‘Behind Sweden’s tirade is a hidden Western agenda to tarnish Islam’

Updated 19 March 2015

‘Behind Sweden’s tirade is a hidden Western agenda to tarnish Islam’

Sweden and other Western countries have adopted double standards while dealing with human rights as they ignore the killing of thousands in Iraq, Syria and Palestine, and highlight the flogging of an individual in Saudi Arabia as a big issue, said Dr. Mohammed Badahdah, assistant secretary general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY).
Speaking to Arab News, he emphasized that Saudi Arabia’s rules and regulations as well as its judicial system are based on the Qur’an and Sunnah or Shariah. “Shariah laws are not made by Parliament or people’s representatives. They are divine laws given by the Almighty for the welfare and security of the whole humanity,” he explained.
“It’s the duty of all countries and societies to respect religious faiths, beliefs and cultures of different communities in order to promote peace and stability in the world,” Badahdah said while denouncing Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s anti-Saudi tirade.
“We are not imposing Shariah on others. Why do then Sweden and other Western countries criticize the Kingdom when we are implementing Shariah in accordance with our faith? This is clear interference in our internal affairs and Saudi Arabia will not tolerate such attacks,” he said.
Speaking about Western criticism of the death sentence applied on murderers, drug traffickers, terrorists and other dreaded criminals, Badahdah said: “People should study Islam as a whole. All its teachings are for the betterment of humanity. The Qur’an has clearly stated that capital punishment for murderers was imposed to ensure the safety of society. Compared to other countries crime rates in Saudi Arabia are much lower because of its implementation of the Shariah law, including capital punishment.”
He questioned why some human rights activists and lawmakers sympathize with killers and other criminals by campaigning against application of capital punishment. “These criminals will not learn lessons from softer punishments. When they get out of jails after completing their terms they will still be a threat to security. That is the why God, who knows human nature better, has ordered capital punishment for such criminals.”
Badahdah added: “Why do the Western countries make a big hue and cry when a few criminals are executed in the Kingdom while some of these countries have taken part in the killings of thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan and ignored the Israeli genocide of Palestinians in Gaza? How can they criticize Saudi Arabia’s human rights record?”
He also denounced the move by the Western media to link Islam and Muslims with terrorism. “Islam is a religion of peace and Muslims are peace-loving people. Who started World War I? Not Muslims. Who started World War II? Not Muslims. Who killed millions of Aborigines in Australia? Not Muslims. Who dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Not Muslims.”
He said all the so-called Muslim terrorists in the world would not reach more than 50,000. “How can they unfairly link Islam and Muslims with terrorism?” Wallstrom did not say anything about the crimes committed by US security officers against Abu Ghraib prisoners in Iraq, he said. “They can only attack countries like Saudi Arabia. They will not say a word against the US and Israel,” he added. Millions of children in Japan are still suffering as a result of US bombings in the country.
Asked about the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, Badahdah said: “This ban is not based on Shariah or Saudi rules. It is Saudi society which is against women driving. If we conduct a survey or exit poll, we can find 80 percent of Saudi men and women oppose the move. I am not personally against women driving. What I am trying to say is that society is not yet prepared for women driving as they fear their women would get into harassments and accidents.”
He said women driving is not a big issue. “There are many other issues that need greater attention. When we complete the public transport system in major cities like Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Dammam the transport problem faced by men and women will be solved. Even in other GCC countries only a small percentage of women drive.”
Western countries and organizations often raise human rights issues in Saudi Arabia not because of their love for the protection of human rights but because of their hidden agenda of tarnishing the image of Islam and Muslims, he said. “They want Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries to follow their cultures that allow free mixing of men and women, prostitution, homosexuality and same-sex marriages. They suffer disintegration of families and most of them keep their parents in homes for the elderly.”
Badahdah said despite these strident smear campaigns, Islam is spreading all over the world. “It has become the fastest spreading religion in America and Europe. If Muslims properly follow the teachings of Islam and set a good example for others, it will spread even faster.”

Startup of the Week: Wayakit, the biotech firm helping travelers beat odors and stains

Updated 10 December 2019

Startup of the Week: Wayakit, the biotech firm helping travelers beat odors and stains

  • Wayakit leaves the clothes clean and fresh again

JEDDAH: Wayakit is a biotechnology start-up incubated by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

KAUST Ph.D students Sandra Medina and Luisa Javier are avid travelers who have come up with a pocket-sized product that deals with both odors and stains on fabrics, leaving the cloths clean and fresh again.

Wayakit is also gentler on fabrics because traditional laundry eventually damages them, said Javier, who first moved to Saudi Arabia from Mexico ten years ago.

Her business partner, Sandra Medina, who came from Colombia to study at KAUST, explained to Arab News how Wayakit works. “You just spray the smelly area twice and you’re good to go. In the case of stains, you spray twice and then pat dry it with a tissue and it will disappear,” she said.

The idea for the product came during a trip for a conference two years ago when the travelers realized their luggage was lost “We had to present with our dirty, seven-hours’ flight clothes,” Javier told Arab News.

“We started looking into the possibility then, because there’s not a proper solution to doing laundry while traveling,” she said.


They decided they needed to come up with a product that was not pricey, was easy to carry, and did the job by removing stains and bad odors “on-the-go.”



The duo began by interviewing more than 100 travelers of 23 different nationalities to find out if this was a common issue that travelers struggled with.


“From the Entrepreneurship Center at KAUST, we learned the importance of listening first to the customers before designing any product,” said Medina. From these interviews, Wayakit team got the product requirements and then moved into the lab to start working on the formulation of Wayakit. “The amazing facilities and labs in KAUST helped us to speed up the creation of our first prototype. After this, the same KAUST community was the people who first tried Wayakit and gave us feedback. “In KAUST we do not only have state-of-the-art labs, but also a whole entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Medina added.

Wayakit is different from its competitors in that it contains no toxic chemicals, and covers a broader spectrum in covering stains — it is two products in one. It also contains anti-bacterial properties, acting as a sanitizer that “removes all the stains that occur on a day-to-day basis as well as being an odor remover,” Javier said.

The pair went for a biotechnology-based formula that excluded the usage of oxidizers and focused on more organic compounds. “Even the anti-bacterial properties are not toxic as we incorporated these in an environmentally friendly formulation,” she said.

The Wayakit founders had to rigorously test their product, dealing with different types of sweat and stains to perfect their spray. “We had to give testers to travelers to try it out and had to listen to their feedback, then went back to the lab to improve it, in order to make sure the product was as promised.”

Medina said KAUST’s mentorship had also helped their company to develop. “KAUST for us is a catalyst of entrepreneurship and has given us a lot of room to grow our start-up Wayakit,” she said.

KAUST helped Wayakit by giving the advice and support from the start. From entrepreneurial courses to teaching the concepts of building a brand, KAUST encouraged Wayakit to grow from a scientific outlook and helped the founders to better understand the customer.

“As foreigners, it was difficult for us to understand the logistics and procurement of shipping and importing here in Saudi Arabia. KAUST has helped us to face that hurdle in order to be able to reach all our clients in the MENA region and worldwide,” Medina said. “Beyond helping travellers, our mission is to change the way how laundry is commonly done. We found a way to effectively wash clothes reducing water and energy consumption,” Javier said. 

Wayakit has recently began selling in Jeddah’s Homegrown Market, chosen because it is “a Middle Eastern brand store with unique ambience,” said Medina.