The “reformist” face of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) that appears to the West is a camouflage to a more sinister face of repression, dictatorship and state terrorism. The real face of the Saudi regime was laid bare this week when regime’s troops stormed the Eastern city of Qatif, raided many houses and detained scores of innocent people.
Two headlines this month beg the question US officials have been grappling with for more than a decade: Will the real Pakistan stand up, please? Pakistan’s The News reported that the government had designated Islamabad as a pilot project to regulate Friday prayer sermons in the city’s 1,003 mosques, of which only 86 are state-controlled, in a bid to curb hate speech, extremism and demonization of religions and communities.
One of the most important US Senate votes in decades took place recently, and few people know it happened. On March 20, Senators voted on whether to stop US support for Saudi Arabia’s vicious war in Yemen by invoking the War Powers Act.
The following interview with Professor Abdulaziz Sachedina was conducted in 2016 and presented here after his editorial interventions for purposes of accuracy. We hope that scholars of all age cohorts will benefit from this interview on Professor Sachedina’s life and scholarship. Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu (AT): Thank you, Professor Sachedina for agreeing to speak to Maydan.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s arrival in the United States has coincided with a very carefully managed public relations blitz intended to portray him as a visionary leader shepherding Saudi Arabia into a new era of social liberalization and economic change. His fawning 60 Minutes infomercial this past Sunday was perhaps the best example of this phenomenon.
Seventy years after its birth, Pakistan is struggling to get a grip on Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism and its militant offshoots that were aided and abetted by successive governments as well as Saudi Arabia and at times the United States. The stakes for Pakistan are high as it confronts mounting international pressure that includes China, its closest ally, to crackdown on militancy.
February proved itself to be a much less violent month than January, with sources reporting 343 incidents of Anti-Shiism, half of last month’s 673. However, the crackdowns on freedom of expression and incessant discrimination against the Shia population led to 52 deaths, 226 injuries, 71 arrests and harsh sentencing, and seven related anti-Shia actions, including but not limited to, sectarian slander, police brutality, and vandalism.
This past year in Bahrain, much like those preceding it since the popular uprisings of 2011, was one of unending repression and persecution of human rights activists. Yet, the Trump administration and the British government, arguably two of the most influential actors in Bahrain, have remained silent in the face of al-Khalifa atrocities against human rights activists, especially within the Shia majority.
See also: NY Times
MUMBAI: Migration is a painful experience. Apart from uprooting migrants from familiar habitats, it often lands them in strange, hostile territories. The brave surmount the odds and script inspiring stories while the faint-hearted fall by the side and are buried by the sands of time.
The second, larger problem with discursively equating the Zaydi faith with Twelver Shi’ism is that it paints a picture of “natural” or “primordial” ties between the Houthis and Iran. President Hadi has emulated his predecessor Salih in asserting these ties, as have his Saudi and Emirati allies, who have regarded Iran as an implacable foe since the 1979 revolution that toppled the Shah and installed the Islamic Republic.