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Saudi Arabia: another name for ‘Jihadi factories’

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Photo source :http://assets.nydailynews.com/

Following is the summary of the views expressed by India’s well known security expert and geo-strategist Brahma Chellaney in his recent post at TheGlobeandMail.com. The link of the article is given below.

  • In the article Chellaney explains that modern day terrorism is derived from Wahhabism. In his words:”The Brussels bombings, as with the Paris terrorist attacks last year, show that jihadi-minded citizens of European Union states can turn into killers by imbibing the insidious ideology of Wahhabism.”
  • He further elaborates on the crucial role Saudi Arabia has played in the rise of Wahhabism. “Since the oil-price boom of the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has spent more than $200-billion on its global jihad project, including funding Wahhabi madrassas, mosques, clerics and books. Wahhabism legitimizes violent jihad with its call for a war on “infidels.”
  • Chellaney argues that the countries like Saudi Arabia are funding Wahhabism. To quote from his article: “The export of Wahhabism by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some other oil sheikdoms is the source of modern Islamist terror. From Africa to Asia and now Europe, Arabian petrodollars have played a key role in fomenting militant Islamic fundamentalism that targets the West, Israel and India as its enemies.”
  • Chellaney has further stated that because of the resources, like oil, it has control over and the over the  top donations that the Saudi kings make ,the West has turned a blind eye towards them saying “How the Saudi kingdom buys up world leaders is apparent from the Malaysian attorney-general’s recent disclosure that $681-million (U.S.) deposited in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank account was a “personal donation” from the Saudi royals and that $620-million of it was returned. Saudi Arabia has also given between $10-million and $25-million to the Clinton Foundation.”
  • However of late, world leaders have started  acknowledging the connection of Jihad and Saudi Arabia. Here are a few noteworthy observations.

German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel  said : “We must make it clear to the Saudis that the time of looking the other way is over.”

“As U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden said in a 2014 speech at Harvard University, Saudi and other “allies’ policies wound up helping to arm and build allies of al-Qaeda and eventually the terrorist [Islamic State].”

“The late Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew correctly said in 2003 that winning the war on terror hinges more on controlling the “queen bees” – the “preachers” of the “deviant form of Islam” – than on simply killing the “worker bees” (terrorists).”

Brahma Chellaney is a geostrategist and author, most recently of Water, Peace, and War.

Link :Theglobeandmail.com

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Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women drivers; 7 more bans yet to be addressed for Saudi women

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saudi women
A woman drives a car in Saudi Arabia, Oct. 22, 2013. VOA

Oct 2, 2017: The Sharia-ruled monarchy of the Middle-East, Saudi Arabia decided to lift the ban on women drivers on September 26, much to the elation of Women’s Rights Activists throughout the world. King Salman issued a royal decree on Tuesday granting Saudi women the right to drive thereby ending the kingdom’s notorious reputation of being the only country that prohibits women from driving. The law will come into effect on June 24, 2018.

While the pronouncement signifies a “positive step” towards women-empowerment, the conclusion of whether such laws can be turned into practice in a patriarchal society like Saudi Arabia can be drawn only with the unfolding of time.

Apart from relaxing the ban on women drivers, the Gulf Kingdom also terminated a series of interdicts forced upon the women. A handful of loosened bans included that women will no longer require approval from their guardian to work.

Another significant statute blessed upon women the freedom to enter the sports stadiums albeit exclusively for the Saudi National Day besides the compulsory edict of being seated only in a family section far away from single men.

The Government has also passed laws allowing girls in public schools to play sports and have access to physical education.

saudi women
UN Women political cartoon. Wikimedia

While everyone is busy celebrating women drivers in Saudi Arabia, there is still a myriad of bans inflicted on women. These are:

1. Following the divorce, Saudi women are permitted to keep their children with them only till they reach the age limit of 7years (for girls) and 9years (for boys).

2. Saudi women cannot marry and divorce without the due consent of their male guardian. The male head dominates everything in a Saudi family.

3. The women of Saudi Arabia do not have the permission to get a passport without the prior assent of their male guardian.

Also Read: A step forward: Saudi Women take up active roles in an All female Emergency Call Centre 

4. The approval of the male guardian is also required during any medical emergency. Women cannot take a voluntary decision regarding issues that concern the question of their life and death!

5. Women do not possess the right to socialize with men except for immediate family members. Consequently, all the restaurants and places of public entertainment in Saudi Arabia maintain two sections, one for the men where women cannot enter and the other for families.

6. Under Sharia laws, daughters can inherit property but only half of what is received by their male counterparts.

7. Saudi women cannot even start a work unless two male members testify about her character in a law court before she can be granted a loan or a license.

Prepared by Mohima Haque of Newsgram. Twitter @mohimahaque26

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