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?”


Rare photos give glimpse into life of late Saudi Arabia founder King Abdulaziz

Updated 20 September 2018
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Rare photos give glimpse into life of late Saudi Arabia founder King Abdulaziz

JEDDAH: On the occasion of Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day a public library released pictures of King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud, who has become a great memory to this day.
The King Abdulaziz Public Library, one of the Kingdom’s major cultural institutions, maintains a vast historical collection of King Abdulaziz, his life and personal accomplishments, as well as galleries of pictures of the Kingdom’s past and present portrayed in various books, documents and manuscripts.
The library maintains a wide variety of images documenting Saudi Arabia’s history and life for researchers and historians, showing the stages of construction and establishment.
They also portray the position of the founding king, which can be seen through his interviews and meetings with a large number of officials, ranging from presidents, kings, ministers, ambassadors and international personalities concerned with the issues of the Arab world and Middle East events.
A series of photographs reveal how King Abdulaziz was keen to meet with citizens and guide them and meet tribal elders and people in direct and open meetings, including King Farouk of Egypt, late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and late US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Other pictures portray the founder’s care for education and his appreciation of scientists and students alike.
The images also capture scenes of life in Makkah, Madinah, the north-west of the Kingdom, and its heritage and archaeological sites, which shed light on the region’s history.
The collection reflects many of the architectural arts of the region during that period, as reflected in the designs of the mosques, palaces and buildings, as well as arts, fashion, social customs, and handicrafts.