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Month: May 2017

What do some middle-upper class Saudi’s think of Trump’s Anti-Muslim Rheotric?

Read original article by Anita Kumar on McClatchy DC Bureau or read a summary below;

  1. “Donald Trump described Muslims as sick people who have hatred on their minds and he proposed banning them from entering the United States. Yet surprisingly, many people in Saudi Arabia, a nation considered the birthplace of Islam where citizens are required to be Muslim, don’t hold his words against him.”
  2. “In more than a dozen interviews, residents suggested the billionaire businessman turned Republican president simply was using stinging rhetoric to appeal to supporters and defeat Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. He was, they say, the ultimate salesman.”
  3. “In Saudi Arabia, people aren’t allowed to speak against King Salman and his government, which controls the media, forbids demonstrations and doesn’t allow for political parties or trade unions. It is likely that Trump would have faced protests upon his arrival in Riyadh had they been allowed.”
  4. “Several people had agreed to interviews with McClatchy but canceled at the last minute because they said they were afraid of repercussions from the government. Those who went through with the interviews agreed to speak about American politics but not Saudi politics.”

Interviewees Quotes – (The interviewees appear to be middle-upper class citizens)

Adeel Alhathlol, 38, a Riyadh businessman who imports sound systems, said – “What Donald Trump said before he was president was just marketing. Because he’s a businessman, he knew how to make followers. His goal is not to be racist but just to wake up people.”

Waheed Mohammed A. Alghamdi, 37, who works for the city of Yanbu in the western part of the kingdom, who said he was fired from being a teacher because of his outspoken views “Donald Trump is so smart to use the audience to support his campaign,” who said . “He’s a businessman. It doesn’t mean he’s racist. They know it’s just propaganda. He’s a smart guy.”

Mohammed Alhamza, 42, a social researcher and writer – “The things he said about Muslims from when he ran for President has served him to wake up all the republicans to support him but when he won he won he didn’t do anything. It was marketing, smart marketing for himself.”

Eman al Hafjan, 36, a university professor in Riyadh – ““I don’t think people dislike him that much, I think they see him as strange, somewhat entertaining, because we have very little political participation. We are very passive, not by choice.”

Mohammed Jawad, 30, of Alahsa in the eastern part of the country, who manages international training contracts for a company owned by the government, said ““We are really glad that it seems different than what he said during his campaign,” he said. “But I have some questions about credibility and willingness to solve the issues.”

Ahmed Gh, 36, an English teacher from Alasha in the eastern part of the country, said he prefers Trump to his predecessor, Barack Obama. “Maybe he will do something,” Gh said. “He’s a businessman.”

Abdulnasser Gharem, 43, a well-known Saudi artist.“Obama was living in his utopia world or something, He was trying to postpone things. He wasn’t taking action but this guy is.” “I can’t deny it’s a good thing,” Gharem said. “He activated the whole country.”

Huda, Mohammed, 47, of Riyadh who retired from overseeing special needs curricula for the education department, said she is confused about why Trump chose to come to Saudi Arabia first after saying so many negative things. “He said crazy things when he was campaigning,”

Saudi economist Ihsan Buhulaiga said – “It really doesn’t matter what he said – what matters is what he’s going to deliver,” “I will look at results and deeds more than talk.” Buhulaiga acknowledged that during his campaign Trump said things that weren’t fair to Muslims but he praised his Riyadh speech to leaders of the world’s Muslim countries, saying he showed respect to Islam as a faith and recognized Muslims as important. “Next we need to see if he will walk the walk,” he said.

Aziza al Yousef, 60, a human rights activist who was detained by police after she drove a car, which women aren’t allowed to do – “It’s recorded what he said – that he said he would let the Gulf states pay for improving the economy in the States, They are worried . . . what are you going to offer us except taking money from us?”

Mohammed Alhamza, 42, a social researcher and writer in Riyadh, said Saudis always have had better relations with Republican presidents, including both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, than Democrats because they are more business-minded.  Alhamza said Trump’s campaign remarks “annoyed” him even though he knew the whole time it was just a gimmick and that as president Trump wouldn’t want to make himself the enemy of the world’s more than 1.6 billion Muslims. He also had faith that other branches of the U.S. government would rein Trump in. He cited, as an example, the Trump administration’s attempt at a travel ban on residents from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Several federal courts have blocked it, including the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which acted Thursday. “The American system isn’t run by one,” he said through a translator during an interview at his house. “This is a good thing.”

Mohammed Alhamza, 42, a social researcher and writer in Riyadh, said Trump’s anti-Islam remarks on the campaign trail ‘annoyed’ him. But he knew Trump was saying those things only to win votes. Mohammed AlKhawajah McClatchy

Parents Sue a School Over Anti-Bullying Muslim Policy

Read original article on the Times of San Diego or read a quick summary below;

  1. “Some parents are suing the San Diego Unified school district over its anti-bullying policy focused on Muslim students, the Associated Press is reporting.”
  2. “Six parents say the anti-Islamophobia campaign “favors Islam over other religions and grants special protections to Muslim students,” reported the AP.”
  3. “On the SDUSD’s website, the District explains  that they would like to “take action specifically to address the bullying of Muslim students.”
  4. “An attorney for the parents, Charles LiMandri, accused the campaign of being a “politically correct solution to a problem that does not exist,” continued the AP report.
  5. “Critics say it’s an “unwanted intrusion of Muslim beliefs and culture,” reported the AP.
  6. “School officials say Muslim students are not getting any special treatment, but staff would like to assure their students and families that the school is safe for all students.”
  7. “The initiative is focused on combating Islamophobia, promoting awareness of other cultures and helping children feel safe at school, according to SDUSD.


Pakistan Considers Joining Saudi “Fighting Terrorism” Alliance Despite Being Humiliated At Saudi Summit

Read original article by Kamran Yousaf on the Express Tribune or read a quick summary below;

  1. “Pakistan has decided to draw certain ‘redlines’ for becoming part of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance against Terrorism (IMAT) in an effort to avoid the negative fallout of its participation in the initiative that has potential to undermine ties with neighbouring Iran.”
  2. “It was thought that the government had already joined the alliance when in April it granted permission to former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif to lead the 41-nation counter-terrorism alliance. Officials, however, clarified that the final decision had not yet been taken.”
  3. “What compelled Pakistan to have a second thought was the recent Arab Islamic-US summit in Riyadh where statements from Saudi authorities suggested that the alliance was meant to counter Iran as well as fighting terrorism.”
  4. “Pakistan, according to the official, would recommend that the alliance should have clear objective that is to fight terrorism. Any deviation from this goal will not only undermine the alliance but also lead to more divisions in the Muslim world.”
  5. “Main opposition parties—Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Peoples Party—have been calling for maintaining ‘neutrality’ in Arab-Iran rivalry. But given longstanding strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan is unlikely to completely withdraw from the alliance.  Nevertheless, its participation would only remain confined to counter-terrorism efforts, officials stressed.”

Nawaz Sharif was royally humiliated at Trump’s Saudi summit


54 Migrants Die Off The Coast of Libya

Read original article on the Local Italy or read a quick summary below;

  1. On Saturday 27th May 2017, Libyan and Italian officials said about 10,000 migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya over the previous four days but at least 54 others died,
  2. “On Saturday, the Tunisian army also rescued 126 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa hoping to reach Italian shores, officials said. They were aboard a flimsy inflatable boat off the coastal town of Ben Gardane, near the Libyan border.”
  3. “On Friday, more than 1,200 migrants were rescued by Libyan ships and taken to Tripoli or Zawiya,  about 50 kilometres west, while the Italian coastguard and commercial boats rescued 2,200 others and took them to Italy.”
  4. “At least 10 bodies were also found by the Italian coastguard, officials said. Migrants were still disembarking in southern Italy on Saturday. Another 6,400 were picked up between Tuesday and Thursday, but at least 44 people died, including 35 who drowned on Wednesday when a powerful wave struck their vessel, pitching them into the sea as a rescue ship was distributing life jackets.”
  5. “More than 50,000 migrants have reached the Italian coast since the start of the year, not counting those rescued in recent days, while more than 1,400 have drowned or are missing, according to UN figures. Of the 181,000 migrants who entered Italy last year, some 90 percent arrived via Libya.”

FILE PHOTO © Giorgos Moutafis / Reuters

Why does India want to arrest Zakir Naik?

Read original article by Saif Khalid on Al Jazeera or read some of they key points below;

  1. “He has 16 million followers on Facebook, 150,000 on Twitter and has given more than 4,000 lectures on Islam across the world. But Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, the popular televangelist and Islamic preacher, is now wanted by the Indian authorities.”
  2. “Problems arose for the preacher last summer, after Bangladeshi authorities said that one of the gunmen responsible for an attack on a cafe in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, which left 22 people dead, had been inspired by him. Bangladesh responded by banning Peace TV, an Islamic channel broadcast from Dubai which Naik founded in 2006 and which claims to reach 100 million people worldwide.”
  3. “The 51-year-old denied supporting violence, releasing a video statement in which he said: “Killing innocent beings is the second major sin in Islam.”
  4. “The Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded by imposing a five-year ban on the Mumbai-based non-profit Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) under the country’s anti-terror laws.”
  5. Naik has not returned to India since last July. His whereabouts are currently not known, there have been rumours that he has been granted Saudi citizenship, but there has been no official confirmation of this.
  6. “Naik’s view is shared by many within India’s Muslim community, members of which have come under attack from far-right Hindu groups associated with Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”


LBC Presenter – Stig Abell – Left Speechless After This Call

On Sunday 28th May 2017, a caller intellectually destroyed the LBC Presenter Stig Abell in a discussion about terrorism.


Teacher presented 13-year-old with ‘most likely to become a terrorist’ award

Read original article on the Washington Post or read a quick summary below;

  1. A 13-year-old was left distraught after a teacher gave her a ‘most likely to become a terrorist’ award. Lizeth Villanueva has never been in trouble, but the ‘joke’ certificate was still handed to her.
  2. A day after the devastating attacks in Manchester, the schoolgirl from Texas was laughed at by three teachers. Her mother, Ena Hernandez, took issue with the school prank.
  3. “The head personally said sorry to the outraged mother but the damage to the seventh-grader has been done. ‘I was upset and very mad when I saw the award,’ the mum told the Washington Post. “I was surprised because my daughter has been doing well in the honors program.”
  4. “The three other teachers in the room laughed when the awards were handed out, according to Lizeth.”
  5. ““The teachers involved in this matter have been disciplined according to district policy and the incident is still under investigation.”





Trump received gifts worth $1.2 billion from Saudi King

Read original article on the Nation or read a quick summary below;

  1. “During his first visit to kingdom, US President Donald Trump received gifts from Saudi King Shah Salman with worth of $ 1.2 billion, reported Nawa-e-Waqt.”
  2. “According to details, the gifts given by Saudi King included a precious diamond, armband made of pure gold with King Salman’s photo imprinted on it and 25 kilogram heavy sword made of pure gold with different diamonds and stones on it.”
  3. “The sword is worth of $ 200 million. Furthermore, gold and diamond made watches, worth of $ 200 million,  were also gifted to Trump and his family. A small replica of Statue of Liberty but made with gold, diamond and precious stones will also be sent to White House soon.”
  4. “Meanwhile, one of the major roads in Riyadh has also been named after Trump. A 125 meter long yacht, which is world’s tallest personal yacht as it has 80 rooms with 20 royal suits, will also be sent through US navy to America. No US President has received these kinds of gifts before by Saudi Kingdom.”




Gaza Ramadhan 2017 in Pictures

The month of Ramadan comes this year accompanied by a variety of crises, and in circumstances not previously known.

Along with the electricity crisis and the crisis of the salaries of PA employees being cut by 30-45 per cent, there are further problems with the cessation of medical supplies and the subsequent sanctions on the Gaza Strip, including the closure of the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

Gaza’s unemployment rate has reached 41 per cent, approximately 200,000 people of working age in the Gaza Strip, during the first quarter of 2017. These statistics and figures are attributed to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and to the reports of the International Labour Organisation.

A series of bad conditions continue to haunt breadwinners this month, who are now shy of family members whom they support due to their concern over how they will buy goods and necessary items throughout Ramadan in a manner just like Muslims all over the world.

Family heads may not be able to buy the Ramadan lanterns for their children who may be deprived of the joy and the atmosphere of the ordinarily special month.

This atmosphere is clearly reflected in the shops, which reported a decrease in consumer purchasing power which reduced the volume of purchases due to the current situation and the lack of political clarity and stability.

Images by MEMO Photographer Mohammed Asad.

Ramadhan begins in Kashmir with a new reign of terror

Read original article on the Express Tribune or read some of the key points below;

  1. Authorities imposed a curfew in many parts of the main city of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) as violent protests swept through the disputed region following the ‘custodial killing’ of a top separatist commander, Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, on Saturday – the day when at least 11 more Kashmiris were massacred by Indian security forces.
  2. “As the news of the Sabzar’s killing spread, thousands of people, including students, took to the streets shouting “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom”. Witnesses said a young man was killed and several others were injured after security forces fired on the protesters.
  3. “Wani, the most popular poster boy for Kashmiri separatists, was killed in similar staged gunfight in July last year, triggering months of anti-India protests in the restive region in which nearly 100 people died and thousands sustained injuries.”
  4. “A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that the protester was killed after troops opened fire on the villagers. At least three other protesters sustained bullet injuries in the clashes. Clashes also erupted in other parts of the disputed valley, with police and paramilitary soldiers firing shotgun pellets and tear-gas shells to control the protesters.”
  5. “Several armed rebel groups are fighting against Indian rule, with tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, killed in the nearly three decades-old conflict. HuM is the largest indigenous separatist group fighting against Indian-rule in the Himalayan territory since an armed insurrection broke out in 1989.”



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