Thursday, March 31, 2016

Saudi Arabia Uncovered

    Thursday, March 31, 2016   No comments
With undercover footage and on-the-ground reporting, FRONTLINE reveals a side of Saudi Arabia that’s rarely seen, and traces the efforts of men and women who are working to bring about change.

Watch on Frontline

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jordan's king accuses Turkey of sending terrorists to Europe; Turkey is deliberately 'unleashing' Isis terrorists into Europe, says Jordan's King Abdullah

    Sunday, March 27, 2016   No comments
Turkey is exporting Isis-linked terrorists to Europe, according to King Abdullah of Jordan.

The monarch's remarks came in a meeting with members of the US Congress, in which he said that Islamist militants were being "manufactured in Turkey" and "unleashed" into Europe.

He also used the debriefing, held after a cancelled rendezvous with US President Barack Obama, to remind the US politicians of Turkey's alleged complicity in buying Isis oil....

King Abdullah of Jordan accused Turkey of exporting terrorists to Europe at a top level meeting with senior US politicians in January.

The king said Europe’s biggest refugee crisis was not an accident, and neither was the presence of terrorists among them: “The fact that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy and Turkey keeps on getting a slap on the hand, but they are let off the hook.”

Friday, March 18, 2016

UN: Most civilian casualties in Yemen were caused by Saudi Arabia's attacks

    Friday, March 18, 2016   No comments
The UN human rights chief has accused the Saudi-led coalition of causing twice as many civilian casualties as all the other forces fighting in Yemen.
Zeid Raad Al Hussein condemned "the repeated failure" of the coalition to prevent deadly incidents.

He said air strikes had caused almost all the coalition's civilian casualties.

More than 6,000 people, about half of them civilians, have been killed since Saudi Arabia launched a multi-national campaign against rebels in March 2015.

Saudi Arabia has denied causing large-scale civilian deaths, saying it is making every effort to avoid hitting civilian targets.

Friday, March 11, 2016

#IslamicSocietiesReview: Obama: "Saudis heavily funded Wahhabist madrassas, seminaries that teach the fundamentalist version of Islam favored by the Saudi ruling family"

    Friday, March 11, 2016   No comments
...
In private encounters with other world leaders, Obama has argued that there will be no comprehensive solution to Islamist terrorism until Islam reconciles itself to modernity and undergoes some of the reforms that have changed Christianity.

Though he has argued, controversially, that the Middle East’s conflicts “date back millennia,” he also believes that the intensified Muslim fury of recent years was encouraged by countries considered friends of the U.S. In a meeting during apec with Malcolm Turnbull, the new prime minister of Australia, Obama described how he has watched Indonesia gradually move from a relaxed, syncretistic Islam to a more fundamentalist, unforgiving interpretation; large numbers of Indonesian women, he observed, have now adopted the hijab, the Muslim head covering.

Why, Turnbull asked, was this happening?

Because, Obama answered, the Saudis and other Gulf Arabs have funneled money, and large numbers of imams and teachers, into the country. In the 1990s, the Saudis heavily funded Wahhabist madrassas, seminaries that teach the fundamentalist version of Islam favored by the Saudi ruling family, Obama told Turnbull. Today, Islam in Indonesia is much more Arab in orientation than it was when he lived there, he said.

“Aren’t the Saudis your friends?,” Turnbull asked.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Early Medieval Muslim Graves in France: First Archaeological, Anthropological and Palaeogenomic Evidence

    Monday, March 07, 2016   No comments
On the outskirts of the ancient Roman city of Nimes in southern France, archaeologists have discovered the graves of three Muslim men that date back to the 8th century.

The finding, reported Wednesday in PLOS One, suggests the early medieval presence of Muslims north of the Pyrenees was more complicated, and perhaps more welcome, than previously thought.

The medieval history of Muslims in Spain and Portugal is well established, but information about the experience of Muslims in France during the same time period has been more difficult to find.

According to historical documents, around the year 719, Muslim troops from the Umayyad army crossed the eastern Pyrenees and occupied the region around Narbonne 530 miles south of modern-day Paris. But the occupation was short-lived. By 760, the Franks, who came from the north, took over the region known as Septimania.
Very little known is about these early invaders. Historians cannot say for sure whether they lived in garrisons or created more long-term establishments, or what cities they could be found in. They don't even know if the occupiers were Arabs, Berbers or converts.

And that's why the three Muslim graves that date back to this time period are so valuable.

"They could start to answer these questions," said Yves Gleize, who studies archaeo-anthropology at the University of Bordeaux and was the lead author on the study.


Abstract

The rapid Arab-Islamic conquest during the early Middle Ages led to major political and cultural changes in the Mediterranean world. Although the early medieval Muslim presence in the Iberian

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Majoritarianism-driven democracy and the rise of authoritarianism in Turkey

    Sunday, March 06, 2016   No comments
Turkey has become a rogue state - and even Erdogan must face up to the fact

Under the AKP government, in power since 2002, Turkey risks not only being regarded as a rogue state but its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also risks being branded as a rogue president. Erdogan -  who is already known to meddle with the rule of law, the size of families, young people’s sex lives, smoking, drinking alcohol, art and architecture - has this time excelled himself.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Responding to UNSC expression of "grave concern for the worsening situation in Yemen", Saudi Arabia says: no dire humanitarian crisis

    Friday, March 04, 2016   No comments
Saudi Arabia has been accused of committing war crimes in Yemen
Saudi Arabia's UN ambassador said Friday there was no need for a UN Security Council resolution to address the dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is waging a military campaign.

"We don't think that a resolution is needed at this time," Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi told a news conference.

His remarks came after the 15-member council expressed grave concern for the worsening situation in Yemen, where the coalition launched air strikes nearly a year ago...

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