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Old world oil order collapses as Opec struggles for relevance. Saudi Arabia 'destabilising Arab world', German intelligence warns. • Revealed: Saudi Arabia's manifesto for change in the face of rumours of coup plots “Relations with friendly and above all allied countries in the region could be overstretched.”

Saudi Arabia 'destabilising Arab world', German intelligence warns

Prince Mohammed is believed to have played a key role in Saudi Arabia’s decision to intervene in the civil war in Yemen earlier this year. Prince Mohammed bin Salman Photo: Getty Images Both he and King Salman want Saudi Arabia to be seen as “the leader of the Arab world” and are trying to extend its foreign policy “with a strong military component and new regional alliances,” the BND analysts write. Prince Mohammed is believed to want to succeed his father as king, but he is currently second in line to the throne, behind the 56-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, King Salman’s nephew. Saudi Arabia's 'outdated' brutality 'sparked by fear of online dissent,' claims blogger's wife - Middle East - World - The Independent.

Mr Badawi, 30, a father of three, was convicted of cybercrime and insulting Islam after co-founding the now banned website Free Saudi Liberals.

Saudi Arabia's 'outdated' brutality 'sparked by fear of online dissent,' claims blogger's wife - Middle East - World - The Independent

He was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 1,000 lashes, 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of one million riyals (£175,000). On Friday he received the first 50 lashes in what will be a weekly ritual for the next 20 weeks. Mr Badawi's wife, Ensaf Haider, currently in Canada, told The Independent on Sunday yesterday: "I never imagined Saudi Arabia would reach this level of cruelty. The kingdom and its rules forced these people to go to the internet and voice their dissent and their objections and then they were prosecuted.

" Saudi Arabia flogging: Activist Raif Badawi whipped 50 times before Muslim worshippers despite worldwide outrage. Raif Badawi has been sentenced to 1000 lashes for promoting public debate on his website.

Saudi Arabia flogging: Activist Raif Badawi whipped 50 times before Muslim worshippers despite worldwide outrage

(Twitter) Saudi Arabian activist Raif Badawi has been lashed 50 times after being accused of "ridiculing Islamic religious figures". The corporal punishment was carried out after Friday prayers outside the Al-Juffali mosque in Jeddah. It is the site where executions are carried out, earning it the grisly nickname "Chop Chop Square". Amnesty International, which has been campaigning for Badawi, also confirmed he was flogged. Speaking to IBTimes UK, an Amnesty spokesperson said: "We believe he will be taken back to prison. Badawi, who co-founded the Saudi Arabian Liberals website, was arrested in 2012 for promoting public debate on his site, which has been closed since. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes in May last year because of accusations that he had insulted Islam. The Jeddah Criminal Court also ordered him to pay one million Saudi riyals (£157,220). Saudi Arabia to Foreign Tourists: We Are Just Not That Into You.

Saudi cleric issues rare warning in call for reform. Mecca for the rich: Islam's holiest site 'turning into Vegas' - Middle East - World. Click HERE to download graphic: Mecca For The Rich (430.39kB) Over the past 10 years the holiest site in Islam has undergone a huge transformation, one that has divided opinion among Muslims all over the world.

Mecca for the rich: Islam's holiest site 'turning into Vegas' - Middle East - World

Once a dusty desert town struggling to cope with the ever-increasing number of pilgrims arriving for the annual Hajj, the city now soars above its surroundings with a glittering array of skyscrapers, shopping malls and luxury hotels. To the al-Saud monarchy, Mecca is their vision of the future – a steel and concrete metropolis built on the proceeds of enormous oil wealth that showcases their national pride. Yet growing numbers of citizens, particularly those living in the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina, have looked on aghast as the nation's archaeological heritage is trampled under a construction mania backed by hardline clerics who preach against the preservation of their own heritage.

There is little argument that Mecca and Medina desperately need infrastructure development. Professor Madawi Al Rasheed. Imagined Heroism of the Saudi 'Nail Polish Girl' Saudi religious police asking a woman to leave a shopping mall while she is filming.

Imagined Heroism of the Saudi 'Nail Polish Girl'

(photo by Internet) Author: Madawi Al-Rasheed Posted May 30, 2012 YouTube has become a vibrant alternative to traditional visual media like TV and has broken the monopoly the monotonous and boring Saudi official sources had over media in the country. Young Saudis have become freelance journalists producing their own video clips. A couple of years ago, it became common for Saudis to post video clips of young men and women being dragged away and detained by members of the state-appointed religious police, the Committee for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue, known as the Haya, which means "committee. " Saudi social norms see an on-again, off-again evolution. Come again?

Saudi social norms see an on-again, off-again evolution

You must be kidding. Are you saying the vice police in Saudi Arabia have been barred from badgering people? Last March, young Saudi men were allowed to enter malls unaccompanied by wives or family. Arab Media & Society. Along with a reported one in seven viewers across the Arab World, Saudis were glued to their television sets during 2008 watching a Turkish soap opera called Noor.[1] The show was dubbed into Levantine Arabic and broadcast three times daily during Ramadan by MBC, a pan-Arab satellite network owned by Walid al-Ibrahim, a brother-in-law of the late Saudi king Fahd bin Abdelaziz Al Saud.

Arab Media & Society

Starring an economically independent, unveiled female lead and her tender Casanova of a husband, Noor was so popular that it spurred a large number of Gulf Arab tourists to visit Turkey, including the Saudi first lady Princess Hissa Al-Shaalan, and its blonde and blue-eyed star Kivanc Tatlitu became a heart-throb for Saudi and other women. The drama had a particular grip on the public because, unusually, it was dubbed into colloquial rather than classical Arabic, and its Turkish milieu had a familiarity for Arab audiences that other foreign soaps lack. A shock to the system When George W. Arab Media & Society.

Mother arrested for having coffee in Starbucks. 200 lashes for Saudi gang rape victim. Saudi woman killed for chatting on Facebook. Ten years after 9/11, Saudi Arabia slowly modernizing. RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Abdulaziz Al Rabah remembers it was a Tuesday.

Ten years after 9/11, Saudi Arabia slowly modernizing

The call to evening prayer was echoing across his hometown of Hafr-al-Batin, and bearded religious police had shooed him and his friends off the neighborhood soccer pitch. “Have you seen what happened to America?” A wide-eyed friend asked the 13-year-old. Racing home, Al Rabah joined his mother to watch the satellite television newscasts of America’s agony unfolding on September 11, 2001. “I remember she was sad to see two guys jumping to the ground,” he recalled. His family felt sympathy for the United States, Al Rabah said, and a few days later, shame, when they learned that 15 of the 19 suicide hijackers were Saudi. “The most important thing is that the country started to open up.