By Latheef Farook
The multibillion dollar westernisati0n program of Saudi Arabia’s one man show House of Saud rule, in violation of Islam and Shariah and draconian deterrent punishments, have come under increasing criticism from people of walks of life. They do not represent Islam.
Added to this Saudi Arabia‘s 500 billion dollar megacity Neom, set to open next year, is planning to serve alcohol at beach resort. A premium wine bar, a cocktail bar and a “champagne and desserts” bar will be part of a Red Sea island called Sindalah.
According to a Wall Street Journal report Neom which organizers claim will be 33 times the size of New York City – is planned to include a 170 km straight line city, an eight-sided city that floats on water, and a ski resort with a folded vertical village, among other grandiose and architecturally challenging projects. There will also be a retail wine shop with a “striking vertical wall display”.
This project will feature women in bikinis and shirtless men in yachts and swimming pools. Sindalah “will ignite the Red Sea as a new destination for super yachts and attract some of the world’s most affluent and influential people”,
Saudi need lands for the project and many tribal people refused to leave their traditional areas. Saudi Arabia jailed tribesmen for 50 years for rejecting displacement to make way for the megacity while authorities reportedly cut water, electricity services and employ surveillance drones to drive Howeitat tribe out.
Abdulilah al-Howeiti and his relative, Abdullah Dukhail al-Howeiti, were both handed a 50-year prison term and 50-year travel ban for supporting their family’s refusal to be forcibly evicted from their homes in the Tabuk province of northwestern Saudi Arabia,
In the land of Islam preachers were arrested since summer of 2017, for openly speaking out against the growing government sponsored entertainment programs and other activities violating Islam. Among them was 48 year old Shaikh Saleh Al Taleb, Imam and preacher in “Al Masjid Al Haram” and a judge in the Supreme Court in Mecca, who, in a sermon, denounced concerts and events that he claimed violated the country’s religious and cultural standards.
“The sentencing of Saleh Al Talib and the sentencing of women activists Salma Alshehab to 34 years for calling for real social reforms and Nourah bint Saeed al-Qahtani, a mother of five – for 45 years is a stark irony that tells us that Mohamed Bin Salman’s oppression threatens every group,” said columnist Alaoudh. Osama Khaled, a writer, translator and computer programmer, was sentenced to 32 years over “allegations relating to the right of free speech”.
In yet another despicable development Saudi Arabia executed 81 people on March 12, 2022, in a single day, the largest mass execution, eliciting outrage from United Nations and non-governmental human rights organizations.In a statement condemning the execution U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that the executions may amount to war crime.” “I condemn Saudi Arabia’s mass execution,” she said.
The European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR) said that it found multiple cases in which defendants had been denied access to a lawyer, were tortured into signing confessions, and been unable to communicate with the outside world.
ESOHR director Ali Adubusi said the charges against many of the accused involved “not a drop of blood” and none of the cases involved charges that warranted execution under Saudi Arabia’s public criteria for the death penalty. The organization said it was unable to track the charges in all of the cases because of a lack of transparency in the Saudi justice system and government efforts to intimidate family members of the accused. “These executions violated Islam and are the opposite of justice,” Adubusi said.
Meanwhile Saudi authorities have arrested and handed several Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian dissidents to Cairo knowing very well they would be tortured and even killed.
Ayman Shohoum, 61, had been living in Saudi capital Riyadh since 2014 where he taught Arabic at a private school, when in May the authorities called him to report to the police station .Mahmoud, his son, said Saudi authorities had deported his father to Cairo on 20 September, where he is currently facing trial for his political opinions and a potential life sentence in jail.
My father was sent to a detention Centre in al-Mansoura on 20 September, after nearly four months in prison in Saudi Arabia,” Mahmoud Shohoum said, speaking to Middle East Eye over the phone from his home in Turkey.
Ayman Shohoum had fled Egypt in early 2014 after two attempts to arrest him by Egyptian security services. He had been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned in Egypt following a coup against Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsy in 2013. “The Egyptian regime knows no mercy,” Mahmoud said.
President Morsy was elected in the first ever free and fair general elections held for the first time in 61 years supervised by former US President Jimmy Carter. Israel and their god fathers in the West-US and Europe -were alarmed at an Islamic force coming to power in Egypt-the most important Arab country.
US-Europe and Israel got together and put forward Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait to spend eleven billion dollars to create artificial food and fuel shortage and trigger a popular uprising which overthrew President Mohamed Morsy.They installed, after killing hundreds of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members-both men and women- military man Abdel Fattah El Sisi who is protected and promoted by Israel, US-UK-France and Russia. Saudi Arabia also spent billions and participated in all US-European-Israeli wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen which bleeds to date.
Saudi regime has abandoned Palestinians, Jerusalem and even Masjid Al Aqsa and has close ties with Israel and remains an active collaborator with all their conspiracies and wars against the region helping Israel to strengthen its foothold in the Middle East.
Disclaimer: Saudi’s draconian deterrent punishments
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