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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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$20M Saudi Cup Attracts 143 Potential Entrants

With the inaugural running of the Saudi Cup scheduled to take place on February 29 2020

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Saudi Arabia is going to organize the world's richest horse-race event. (Representational Image). Pixabay

In August 2019 it was announced that a new race at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh had been created. But what made this particular race stand out amount its competitors was the staggering prize fund on offer. 

With the inaugural running of the Saudi Cup scheduled to take place on February 29 2020, $20 million is up for grabs. This will make it the richest race in the world, overshadowing the Pegasus World Cup Invitational which had a purse of $16m in 2018 and the Dubai World Cup which is worth $12m. 

Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia chairman Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal declared that the Saudi Cup is being designed to be long-lasting as well as lucrative. The prestigious race will also be limited to 14 invited runners. 

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This is a major coup for the Saudi’s who have been steadily trying to attract big sporting events to their country including boxer Anthony Joshua’s most recent heavy weight win against Andy Ruiz Jr. Wikimedia Commons

For those that do get the golden ticket to run in the Saudi Cup, the benefits keep coming. Not only is race entry free but the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia will pay for all shipping of horses as well as travel and accommodation for connections.  

This is a major coup for the Saudi’s who have been steadily trying to attract big sporting events to their country including boxer Anthony Joshua’s most recent heavy weight win against Andy Ruiz Jr. 

Given the money being pumped into the newly created Saudi Cup it will definitely attract a huge world wide audience. Maybe not as many as the 600 million viewers who tune in to watch the Grand National at Aintree every year but over time this new race will find its fans. And with $10 million going to the winner of the race, only the best thoroughbreds in the world will be running. 

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The prestigious race Saudi Cup will be limited to 14 invited runners. (Representational Image). Pixabay

So with the first ever Saudi Cup taking place in a matter of weeks, the race to get one of the 14 spots has already begun. A total of 143 horses have been put forward representing four continents, 16 countries and more than 60 trainers around the globe including huge industry names such as Saeed bin Suroor, Aidan O’Brien, Willie Mullins and Satish Seemar. The entrants include 32 Group or Grade 1 winners with plenty of American representation from the likes of Maximum Security, Midnight Bisou and McKinzie. 

Held four weeks after the Pegasus World Cup Invitational in Florida , it is also expected that the top three finishers in that race will also be issued invites even if they are not among the initial entrants. From there, entries will be whittled down to final fields, based on ratings allocated by former BHA senior handicapper, Phil Smith who spent most of his career being famous for handicapping the Grand National in England. 

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So who will race away with the $10M on February 29 2020? That is still unknown but as the entries get reduced over the next few weeks the picture will become a lot clearer. Will the Saudi Cup bring in the worldwide horse racing audience that it so desperately craves? Quite possibly, if only to witness history in the making as one horse wins the biggest race in the world.