer on condition he memorize the Quran before leaving prison.

Amnesty said almost half of those executed during the last 30 years were foreign nationals, many of whom lack the Arabic skills to understand court proceedings and charges. Almost a third of those executed were for drug-related offenses.

The rights group said Saudi authorities have denied its researchers access to the country. The London-based rights group said it researched cases for this report by contacting people before their execution and reaching out to relatives and lawyers, in addition to analyzing available court documents.


Saudis advertise for EIGHT new executioners – and beginners are welcome

islam executiion

Daily Mail: As family days out go, it must rank among the most macabre. It is Sunday breakfast time in a city in the Gulf, a busy square has been cleared and men, women and children sip cool drinks in the morning sun as they wait for the main event. There is never much advance notice but those in the know gather just before 9am, the time for public beheadings.

A police van arrives and a prisoner in white robes is dragged from it by eight officers. The executioner is waiting. He is carrying a four-foot curved silver sword. The condemned man is forced to kneel facing Mecca, and the executioner tests his blade by running it lightly across the prisoner’s exposed neck, making him flinch. There is a drain in the ground to collect the blood.

As the crowd falls silent, the executioner raises his sword, then powers it down on to the kneeling man’s neck, slicing through skin, muscle and bone. The head rolls away; the body topples to the ground.

The victim, a Pakistani man convicted of drug offences, is fortunate the cut was clean. Yet the horror continues. The man’s head is put in a bag and attached to his body with rope. Then the corpse, head dangling, is hoisted on a crane and left to fester in the square for up to three days.

This execution took place not under the regime of Islamic State but in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia — a key ally of Britain and America and the only place in the world where such public justice is meted out for crimes ranging from murder to, in the case of several fortune tellers last year, ‘performing magic’. Such is its appetite for beheadings, the country has been advertising for eight new executioners to meet demand.

So far this year 89 people have been beheaded in public, surpassing the estimated tally of 87 in the whole of 2014. About half of last year’s victims were Saudi; the others were from Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Burma, Chad, Eritrea, the Philippines and Sudan. Locals are encouraged to take their children to the place of execution in ‘Chop Chop Square’, as this area of Riyadh is nicknamed, so they grow up knowing the dire consequences of breaking the law.

There are currently fears that a Saudi blogger named Raif Badawi, whose plight has caused international outrage, may yet be condemned to a public death. He was arrested in June 2012 and charged with ‘cyber crime’ and disobeying his father, who had asked him to stop working on a news website critical of Saudi laws.

Mr. Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and a decade in prison for insulting Islam, but may be retried for the crime of renouncing the religion. This carries a death sentence and would result in his beheading.

In truth, Saudi executioners are rarely short of work, thanks to the country’s strict adherence to a hardline strand of Islam called Wahhabism, whose followers adhere to puritanical beliefs that prescribe death for apostates, not to mention gays, adulterers and drug users. Punishment is decided by judges who work without any penal code, guided only by Allah.

Traditionally, the role of executioner has been passed down through families from father to son, and it is rare for so many jobs to be created at the same time.

The new recruits will be classed as ‘religious functionaries’. Each will be given his traditional scimitar, which costs £2,600, by the government and trained by beheading live sheep provided by the civil service. The recruitment advert, on Saudi Arabia’s civil service website, stresses that no qualifications are necessary but successful applicants must perform ‘execution orders according to Islamic Sharia rules’.

They will also be ‘responsible for implementing the Penalty of Theft by severing the hand’ — that is, public amputation for thieves who have committed up to three offences (four and they are beheaded). Right hand amputation applies in cases of theft, whereas cross amputation — right hand and left foot — is prescribed for highway robbery.

Muslim human sacrifice2

Other duties may include stoning to death adulterers and surgically paralysing offenders under the strict eye-for-an-eye legal policy. Stoning victims are typically buried up to their waist or neck, unable to fend off the stones hurled at their head by a crowd of bystanders until they slowly die. Penal amputations are carried out by the same executioners hired for beheadings, but using a knife.

Although eye-gouging is a sentence often handed down in Saudi Arabia, there are no instances recorded in the West of it being carried out in the past ten years.

The upsurge in beheadings this year follows a rise in crime. Total crime rates rose more than 100 per cent between 2012 and 2013, the last year for which figures are available.

The number of sex crimes reported remains relatively low — not least because under Islamic law the rape victim is punished for ‘adultery’, with documented cases of traumatised women being lashed and jailed after being sexually assaulted. At the same time, drug use and street robberies are becoming more widespread in a state once regarded as virtually crime-free.

Beheadings are not televised but executioners have given interviews to TV shows. One came straight from a beheading, informing his audience that ‘if the heart is compassionate, the hand fails’. Executioner Saad al-Beshi also discussed his skills with a scimitar, stressing that it is vital to take one strong, confident swing. It is believed that cleanly beheaded prisoners suffer almost immediate unconsciousness and death. But unfortunately for Saudi’s convicted prisoners, not all Saad al-Beshi’s colleagues are as skillful.

This year, horrific footage taken by someone in the crowd was leaked showing the bungled execution of a woman accused of murdering her step-daughter. She is heard shrieking ‘I did not kill! I did not kill!’ as police officers force her to kneel in front of the executioner. He tells her to ‘praise God’ but fails to sever her head with the first blow and has to hack twice more before the grisly deed is done.

The international outcry that ensued prompted the Saudi authorities not to amend their methods but only to hunt down the man who leaked the mobile phone footage.

Saudi Arabia has been touchy about public executions since the release in 1980 of a British TV drama-documentary, Death Of A Princess, which told the true story of how a young Saudi princess and her lover were executed for adultery. It caused a diplomatic spat, with London’s ambassador to Riyadh ordered to leave the country and British Airways Concorde flights banned from Saudi airspace.

More recently, the country was quick to dismiss global appeals, including a letter from Prince Charles, to spare the life of a 17-year-old Sri Lankan maid accused of choking a baby to death.

With a population of just 28 million, Saudi Arabia is beaten only by China, North Korea and Iran for the number of people it puts to death. But while Iran and China normally use firing squads, Saudi Arabia has rejected calls to end beheadings.

For all its wealth and air-conditioned shopping malls, it is a deeply conservative country where alcohol, nightclubs and even cinemas are banned, and strict moral codes are imposed on the people by an army of secret agents working for the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. This hated force of up to 5,000 officers patrol the streets ensuring that women are covered from head to toe, there is strict separation between the sexes at all times, and no one is holding secret parties.

Often uneducated but from religious families, these ‘moral police’ are often the dreaded first point of contact for those who end up being put to death. They have powers arbitrarily to detain offenders — such as men and women walking together who are not married or blood relatives — and to shut down businesses caught opening during Muslim prayer times or selling haram — forbidden — items such as Western music.

The executioners advertisement, which anyone can download, even promises successful applicants an attractive benefits package including a housing allowance and six months’ sick leave on full pay. And one lethally sharp sword.