Category Archives: Saudi Arabia

And, They Call Themselves Muslims…


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Kuwaiti Official, Fahad Al Shalami
Kuwaiti Official, Fahad Al Shalami

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Yes. They call themselves Muslims, adherents of Islam wherein religious concepts and practices that include the Five Pillars of Islam, the five basic concepts and acts of worship – the foundation of Muslim life – are obligatory!

The Five Pillars of Islam are:

Shahada: Faith
Salat: Prayer
Zakāt: Alms-giving
Sawm: Fasting
Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca

The third Pillar “Zakāt” or alms-giving is the practice of charitable giving based on accumulated wealth.

The word zakāt can be defined as purification and growth because it allows an individual to achieve balance and encourages new growth. The principle of knowing that all things belong to God is essential to purification and growth.

Zakāt is obligatory for all Muslims who are able to do so. It is the personal responsibility of each Muslim to ease the economic hardship of others and to strive towards eliminating inequality.

Zakāt consists of spending a portion of one’s wealth for the benefit of the poor or needy, like debtors or travelers.

A Muslim may also donate more as an act of voluntary charity (sadaqah), rather than to achieve additional divine reward.

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Building golden mosques but zero in humanity

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Men Deemed ‘Too Handsome’ and ‘Irresistible to Women’ Deported from Saudi Arabia


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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First held in 1985, the Jenadriyah Heritage and Cultural Festival, organized each year by the National Guard is the most famous cultural event in Saudi Arabia. For a fortnight, the festival highlights the Kingdom’s commitment to keeping the traditional culture and crafts of Saudi Arabia alive and offers to over a million Saudis a glimpse into their past.

Camel Races in Saudi Arabia
Camel race – Al Jenadriyah Heritage and Cultural Festival in Saudi Arabia.

The festival opens with a traditional camel race. The festival includes almost every aspect of Saudi culture. Folklore troupes perform the Ardhah and other national dances, while singers from around the Kingdom perform traditional songs and music.

King Abdullah takes part in Ardah dance
On March 23, 2010, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday took part in the traditional Ardah dance, one of the main events of the National Heritage and Culture Festival in Jenadriyah

Poetry competitions are held among contemporary poets reciting historic verses. In small shops with typical palm-frond-roofed porches, potters, woodworkers, weavers, and other artisans show their traditional crafts. There is a permanent heritage village in Jenadriyah where visitors can stroll through Arabia’s past.

Handsome Arab men

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During this year’s Jenadriyah Heritage and Cultural Festival, three men from the United Arab Emirates were ejected as they were deemed “too handsome,” and women could become attracted to them, it has been reported.

According to Arabic language newspaper Elaph, on Sunday, April 14, 2013, the UAE nationals were taking part in a heritage event in the capital Riyadh, and they were thrown out by the mutaween, the government’s religious police.

“A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the Commission members feared female visitors could fall for them,” the newspaper said and added that the festival’s management took urgent measures to deport the three to Abu Dhabi.

The UAE stand at the annual culture festival has issued a statement clarifying why a mutaween had stormed the stand before members of the Gulf Kingdom’s national guards forced him out. It said that an Emirati female artist at the stand attracted the mutaween. Saudi Arabia, a strictly conservative Sunni Muslim society, prohibits women from interacting with unrelated men. The statement by the UAE stand did not name the artist. “Her visit to the UAE stand was a coincidence as it was not included in the programme which we had already provided to the festival’s management,” Saeed Al Kaabi, head of the UAE delegation to the festival, said in a statement.

Aryam, Pop singer from UAE
Aryam, Pop singer from UAE.

Now, it has come to light that UAE female singer Aryam was at the heart of an incident involving storming of the country’s stand at the Saudi cultural festival by a member of the Gulf Kingdom’s feared religious police

The 33-year-old Dubai-based Aryam’ whose real name is Reem Shaaban Hassan is of Egyptian origin. Aryam said the Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism Authority had invited her to visit the national pavilion where the incident took place. She confirmed she went to the UAE pavilion. “I went to the UAE stand as a delegate and congratulated them on their folklore…I stayed there for 20 seconds and had no intention to sing,” she said as quoted by Arabic language newspapers in the region. “I strongly respect the traditions of Saudi Arabia and all Gulf states, and I consider myself a Saudi woman.”

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Saudi Arabia Beheads a Yemeni and Crucifies His Body


Myself . 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia with sword
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia with sword

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In Saudi Arabia, authorities beheaded a Yemeni man convicted of murdering a Pakistani national. The execution took place on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, in the southern city of Jazan, the Arab News reported.

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Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry spokesman listens to a question during a news conference in Riyadh Stringer
Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry spokesman listens to a question during a news conference in Riyadh Stringer

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On Wednesday, the state news agency SPA carried a statement of the Saudi Interior Ministry that said: “The Yemeni citizen Mohammed Rashad Khairi Hussein killed a Pakistani, Pashteh Sayed Khan after he committed sodomy with him.” 

The Yemeni was also charged and convicted of carrying out several robberies.

The execution took place in the southern city of Jizan followed by crucifixion of the dead body and the corpse put on public display for three days.

Under Saudi Arabia’s ultra-conservative Sunni Islam, murder, rape, apostasy, drug trafficking and armed robbery are all punishable by death. The grisly ritual of crucifixion is reserved for more serious crimes, including sexual offences.

Beheading with a sword remains the most common method of execution in Saudi Arabia. However, due to a growing shortage of swordsmen throughout the kingdom, the authorities were considering abandoning this traditional method of execution in favour of firing squads.

Sevag Kechichian at Amnesty International said:

“The execution is shocking, no matter how heinous his alleged crime. His beheading and posthumous ‘crucifixion’ were acts of sheer brutality. This comes at a time when the Saudi authorities are saying to the world that they are currently holding responsible discussions about capital punishment and the supposed mercifulness of various methods of execution.”

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Saudi Preacher Who Raped and Tortured Daughter to Death Spared After Paying “Blood Money”


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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According to Islāmic laws a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives.

A Saudi money exchanger counts Saudi riyals in Riyadh
Blood Money

Fayhan al-Ghamdii, raped his five-year-old daughter Lamia al-Ghamdi for a prolonged period and tortured her. The little girl admitted to a hospital on December 25, 2011 with multiple injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs and extensive bruises and burns eventually died after ten months on October 22, 2012.

The authorities imprisoned Fayhan al-Ghamdii, a Saudi Islāmic preacher and a regular guest on Muslim television networks. He confessed to this monstrosity of having used cables and a cane to inflict the injuries, the activists from the group “Women to Drive,” said in a statement.

However, he was in prison just for a few months. In a cruel twist of Islāmic justice, the judge ruled the prosecution could only seek “blood money (compensation for the next of kin under Islāmic law),” and the time the defendant had served in prison since the little girl’s death suffices as punishment. According to Islāmic laws a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives.

The authorities released Fayan after he paid about $48,000 as “blood money.”

A few years ago, some clerics in a mosque took this monster Fayhan al-Ghamdii, a drug addict, under their wing. They even helped pay for his marriage with Sayeda Hamadari. After a while, unable to cope with his cruelty and violence his wife asked for divorce. Sayeda agreed to allow her estranged husband to see their daughter could periodically.

During one of the daughter’s visits, Fayan requested the mother to allow him to keep their daughter for a fortnight because he wanted her to become used to his ‘presence in her life.’. The mother consented. During those two weeks, Fayan subjected the five-year-old girl to all types of cruelty and torture including beating and blows to her head that resulted in multiple fractures, mutilation, and even cauterized her. The little girl’s mother said that hospital staff told her that the “child’s rectum had been torn open, and the abuser had attempted to burn (cauterize) it closed.”

When asked why he had tortured his daughter to death, the sick minded father said he suspected the conduct of his daughter and doubted her virginity.

Sayeda Hamadari, the girl’s mother, now divorced from the cleric wanted her former husband’s death. “I want him killed. I want the full Islāmic punishment. This is God’s law,” she said.

Members of the Saudi Arabia’s Royal Family are now believed to have blocked Fayhan al-Ghamdii’s release after the case attracted international attention, and have promised to uphold a stronger sentence.

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Is King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia ‘Clinically Dead’?


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia is clinically dead, reports the daily Al-Sharq il-Awsat. However, medical sources told the newspaper the monarch’s condition was “expected to change soon.”

Today, Saudi state television showed images of King Abdullah meeting with senior government officials after he underwent a complicated back surgery on 17th November at the National Guard’s King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh. A day after the operation the Royal court said, the surgery was “successful”.

The televised images showed the king with Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz the defense minister of Saudi Arabia and heir to the throne, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal and other senior princes and officials.

King Abdul-Aziz bin Saud founded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. After his death in 1953 the crown passed down through a line of sons. Since 2005, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has been upon the throne. The king was born in Riyadh in 1924, the 13th son of Abdul Aziz.

Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab state in Western Asia and the second-largest in the Arab world, after Algeria.

Home to the two sacred places in Islam – Al-Masjidal-Haram in Mecca, and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, the kingdom is sometimes also known as “The Land of the Two Holy Mosques“. The Saudi Arabian government has been Islamic and an absolute monarchy since its inception.

Saudi Arabia has the world’s second greatest and more than a fifth of world petroleum reserves, which account for 95% of exports and 70% of government revenue. It also has the world’s sixth largest natural-gas reserves.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the biggest U.S. ally in the Gulf region.

Yesterday the Saudi stock market index dropped to a 10-month low closing 1.3 points lower.

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