Saudi Press Roundup
The Iranian media gives an impression of an ongoing open war being waged against Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries.
Iranian media persons are not ashamed of such reports; nor do they have any respect for the code of conduct pertaining to the international media.
The Iranian media is also maliciously using the Egyptian and Levant accent in many of the Arabic articles and reports, ostensibly to target the Arab audience.
The Saudi media on the other hand has adopted a policy not to insult leaders or heads of state and confines itself to facts and publishing political analysis by experts.
This is in stark contrast with the Iranian press that harbors hostilities against Saudi Arabia and describes it as a promoter of sectarianism.
In reality, Saudi Arabia has drawn up clear-cut plans and visions that clearly reflect its non-interference policy on global level.
Iran’s media evidently resonates with central policy that is driven by paranoia of the Arab conquest in the Battle of Al-Qadisiyyah.
The Arab conquest seems to be etched still in the Persians’ mind.
This is one reason why they have taken to politicize Haj and thus spread chaos and racial hatred so that at the end they could blame Saudi Arabia for mishandling the greatest Islamic ritual in the world.
The international community therefore needs to understand the Iranian maneuverings before it becomes a more complicated situation.
— Fawwaz Al-Malihi
Saudi-US relations at the crossroads
The US Congress last week passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) aimed at providing justice to the victims of the terrorist acts committed on the US lands.
The bill also provides a legal coverage to relatives of victims to file lawsuits at the US courts against persons or countries suspected to have funded such terrorist acts.
The new bill differs from the Anti-Terrorism Act, which has allowed terror victims to file lawsuits against countries classified by the US State Department as terror supporting countries such as Iran and Syria; it did not include Saudi Arabia.
A number of GCC and Arab League countries have expressed grave concern at the bill which, they said, will endanger stability of the world order as it contradicts with the UN Charter and the principles of the international law.
The bill will be submitted to US President Barack Obama for approval who, according to the White House spokesman, will veto the bill for many reasons:
• Maintenance of US interests in light of the deteriorating global economic situation due to drop in oil prices in global markets.
• Protection of US economy by keeping assets, bonds, treasury bills, including Saudi securities, which are estimated to be at about $750 billion.
• Contradiction of the bill with the principle of sovereign immunity, which protects countries from civil and criminal issues.
• The fear that some countries may enact similar laws against the US officials and soldiers who were involved in violence and torture acts in a series of incidents like those in Hiroshima, Vietnam, Iraq, the Guantanamo detention camp.
Despite the presidential veto, this does not prevent the Congress passing the bill if approved by two-third votes of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The clear strategic change in the US policy toward the Middle East regimes necessitates that the GCC countries, individually or jointly, set up new channels of cooperation with the US that could have an influence on US decisionmakers.
— Ambassador Hamad Ahmed Abdulaziz Al-Amir
Iran-N. Korea nuclear cooperation
Some reports appearing in western media shed considerable light on military and nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Iran.
In their reports, The Times (July 3, 2003) and Telegraph (Jan. 26, 2007), mentioned the weapons sales between Tehran and Pyongyang that had begun since the 80s of the last century.
This trade developed into cooperation and exchange of military and nuclear technologies while North Korea has been assisting Iran in nuclear tests.
On Jan. 31, 2010, The New York Times published a report on the interception of an Iran-bound arms shipment from North Korea in one of the ports in Thailand. The weapons included rocket launchers and components of surface-to-air missiles.
Meantime, the Newsweek Magazine (Japanese edition) published a report, (March 5, 2013) on the deepening of relations between Iran and North Korea through nuclear tests and repeated visits of the Iranian nuclear scientists to Iran.
The North Korean scientists and officials reportedly helped their Iranian counterparts in exploring the development of nuclear warheads and their installation on ballistic missiles. It is worth mentioning that Tehran had supplied financial liquidity worth millions of dollars in Chinese currency to Pyongyang for its cooperation in the transfer of North Korean nuclear technology to Iran.
On the other hand, the Arabic edition of Reuters published a report (May 28, 2015) quoting a statement by the spokesman of the Iranian National Council of Resistance that North Korean experts in nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles visited a military base in eastern Tehran in April 2015. The North Korean delegates paid several visits to Iran during the same year, he said.
— Isam Amanallah Bukhari
Social solidarity in Islam strengthens spiritual ties between individuals and acts as a safety valve against social “explosions” as a result of unemployment, poverty and economic pressures.
Social solidarity is not limited to material benefit but is extended to all communal needs, individually and collectively, catering to material, moral or intellectual needs.
Our religion has stressed the importance of solidarity among family members. It serves as a vital ligament that prevents the family from collapse and disintegration. Islam has established a balanced solidarity between individuals and groups and combined their interests, where achievement of individual interests is complementary to public interests.
Such social values should not be limited to achieving interests of the current generation but should also go beyond that to include interests of the next generations. It is part of Muslim’s faith and a religious and moral commitment in a system, which is based on love, altruism and obedience to Allah. Our country cannot fully achieve the principles of social solidarity unless the community members contribute to build social justice and almsgiving for the sake of Allah’s mercy, to develop a community known for solidarity, brotherhood and cooperation.
In an Islamic community, no one lives independently and isolated from others. Rather, they remain part of the community in the matter of support and solidarity.
— Ramadan Jiraidi Al-Inizi
Haj came to an end successfully and thankfully without any unfortunate incident carried out by subversive Safawi elements.
All officials and concerned departments and organizations joined hands to make this mega occasion highly successful.
They deserve our full appreciation for their efforts during the season, and also for saving us from chaos and slogans.
Also those Hajis and groups deserve a word of praise for their sincerity in observing the Haj rituals, their commitment to Haj ethics, teachings of Islam and limiting Haj to the worship of Allah and not spreading myths, superstitions and discord.
This strengthens the view that Haj rituals require a unity of all parties and their cooperation to organize the religious event.
Accordingly, any departure from Islamic teachings or defined Haj regulations will lead to incidents violating the sanctity of the fifth pillar of Islam that ultimately leads to loss of lives and destruction.
Security personnel must be given a pat on their back for being ever ready to reach out to a needy pilgrim. They were seen to be quite polite while dealing with Hajis. There were doctors who treated every needy pilgrim; a preacher who simplified Haj rituals; a janitor who removed wastes; a scout who guided the lost Hajis; and those who have planned, arranged, and controlled works of Haj.
Thanks to every official in the Kingdom, starting from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman down to the junior officials and employees who have strenuously worked to make it a success.
— Salem bin Ahmed Sahab
United against conspiracies
When fatal incidents took place in previous Haj seasons, criticism was leveled against Saudi Arabia, questioning the security of the Two Holy Mosques.
It led to heated debate as to who were responsible — those who were entrusted with Haj security or the Iranians who were accused of weaving conspiracies, bringing with them destruction.
The current Haj season, however, was free from Iran and its supporters who preferred Karbala to the Two Holy Mosques.
Praise be to Allah, the current Haj season was free from any incidents — there were no stampede, deaths or incidents in Mina or Arafat or any other places hosting millions of Hajis.
Is it then a coincident that Haj remained free from disturbances only because Iranians in general, including its officials, were absent this time?
This will confirm the assumption that there were hands behind the incidents that claimed the lives of hundreds of pilgrims last year.
This smear campaign against the Kingdom is not limited to Iran and its lackeys but it remains a deliberate and systematic campaign involving many parties. At a time when Iran was threatening the land of the two holy mosques and its leaders, the LBC channel hosted an Azhari scholar who attacked, with insolent language, the Kingdom’s scholars.
Then comes the BCC channel, which accused the Kingdom of making profits from the Haj season followed by the US Congress, which accused the Kingdom of having a role in the Sept. 11 attacks under the law named “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.”
In light of this smear campaign from many foreign parties, we need strong internal unity and cohesion. If injustice from foreign countries may be justified, sons of the Kingdom are required to side firmly with the Kingdom as a country and side with institutions serving Haj and highlight its successes, particularly at this time.
— Abo Lujain Ibrahim Al-Dahman
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view