British MP praises Saudi crown prince for ‘ideological commitment’ to women’s rights

British MP Naz Shah praised Crown Prince Mohammed for promoting a moderate interpretation of Islam. (AFP)
Updated 08 March 2018
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British MP praises Saudi crown prince for ‘ideological commitment’ to women’s rights

LONDON: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has made important steps toward improving the rights of women in the Kingdom, a prominent British female MP said this week.
Writing for the UK’s news website on Tuesday, Naz Shah, vice chair of the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims, praised Crown Prince Mohammed for promoting a moderate interpretation of Islam.
She said that he had acted out of both “ideological commitment and practical necessity” by diluting the powers of Saudi Arabia’s religious police, granting women the right to drive and tackling corruption.
Shah, an MP for the opposition Labour Party, urged Britain to be a “candid friend” to Crown Prince Mohammed during and after his visit to the country.
“Like many British Muslim girls, I was taught to look to Saudi Arabia as an example in religious matters. Many Muslim Brits won’t even start their Ramadan fast until the Saudi clergy have confirmed the moon sighting, and I have family and friends whose lives have been changed through a pilgrimage there,” she wrote.
“This makes it all the more painful when the example that is set is one of the default marginalization and subjugation of women and girls. This has been the case for too long. But in the past few months things have started to change,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, another Labour MP, Graham Jones, called on his party’s leadership to rethink its critical stance toward Saudi military involvement in Yemen.
Writing on the PoliticsHome website on Tuesday, the chair of the committee on arms export controls said: “No government in the world would accept a rebel force in a neighboring country attacking its citizens and its territory. Why should we expect Saudi, and its allies, to be any different?”


Dr. Fahd Al-Shathri, deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency

Updated 5 min 27 sec ago
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Dr. Fahd Al-Shathri, deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency

Since June 2018, Dr. Fahd Al-Shathri has been the deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). He was previously the deputy governor for research and international affairs at the same agency, a position he held for two years from 2016.

Al-Shathri served as an economic adviser to the Ministry of Finance between 2000 and 2011, and in 2009, he joined the board of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

In 2011, Al-Shathri was appointed an adviser to the executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. Later that year, he was appointed an alternate executive director of the IMF, before becoming an executive director — and an executive board member — in 2013.

Al-Shathri holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from King Saud University and a master’s degree in economics from King Saud University in Riyadh. He received his Ph.D. in public finance from Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He has written analytical columns for several Saudi publications on issues related to the US, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council states.

Earlier this month, Al-Shathri attended the inauguration ceremony for First Abu Dhabi Bank’s (FAB’s) new Riyadh Branch, along with several other officials, including Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, governor of SAMA; Khaldoon Khalifa Al-Mubarak, chairman of FAB’s board executive committee; Jassim Mohammed Al-Siddiqi, chairman of FAB’s board audit committee; and other members of the bank’s leadership team.

The opening of FAB’s Riyadh Branch is expected to further strengthen commercial ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.