FaceOf: Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, minister of Islamic affairs

Updated 05 June 2018
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FaceOf: Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, minister of Islamic affairs

  • Al-Asheikh served as the president of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, also known as the religious police or Haia, from 2012 to 2015
  • His responsibilities as the new minister of Islamic affairs include the management and organization of all religious facilities in the Kingdom, including mosques.

JEDDAH: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is undergoing major changes with a sharp focus on cultural and religious affairs.

Following a recent Cabinet reshuffle, Sheikh Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al-Asheikh has been appointed the minister of Islamic affairs.

Prior to this role, Al-Asheikh served as the president of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, also known as the religious police or Haia, from 2012 to 2015. 

His former positions include director general of investigations at the General Presidency, second assistant secretary general at the Council of Senior Religious Scholars and special adviser at the Riyadh governorate.

Al-Asheikh attained a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh.

Al-Asheikh earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of Shariah in Riyadh in 1974 and did his master’s in comparative jurisprudence in 1984.

His responsibilities as the new minister of Islamic affairs include the management and organization of all religious facilities in the Kingdom, including mosques. 

His role also includes supervision of centers for Dawah and guidance, the general supervision of the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an, organizing local and international competitions for memorizing and reciting the Holy Qur’an, the supervision of Islamic centers, assisting minorities and Muslim communities abroad and coordinate with Islamic organizations, and supporting Islamic universities and institutes abroad.

According to the Saudi electronic newspaper Sabq, Al-Asheikh put an end to extreme acts from some Haia members such as chasing individuals in the streets, etc.


Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.