Results for Tag: Mohammed bin Salman
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.
There appears to be decreasing appetite for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict among Gulf leaders, due to the conflict’s stalemate, the deadlock in Palestinian politics and the inefficacy of Mahmoud Abbas’ leadership,” she noted. “But the Palestinian issue does continue to be an emotive one for the Arab world. Normalizing without a resolution carries domestic political risks for the monarchies.
The arrest came after al-Hawali published a book critical of the Saudi royal family. Titled Muslims and Western Civilization, the book largely denounces the West. However, it contains a chapter implying that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (also referred to as MBS) is on course for a disaster. It also criticizes the ruling family for ‘wasting funds on fake projects’, calls MBS’ cosy relationship with Israel a ‘betrayal’ and condemns his rapprochement with the United States, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
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.
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.