Editorial: We stand by our Christian brothers

A nun cries as she stands at the scene inside Cairo's Coptic cathedral, following the bombing, in Egypt on Sunday. (Reuters)
Updated 12 December 2016
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Editorial: We stand by our Christian brothers

Though the atrocious attack that targeted Sunday mass at an Egyptian St. Mark Church complex is yet to be claimed, it did not take Daesh supporters long to rejoice and show their true — and disgusting — nature on social media.
It must be clearly reiterated that these sick-minded individuals are alone in their celebration. There is no race, religion or rationale that could ever justify, let alone cheer, taking the lives of 25 innocent people — of which the majority were women and children — in their sacred place of worship.
It is definitely positive that condemnations were almost immediately issued by the likes of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), among many others. However, mere statements are no longer enough.
We, as people, must actively do more to protect our Arab Christian brothers and sisters. They, as fellow citizens, have an equal right to live peacefully. Furthermore, we should never forget the noble and patriotic positions they, as a community, took in support of Arab — and even Muslim — causes. 
A great example of this occurred only a few weeks ago, when a Palestinian church defied a proposed Israeli ban on the Muslim call to prayer and decided to sound the Adhan from within its own walls.
Yet Christians across the Arab world remain targeted by deliberate, cowardly acts, either by terrorist attacks — such as what happened in Cairo yesterday — or by “wannabe” regimes such as Daesh.
This is why on a military level, Saudi Arabia — which is leading the Islamic Coalition against Daesh — should intensify efforts to combat this wicked group. What could facilitate this is that a new US administration, which seems intent on taking more serious collective action against Daesh, is coming to power. Furthermore, we should do more not only to protect but to celebrate our Christian and/or Jewish minorities in Arab states that have them.
If any good came out of the evil that was done yesterday in Cairo, it was seeing crowds of Egyptian Muslim young men and women gather in protest against attacking the church complex. This is the true spirit of Egypt, and so long as it persists, we as Arabs will always have something to be hopeful about.


Editorial: A vote of confidence in the new Saudi generation

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (SPA)
Updated 22 June 2017
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Editorial: A vote of confidence in the new Saudi generation

The landmark appointment of Prince Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince represents a vote of confidence in the Kingdom’s younger generation, which makes up a large majority of the population. The new crown prince was supported by a landslide vote of 31 out of 34 members of the Royal Family’s Allegiance Council.
The decision came in the wake of King Salman making a number of changes over the past two years. He has appointed many young and highly qualified government officials as ministers, ambassadors, provincial governors and deputy governors.
The new direction has also caught on in the private sector, where we have seen a trend in young and qualified executives being hired. It is noteworthy that many of these executives are women, who have the same responsibilities as their male counterparts.
There are, as always, some international observers who will seek to deliberately misinterpret what has taken place at the top of the Kingdom’s power structure. The fact is, however, that former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif endorsed the decision in a letter to the king. He was also seen on video by viewers worldwide congratulating the new crown prince in person.
That Prince Mohammed bin Salman has made his impression on the world is evident from the number of congratulatory messages that have been sent in, including one by US President Donald Trump, who congratulated him and said he was looking forward to consolidating the Saudi-American partnership.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, in her congratulatory message, said she is looking forward to working with Prince Mohammed “to deepen our close bilateral ties in the years ahead, building on the constructive meetings we had in Saudi Arabia earlier this year.”
The Gulf states of Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and interestingly, even Qatar, have likewise endorsed the decision.
We can expect more rapid and drastic reforms if we take all of Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s accomplishments when he was deputy crown prince as an indicator of what is yet to come.