Results for Tag: Mohammed bin Salman
Its decision to name a collection of journalists is a marker not just of the impact those individuals have made, but a nod to the wider global crisis of confidence in journalism and “the truth”. The nominees are there partly for what they have done, but also for what they have come to represent. From the local to the global, these examples expose the way one of the most fundamental pillars of a free, liberal society – journalism itself – is under assault.
With both the public and private sector heavily relying on money from this particular neighbour, it is no surprise that the ruling Khalifa family cannot afford to think about seeking rapprochement with the Shia majority. However, Bahrain has effectively become Saudi Arabia’s backyard, kept afloat by the Saudi government, Saudi investors and Saudi tourists.
Mohammed bin Salman (also known as MBS) saw the elderly sheikh as more of a threat than an asset to his rule. On 9 September 2017, MBS ordered the arrest of al-Ouda for posting a tweet that read: ‘May God harmonize between their hearts for the good of their people’ – an apparent call for reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. A year after his arrest, al-Ouda has been charged with 37 crimes, including spreading discord and incitement against the ruler.
Observers nonetheless hope that MBS will succeed in curtailing the influence of Wahhabi clerics. Then again, his foreign policy does not appear to offer an effective means to combat terrorism. Saudi Arabia’s devastating bombing campaign in Yemen is a case in point. With the country now completely fragmented, extremists have thrived.
Fuelling Saudi Arabia’s anger, Turkey sent additional troops to Qatar in December 2017, and the two countries signed an agreement in March 2018 to establish a naval base and training centre and to send 60,000 more soldiers. In response, Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) described Turkey as part of a “triangle of evil” along with Iran and hardline Islamist groups.
Some see in the arrests and smear campaign against the activists an attempt to erase the history of hard-fought grassroots struggle by women demanding reforms. Others have suggested that the arrests were a tactic by the crown prince to appease more conservative elements in Saudi society who may be upset by the erosion of religious authority, including the reining in of the religious police.