Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group, does not reflect Islamic values: Saudi scholars

Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group, does not reflect Islamic values: Saudi scholars
Protesters carry a picture of Hassan Al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood founder, in Beirut. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 11 November 2020

Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group, does not reflect Islamic values: Saudi scholars

Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group, does not reflect Islamic values: Saudi scholars
  • Muslim Brotherhood ‘stirs up sedition, violence and terrorism’
  • ‘Terrorist group’s history is full of evils and strife’

RIYADH:The Saudi Council of Senior Scholars said on Tuesday that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group and does not represent the true values of Islam, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The council described the Brotherhood as a deviant group that undermines coexistence within nations and stirs up sedition, violence and terrorism. The group pursues its partisan goals in an attempt to seize more power for itself, and does so under the cover of religion, it added. It said that the history of the organization is one of evil, strife, extremism and terrorism.
As a result, the council said any form of support, including funding, for the Brotherhood is forbidden, in accordance with the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah (the guidance of the Prophet). It added that the Brotherhood is an aberrant and deviant group that encourages rebellion against rulers, wreaks havoc in states and destabilizes peaceful co-existence.
From its formation, the group has never shown any respect for the Islamic creed or the knowledge contained within the Qur’an or the Sunnah — its only goal has been to grab the reins of power, the scholars said.
They concluded by pointing out that the history of the Muslim Brotherhood reveals the full scale of the evil and mischief it is responsible for, and that it has inspired the formation of many extremist and terrorist groups that are responsible for atrocities all around the world.
The council called on the public to be wary of the Brotherhood and its activities, and warned them not to join it, support it or become involved with its activities.
Saudi Arabia blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in May 2014, in a royal decree, along with three other Middle East-based Islamist groups. The decree outlawed membership of the groups, along with any form of support or sympathy for them expressed “through speech or writing.”


Saudi crown prince receives Arab League award

Saudi crown prince receives Arab League award
Updated 4 min 52 sec ago

Saudi crown prince receives Arab League award

Saudi crown prince receives Arab League award
  • The Arab Development Action Shield is given annually by the Arab League to Arab figures who lead development in their countries

CAIRO: On behalf of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Wednesday received the Arab Development Action Shield award for 2021.

The Arab Development Action Shield is given annually by the Arab League to Arab figures who lead development in their countries.
The Arab League awarded the shield to the crown prince in recognition of his role promoting comprehensive development in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, and his efforts to support joint Arab action to strengthen the security, stability, development and prosperity of the region.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary-general of the Arab League, presented the award to the Saudi minister during his visit to Cairo for the 155th ordinary session of the Arab League Council at the level of foreign ministers.
“It is a pleasure and an honor for me to present the Arab Development Action Shield as a certificate of appreciation to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his efforts, performance and what he does to serve Saudi Arabia,” Gheit said.
The handover ceremony was attended by Abdulrahman Al-Rassi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for multilateral international affairs, and Osama Nugali, Saudi ambassador to Egypt and permanent representative to the Arab League.

 


Who’s Who: Iman Hajjed Al-Mutairi, executive director at Soudah Development Company

Who’s Who: Iman Hajjed Al-Mutairi, executive director at Soudah Development Company
Updated 44 min 46 sec ago

Who’s Who: Iman Hajjed Al-Mutairi, executive director at Soudah Development Company

Who’s Who: Iman Hajjed Al-Mutairi, executive director at Soudah Development Company

Iman Hajjed Al-Mutairi is the executive director for destination branding at the Soudah Development Company (SDC).

The new entity, fully owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, will lead the development of a luxury mountain destination with immersive cultural experiences. It will be a celebration of natural assets empowering the local and national economies.
Prior to her new position, Al-Mutairi worked in 2020 as a marketing and communication adviser at the Ministry of Tourism.
Al-Mutairi received a bachelor’s degree in small business administration  from King Saud University. In 2012, she attended the Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, US, to earn a master’s degree. In 2018, Al-Mutairi attended an executive course on strategic branding at London Business School.
She also completed a leadership development program at Harvard Business School in 2019. There she also successfully passed a strategic marketing management program.
For more than a year beginning in 2016, she served as a senior marketing analyst at Takamol Holding, where she planned, developed and directed marketing efforts for launching campaigns.
In 2017, Al-Mutairi moved to Misk Foundation where she, for nearly a year, managed a portfolio of more than eight brands and developed the marketing strategy of the Misk Initiatives Center.
For nearly 16 months, beginning in June 2018, Al-Mutairi worked as the marketing director for tourist destinations at the Royal Commission for AlUla, where she helped raise international and local awareness of AlUla as a tourist destination. She also developed the city brand identity, initiated and managed the tourism partnerships with airlines, travel media, tour and travel agents.


Danish diplomat leaves Saudi Arabia a witness to ‘historic changes’

As a Danish diplomat based in Saudi Arabia for two years, Camilla Fatum Stoltenberg has had a unique perspective of the sweeping reforms taking place across the Kingdom. (Supplied)
As a Danish diplomat based in Saudi Arabia for two years, Camilla Fatum Stoltenberg has had a unique perspective of the sweeping reforms taking place across the Kingdom. (Supplied)
Updated 04 March 2021

Danish diplomat leaves Saudi Arabia a witness to ‘historic changes’

As a Danish diplomat based in Saudi Arabia for two years, Camilla Fatum Stoltenberg has had a unique perspective of the sweeping reforms taking place across the Kingdom. (Supplied)
  • Camilla Fatum Stoltenberg has seen Saudi women embrace the empowerment brought by Vision 2030   

RIYADH: As a Danish diplomat based in Saudi Arabia for two years, Camilla Fatum Stoltenberg has had a unique perspective of the sweeping reforms taking place across the Kingdom.

But for a woman from a liberal Scandinavian nation such as Denmark, it has been the changing roles of Saudi women that have resonated the most.

“I think the increased focus on improving women’s role in society in line with Vision 2030 has had the largest impact on the people in Saudi Arabia,” Stoltenberg told Arab News after recently leaving the Kingdom for her next job. “Due to Vision 2030, the discussions on the role of women and women themselves have become more visible in the Saudi Arabian society,” she said.

Stoltenberg worked as a political officer at the Embassy of Denmark in Riyadh. She covered political, economic and cultural developments in the Kingdom, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen.

In her role and personal life living in Riyadh she witnessed the many changes and developments implemented by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform program.

From women being allowed to drive to the transformation in women’s roles in the workplace, Stoltenberg witnessed first-hand the immense female empowerment and social changes the country has gone through.

“I am happy that I have been able to experience two years of the impressive and important transformation that is taking place in Saudi Arabia. It is truly a historic time,” she said.

Stoltenberg, along with other expats who have attended conferences and seminars, has seen women leading discussions and inspiring future generations in the Kingdom.

She has also seen women launching many businesses that are now contributing to the growing private sector.

“I am pleased to see that many men and women acknowledge the benefits of improving women’s role in society and support the reforms,” Stoltenberg said.

One of the biggest initial changes for women came in September 2017 when King Salman announced the royal decree that would end the driving ban in the Kingdom. Soon after, Reema Juffali became Saudi Arabia’s first professional female racing car driver.

The changes have also had a large effect on the Danish community living in the Kingdom, as well as tourists visiting the country.

Female Danish residents can now freely navigate through the country in their cars.

“The lifting of the driving ban for women in June 2018 and the increased mobility have affected Danish female residents and my female friends and colleagues in a positive way,” Stoltenberg said.

She explained how tourism law changes in Saudi Arabia have affected the way the Danish community interacts with the Kingdom.

Tourist visas were launched in 2019, opening international tourism to more than 49 countries, allowing many Danes the opportunity to explore Saudi Arabia and visit their loved ones living and working in the Kingdom.

The easing of restrictions on women’s dress has also allowed expats more freedom and to not have to wear an abaya in public.

“Many Danish residents have enjoyed being able to go to the cinema, concerts and other entertainment activities which have been available as part of the Saudi Seasons,” Stoltenberg said in reference to a series of entertainment events.

Stoltenberg has been able to travel through the eastern province and to Jeddah, and discovered many similarities between the Danish and Saudi Arabian people in culture and hospitality.

“I found that Saudis are curious, very hospitable, friendly and helpful, she said. “I have often been greeted with a ‘welcome to Saudi Arabia’ in supermarkets, malls and restaurants.”

More broadly, Stoltenberg said that she was impressed with the reform steps taken in Saudi Arabia.

“I have experienced that there is a real will to change, and the pace of the reforms during the last two years is striking,” she said. “Change is never an easy task, and it will take time, but it has been very inspiring to meet the driven and passionate people in Saudi Arabia that are supporting and working toward reforming the country.”

Stoltenberg closely followed the conferences and events being led by Saudi women and hosted by the Danish embassy. The embassy hosted an event in January 2021 inviting many prominent female leaders in to exchange ideas.

“Women empowerment is high on the agenda in both Denmark and Saudi Arabia, and it was a great opportunity to share experiences, industry insights and ideas on how to overcome challenges and further improve the role of women,” Stoltenberg said.

Now based back in the Danish capital Copenhagen, she said that she looks forward to coming back to the Kingdom to see the changes that will take place in the future.

“My fondest memory of Saudi Arabia is a combination of the people I met, the different experiences I had, the places I visited, and the challenges and opportunities that come with leaving my comfort zone and being on unknown territory,” she said.

“I tell my friends and family that they should visit Saudi Arabia as soon as COVID-19 is over. Saudi Arabia has a lot to offer and experiencing the country, the people and the modernization progress first-hand has made a big impression on me, and I am sure it will on others too.”


Arab coalition thwarts drone launched by Yemen's Houthis towards Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition thwarts drone launched by Yemen's Houthis towards Saudi Arabia
Updated 04 March 2021

Arab coalition thwarts drone launched by Yemen's Houthis towards Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition thwarts drone launched by Yemen's Houthis towards Saudi Arabia
  • The Houthi drone was targeting the southern city of Khamis Mushait

RIYADH: The Arab coalition said it intercepted and destroyed a drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia toward southern Saudi Arabia, Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.
Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said: “Joint coalition forces managed to intercept and destroy a booby-trapped drone launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in a systematic and deliberate manner to target civilians and civilian objects in the city of Khamis Mushait.”
Col. Al-Maliki said the coalition’s joint forces command has taken and implemented the necessary operational measures to protect civilians and civilian installations, in accordance with international humanitarian law.


Let there be light: 17-day festival to illuminate Riyadh

The Noor Riyadh festival is the first event organized by the Riyadh Art Program and will run from March 18-April 3. (SPA)
The Noor Riyadh festival is the first event organized by the Riyadh Art Program and will run from March 18-April 3. (SPA)
Updated 04 March 2021

Let there be light: 17-day festival to illuminate Riyadh

The Noor Riyadh festival is the first event organized by the Riyadh Art Program and will run from March 18-April 3. (SPA)
  • Saudi capital will be transformed into giant art gallery of sculptures and outdoor installations

RIYADH: A 17-day “festival of light” in Riyadh in March will transform the Saudi capital into a giant art gallery of sculptures, lighting displays, interactive performances and outdoor installations.
The festival will also feature workshops, discussions, tours, presentations, volunteer programs, cinematic and musical events, and recreational and educational activities.
“It aims to improve the city’s quality of life in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and to enhance the cultural and artistic aspects of the city, by transforming Riyadh into an open art gallery that blends the traditional with the contemporary,” said Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the Minister of Culture.
He said the festival sought to enhance community interaction, spread art and beauty throughout the city, and enrich the daily life of its residents and its visitors, by promoting art in public places and the local art movement, and encouraging more creativity and innovation.
Lighting artists from more than 20 countries will take part in the festival, nearly half of them Saudi. The participants from the Kingdom are Ahmed Mater, Lulwah Al-Homoud, Ayman Zidani, Rashed Al-Shashai and Maha Mallouh. Prominent international artists taking part are Daniel Buren, Carsten Holler, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Yayoi Kusama and Dan Flavin.
The Noor Riyadh festival is the first event organized by the Riyadh Art Program, one of four major projects launched by King Salman in March 2019. It will run from March 18-April 3.