Many media reports speculate that MBC’s decision was made to punish Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for rushing to the aid of Qatar after it was subjected to a Saudi-led blockade. Turkey has also supported and harboured members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia considers a terrorist organization.
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Central to the Saudi deradicalization approach is a process known as munassaha, which roughly translates as ‘counselling’. The process starts in prison and involves clerics engaging with convicts to persuade them that their notions of jihad are based on a misinterpretation of the Koran. However, the Saudi authorities say the success rate of their approach has been as high as 90 per cent
Samah Hadid, the deputy director of Amnesty International, said that most human rights activists in the country were either in prison or on trial, their whereabouts still undisclosed. The others, she added, risk arrest at any time. MBS is clearly remaking Saudi Arabia in his image, while proving to be just as authoritarian as the rulers before him.
Saudi activists deny outright accusations that they are part of a wider Iranian conspiracy. Their only ambition, most say, is to be treated as equal citizens. Rights groups argue that doing so would be in the Saudi government’s best interests. The only way to end unrest in the eastern province, according to Google, is to give full rights to Shiites.
The prince is known for his business empire, philanthropy and for being the wealthiest man in the Middle East on Forbes’ billionaires list. Unlike other Saudi princes, bin Talal is self-made, meaning that he used his inherited wealth and royal privilege to build his business empire and invest around the globe
Khalid Alkhudair has pushed for additional legislation that will make it easier for women to enter the workforce, such as mandatory maternity leave and onsite nurseries for firms that employ 50 women or more. However, barriers to women’s employment remain, including the continuing ban on women driving.
However, investing in the infrastructure alone will not free Saudi society from the shackles of a medieval mindset that governs all aspects of life: the relationship between the ruler and those ruled, between men and women and between native and migrant labour. Scientific thinking needs a socially and intellectually fertile environment to flourish. That environment has yet to emerge in Saudi Arabia.
Whatever the case, such dramatic changes come at a price. The crown prince is consolidating power to a degree Saudi Arabia has not seen in generations. MBS has dismantled that system, alienating almost everyone and fundamentally altering the governance dynamics of the kingdom. By consolidating power, MBS seems to be offering a larger degree of social freedom, but there can surely be little room for dissent during this mega-transformation.
Foreign investment was trending up again in the second quarter of 2017, but it remains to be seen how investors will react to political developments. The political turmoil, which has seen the arrests of dozens of princes, ministers and businessmen in what has been presented as an anti-corruption sweep led by the crown prince, prompted an increase in oil prices but also may have unsettled potential investors