CarnegieMEC Badr Alseif reflects on how history and current development strategy defined Saudi Arabia’s handling of the crisis.
He states the different approaches taken by Saudi and Iran protecting religious sites.
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Council of the Judiciary has announced that judicial flogging will be replaced as a punishment by fines or imprisonment. This is part of Saudi Arabia’s human rights reforms. While flogging is one of the punishments recognized by Islamic Law, Sharia, in most cases its imposition is in the judge’s discretion.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this year Ramadan in the Saudi Arabia and the entire Muslim world will not be the same.
On 10 April, the government in Saudi Arabia announced it what it considers the last in a series of restrictions which it has imposed on the nation to combat COVID-19, even before the first case was reported in the country. The holy cities of Makkah and Madinah will shut down completely. In addition, no prayers will take place in the holy mosques of Makkah or Madinah, or any other mosques in the country. People may only move within their district, from 8 AM to 3 PM, and only to shop for food or medicines.
Features & Reports
In the siege of Makkah in 1979, many of Juhayman’s followers were theology students at the Islamic University of Medinah. There, Juhayman had joined a fundamentalist Salafi group that was headed by the renowned Sheikh bin Baz. The group’s followers preached for a return to Islam in its original form in mosques in Saudi Arabia fearing no arrests; the government was reluctant to confront religious extremists underestimating the danger of this group. When Juhayman, al-Qahtani and other group members were locked up as troublemakers in 1978 for the first time, the religious authorities investigated them for heresy, but decided that they were traditionalists and should be released and no serious allegations to keep them jailed.
On 20 November 1979, about 300 heavily armed men assaulted the Grand Mosque of Makkah, the Masjid Al Haram. Within minutes, they had transformed the holiest place in Islam into a fortress and taken thousands of worshippers hostage. The siege shocked Saudi Arabia to its core throwing it into decades of extremism. It is less known and understood than it should be because it had a deep influence on the thinking of religious extremists for years to come.
About Saudi Times
This blog gives insights on challenges Saudi society faces, reflecting the people’s mindset. It attempts to close gaps of understanding.
This month, Saudi Arabia nominated the movie The Perfect Candidate as best foreign language film for the Oscars. This is not the first nomination for the director and script-writer Haifaa Al Mansour, whose movie Wajda was nominated in 2012. In January 2019, Al Mansour received a Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum for her leadership in cultural transformation in the Arab World. So who is Haifaa Al Mansour?
Saudi Arabia celebrated its 89th National Day on 23rd September 2019. In 1902, King Abdulaziz came with an army of only 60 men from his exile in Kuwait, and over the next 18 months unified the six regions of the area which is known today as Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Until then, the regions were governed by different rulers, mostly with a tribal background.
Celebrations are taking place all over the country. Buildings, streets, and even people are decorated in white and green, the colors of the national flag. Schools, government offices and private sector businesses have been given a four-days break, as has become customary in the last few decades. Different from previous years, this year’s announcement came ahead of time to give people the opportunity to arrange for a short break away from home.