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In the Name of God بسم الله

Saudi Vision 2030 [OFFICIAL THREAD]

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People sometimes wonder about Western support for the Saudis, the reasons for it and perhaps even whether the Saudis are doing something 'right'.

Answer may be quite simple.

Corruption.

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Before Greensill Capital collapsed this month, one of Lex Greensill’s favourite anecdotes was a camping trip he said he had taken with David Cameron and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

 

This is one example of a German bank that has gone bust but which was able to count on support from David Cameron (ex UK Prime Minister) to try and get money out of the Saudis.

Cameron had been given share options in the bank.

It must be quite a big decision for the Saudis as to which corrupt scheme to support because there may be some uncertainty as to whether the western politicians involved will still be able to pull strings - long-term.

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Saudi 'culture' minister obviously recognising culture when he sees it

 

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The Salvator Mundi, which sold for $450m at Christie’s as a fully authenticated Leonardo, has been downgraded by curators at the Prado. It was bought in November 2017 by the Saudi culture minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah, apparently for the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The downgrading comes in the catalogue of the Prado exhibition Leonardo and the copy of the Mona Lisa, which runs in Madrid until 23 January 2022. Although individual specialists have questioned the status of the Gulf Salvator Mundi, the Prado decision represents the most critical response from a leading museum since the Christie’s sale.

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2021/11/11/prado-museum-downgrades-leonardos-dollar450m-salvator-mundi-in-exhibition-catalogue

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Historical writer Turki Al-Hamd, who has close relations to Mohammed Ibn Salman, calls for the legalisation of alcohol in Saudi Arabia.

 

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'Government' or 'regime'. In English language media the former confers legitimacy upon whoever is ruling a country and the latter does not. Here FT readers debate how these terms are used in relation to Saudi and Iran.

Screenshot 2021-12-10 at 07.07.05.png

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Translates as:

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It has been proven, through practical and historical experience, that religion and politics are two barriers that do not mix, and if they do come together, it will be a catastrophe. The Sunni experiences in Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan and Tunisia, and the Shiites in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, all failed and destroyed. Even the rat in the lab learns from the repetition of trial and error, except in this region. They don't learn..

His posts seem to reflect either official or approved Saudi thinking.

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For those who are confused by this Saudi Vision 2030 thing, let me simplify it

(I would be willing to debate any of these points individually, if someone wishes to)

1. The Saudi economy, at present, is almost totally based on exporting oil and natural gas. The power of the Al Saud family is based on only one thing, that they control the revenue from these exports.

2. The Saudi monarchy finally woke up and realized that oil and gas exports are going to decline significantly by 2030, due to switch away from oil and natural gas by most countries in the world and toward using renewable resources (wind, solar, etc). 

3. In order to avoid a deep recession and depression and possible economic collapse by 2030, they must do something to mitigate this risk

4. This 'something' means they need to transition the economy away from oil and natural gas and toward developing a broad based economy that is composed of many different industries that work together and develop 'synergy' between these industries and the government must heavily support development of such an economy using their present oil wealth.

I don't think steps 1 to 4 are really in dispute, and everyone (those who support the monarchy and those who don't) agrees they must do this. 

I think the 'how' of doing this is what is the problem. They have chosen a path (obvious to most people by now) which involves attempting to copy the current Western model of economic development and then first 'sell' and then 'impose' this on the people of the Hijaz. They are in the selling phase right now and are trying to convince the people that things like alcohol, gambling, and the 'Western' style of entertainment is not 'so bad', even though they claim to be an 'Islamic' government and all these things are specifically forbidden in the Holy Quran. 

Those who have compared current Saudi government policy to the policies of the Pahlavi Regime in Iran in the late 1960s and early 1970s are correct. It is a good comparison. The government is attempting to impose a Western 'lifestyle' on the people of a Muslim country. So we all saw how that turned out for the Pahlavi govt. Not exactly what they expected to happen, lol. 

BTW, there are other ways to transition the country away from reliance on oil and natural gas, other than trying to copy the Western style of 'economic development'. The problem is that MBS is in total control of the country, and he is convinced that the only way forward is to copy this model. So I don't see much hope that anything else will happen other than the selling then attempted enforcement of this model on the Saudi people, with dire consequences. Yes, it may end the Al Saud monarchy, but what brothers and sisters are not thinking about is that it will also have very dire consequences for the Saudi people themselves and could possibly lead to the rising of a much more brutal, ISIS style regime in the Hijaz(which includes Mecca and Medina). If you want to talk probability, I think this is the most likely outcome of this policy. 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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6 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

I think the 'how' of doing this is what is the problem. They have chosen a path (obvious to most people by now) which involves attempting to copy the current Western model of economic development and then first 'sell' and then 'impose' this on the people of the Hijaz. They are in the selling phase right now and are trying to convince the people that things like alcohol, gambling, and the 'Western' style of entertainment is not 'so bad', even though they claim to be an 'Islamic' government and all these things are specifically forbidden in the Holy Quran. 

6 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

The problem is that MBS is in total control of the country, and he is convinced that the only way forward is to copy this model.

 

Why would it be necessary to include the haram from the west for them to transition the economy. I pressume they are already doing much of the haram stuff privately, but why spread it to the public when outwardly they are "islamic nation".

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12 hours ago, slavelight said:

 

Why would it be necessary to include the haram from the west for them to transition the economy. I pressume they are already doing much of the haram stuff privately, but why spread it to the public when outwardly they are "islamic nation".

Salam their economy  has been built based on western economy with Islamic disguise  likewise avoiding interest  in their banks since hijacking  Hijaz & selling oil to western countries  but on the other hand they have inherited wahabi culture until know which MBS & rest of new  generation  of princes have raised by Zionist nuns & teachers which their long term procedure is total  destroying of Islam even wahabism by 2030 vision which they can spread their globasist agenda  & replacing  it with Islam through spreading  it from Mecca & Medina by training new generation  of  wahabi  scholars which will spread 2030 visio in name of reformist  Islam.

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On 12/18/2021 at 12:12 PM, Abu Hadi said:

and could possibly lead to the rising of a much more brutal, ISIS style regime in the Hijaz(which includes Mecca and Medina). If you want to talk probability, I think this is the most likely outcome of this policy. 

Your suggestion about possible outcomes seems to be in synch with this neocon map:

image.png

https://m-weddle.medium.com/bush-cheney-spawned-isis-a1e1901afdd6

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On 12/18/2021 at 12:12 PM, Abu Hadi said:

This 'something' means they need to transition the economy away from oil and natural gas and toward developing a broad based economy that is composed of many different industries that work together and develop 'synergy' between these industries and the government must heavily support development of such an economy using their present oil wealth.

The problem with this sensible solution is the following, note the stats I have put into red rectangles. The source is the OECD:

https://gpseducation.oecd.org/CountryProfile?primaryCountry=SAU&treshold=10&topic=EO#

Saudi education has a problem insofar as it seems to churn out too many people with an arts and humanities background and not enough engineers etc. That will be a problem going forward. They'll continue to rely on a cadre of foreigners to do things.

They may hope to be doing the white collar jobs themselves, but these may end up more likely being the ones where employees ask customers whether they'd like more fries with their order.

Screenshot 2021-12-19 at 22.07.29.png

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7 hours ago, Haji 2003 said:

outcomes seems to be in synch with this neocon map

Salam The wishful thinking of KSA & zionists is seperating Iran to at least 5 or 8 seperate countries which these countries will be in never ending battle between themselves which will be safeguar Israel from Iran.

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Salam,

If I may chime in with some more "esoteric" and less-analytical view of the situations in the Middle East, I still think the goal here is to achieve a Greater Israel. And it doesn't necessarily mean a territorial project wherein the Zionists control these lands but a strong alliance wherein israel is the main party and ruler of the region. That's why we see many of these countries having these big economic reform projects to attract investment to the region. From Egypt to Bahrain. But obviously they see Iran and the axis of resistance as a threat to their project that's why they are slowly pushing for an all out conflict against the Iranian gov to finish their project once and for all.

Obviously this is not the main reason these projects have started, but I think an important one, idk.    

photo_2021-12-19_12-40-15.jpg

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12 hours ago, Haji 2003 said:

The problem with this sensible solution is the following, note the stats I have put into red rectangles. The source is the OECD:

https://gpseducation.oecd.org/CountryProfile?primaryCountry=SAU&treshold=10&topic=EO#

Saudi education has a problem insofar as it seems to churn out too many people with an arts and humanities background and not enough engineers etc. That will be a problem going forward. They'll continue to rely on a cadre of foreigners to do things.

They may hope to be doing the white collar jobs themselves, but these may end up more likely being the ones where employees ask customers whether they'd like more fries with their order.

Screenshot 2021-12-19 at 22.07.29.png

While this is the case, this can change in the future. If the Saudi govt would focus on creating high quality STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) curriculum and  education, and introduce it early and often, and give the graduates of the programs good opportunities in these fields within their own country, this would change the above. In a way, Currently, the Saudi graduates in those fields are forced to go abroad to find work, because their home country doesn't offer them career opportunities in these areas. The ones with the 'Arts and Humanities' degrees are children of wealthy Saudis who don't want to challenge themselves to get a degree that is more useful. They see no incentive to do this, since their parents are wealthy and they think they will never have to worry about things that most people worry about, like food, clothing, shelter, no matter what degree they get. 

The poor Saudis are uneducated, most even lacking a high school (secondary) education. So these three factors plus the fact that Saudi is a dictatorship basically ruled by 1 person give foreign companies all the incentive in the world NOT to invest in Saudi and move jobs there. MBS thinks that the reason why foreign companies don't invest there is because there is no casinos, nightclubs, etc when that is not the reason at all. The main reason is because Saudi lack the human capital to support most modern types of companies (with the exception of the oil and gas industry), i.e. a large workforce with the proper skills and education. 

The best outcome of this 2030 vision is for Saudi to actually develop a large workforce with the proper skills and education to support modern types of companies and businesses outside the oil and gas industry. They need to start graduating large numbers of their citizens in degrees like robotics, AI(artificial intelligence), civil, mechanical, and bio medical engineering, nanotechnology, etc. If they did this, they would have the human capital necessary and companies would start moving there in droves. They don't need to do things that are against Islam in order to make this happen. A higher level of education will naturally get rid of alot of the racism that exists in the country. 

At the same time, I don't have much hope for this actually happening, because of MBS and the Al Saud gang that currently rules. They would rather see the entire country burn to the ground than do anything to jeopardize their absolute power over the country. A bunch of people gambling in casinos and going to nightclubs is not a threat to their power. A highly educated country is. So Al Saud would have to go before any real change could happen. 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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13 hours ago, Haji 2003 said:

Your suggestion about possible outcomes seems to be in synch with this neocon map:

image.png

https://m-weddle.medium.com/bush-cheney-spawned-isis-a1e1901afdd6

@Haji 2003

I think this “blueprint” has been revised since then. The Zionist West and its satellites in the GCC have long realised that Turkey is the ideal proxy to achieve several goals at once. Turkey’s “democratic” façade allows it to absorb the radical Wahhabi–Salafi ideological currents and pose as the “alternative” to statist models, be they strictly secularist or hybridised, such as those of the GCC. Turkey’s “elected ’Islamism’” can meld pseudo-populism, pan-Turkic nationalism, and Wahhabi–Salafi ideology while presenting itself as an alternative to “dictatorial” and “autocratic” approaches such as those of the KSA under MbS, the UAE under MbZ, Egypt under Sisi, Syria under Assad, and so on. Unlike the GCC, Turkey is more economically viable and militarily powerful than every state in the MENA except Iran and Israel. In fact, Erdoğan and his ilk would likely support the partition of the Arabian peninsula between a rump “Saudi” state in Nejd and a Turkish-backed Wahhabi–Salafi statelet in the Hejaz, allowing Turkey to recover its former Ottoman sphere of influence as far south as the Horn of Africa, including Yemen.

During the 1990s Turkey sided with the GCC, Pakistan, NATO, and Israel in supporting Wahhabi–Salafi and pan-Turkic expansionism in the Balkans, the Caucasus, and South-Central Asia, which served to counter not just Iranian influence, but also dissolve post-Soviet Russia, prevent Chinese-led economic integration, and isolate India. During the intervention in Syria Turkey has consistently used the Muslim Brotherhood’s FSA as a “moderate” front to serve as cover for the transfer of logistical and military support to al-Qaida and Daesh on behalf of the GCC, NATO, and Israel. Now Turkey is quietly backing the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan to recreate the nexus that existed during the 1990s, in which the West, Israel, and the GCC exploited, and indeed expanded, the old Iran-Contra and “Arab-Afghan” mujahideen networks of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Recall that most of the post-Soviet “Muslim” space, from Albania to Central Asia, comprises Muslims of Turkic ethnicity. This space also stretches into neighbouring Xinjiang in China, which happens to be rich in natural resources that the West covets.

Regarding the goals that the West and Company wishes to achieve by financing and arming Turkey as leader of the Zionist “Sunni NATO”:

  • Support for Turkey’s syncretistic MB project lends “democratic” legitimacy to radical Wahhabi–Salafi ideological currents and serves the NWO’s long-term aim to weaken statist structures, as well as destroy the traditional institutions and organic networks of society, including the family, the local economy, and so on, thereby aiding the Zionist financiers’ one-world government;
  • Besides attacking Iran, the Turkish-fronted “Islamist International,” in alliance with pro-Western proxies such as the Pakistani military and ISI, allows the West to counter Russian influence from Eastern Europe to Central Asia, as anti-Russian Ukrainian Nazis side with pro-Turkish Crimean Tatars, Kosovars, and Albanians, as well as weaken Chinese influence internationally;
  • In concert with Modi’s Hindutva (Hindu-fascist ideology), which has, along with evangelical and other Zionists, conspired with the Wahhabi–Salafi bloc to destroy traditionalist Hindu-Muslim relations, while reducing Indian influence in Afghanistan to the benefit of the Taliban, al-Qaida, Daesh, and their Western, Zionist, Turkish, and GCC patrons, threatening BRI;
  • Opening up the Black Sea and the Caucasus to full-scale NATO, Israeli, and GCC influence via Aliyev’s pro-Turkish Azerbaijan and a pro-Western, pro-Turkish “comprador” leadership installed by Soros et al. in Armenia, thereby placing Wahhabi–Salafi assets on the borders of Russia and Iran, while also posing a long-term threat to China as well as India.
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On 12/20/2021 at 11:59 AM, Northwest said:

During the 1990s Turkey sided with the GCC, Pakistan, NATO, and Israel in supporting Wahhabi–Salafi and pan-Turkic expansionism in the Balkans, the Caucasus, and South-Central Asia, which served to counter not just Iranian influence, but also dissolve post-Soviet Russia, prevent Chinese-led economic integration, and isolate India.

During a trip to Uzbekistan around 2007 I was told that the country had adopted an Islamist stance following the collapse of the USSR, but when the government realised the risks that this posed to itself, the country tried to focus on creating an identity centred around its history and figures such as Timur

 

On 12/20/2021 at 11:59 AM, Northwest said:

Recall that most of the post-Soviet “Muslim” space, from Albania to Central Asia, comprises Muslims of Turkic ethnicity. This space also stretches into neighbouring Xinjiang in China, which happens to be rich in natural resources that the West covets.

While the Chinese treatment of Uyghurs is despicable, you can understand the attraction to various operators of using this ethnic group as a front against China and the Chinese actions that are covered in the media being a response to this.

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"Dior" Dior cooperated with Saudi plastic artist "Manal Al-Dowayan", to issue a collection of bags that highlight Saudi culture and identity, with comments in Arabic for Dior's letters.

 

Saudi culture and identity:

FHJ18SeXsAI0ZF3?format=jpg&name=medium

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The schizophrenia of these societies keeps getting more extreme. You now have Saudi, promoting itself as a creative hub for entertainment industries, catering to the needs of western production firms. 

The comments to this tweet comprise some from Muslims aghast at the slide into vice, those from westerners critical of Saudi human rights abuses and the odd person expressing some kind of interest.

Oh and there are the sensible people also who can't get their heads around how you create something like this from scratch, with no obvious expertise, tradition or infrastructure.

 

 

 

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You can see where they are going with this. The Wahhabi clerics soon to be replaced by various international consultants and advisors telling them how to better follow some foreign ideology.

Still clergy, but wearing different clothes.

Screenshot 2022-01-13 at 08.44.07.png

https://twitter.com/TurkiHAlhamad1/status/1481474905552175106

 

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On 12/22/2021 at 1:58 AM, Haji 2003 said:

During a trip to Uzbekistan around 2007 I was told that the country had adopted an Islamist stance following the collapse of the USSR, but when the government realised the risks that this posed to itself, the country tried to focus on creating an identity centred around its history and figures such as Timur

 

While the Chinese treatment of Uyghurs is despicable, you can understand the attraction to various operators of using this ethnic group as a front against China and the Chinese actions that are covered in the media being a response to this.

The 'various operators' meaning mostly the US Govt. I agree that they are not helping the situation by using the treatment of the Uyghurs as a blunt instrument to pound on the Chinese Govt when it is convenient for them to do this. From what I've seen, I don't think they really care what happens to the Uyghurs. This is the behavior you expect from the US Govt, at the same time, most other government, including Muslim governments, are also pretty much silent on this issue. That is the tragic part and the reason why this is still going on. If the Muslim governments cooperated, at least on this issue which is something they could cooperate on, they could put enough pressure on the Chinese to stop this cultural and physical genocide that has been going on for years now. This would not be too difficult, if they had the will to do it. 

The fact that none of the Muslim countries came to their assistance is probably something that is more 'soul crushing' than the actions of the Chinese government. You expect the Kufar to come after you at some point, but what you don't expect is being abandoned by your brothers and sisters in Islam. 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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1 hour ago, Haji 2003 said:

You can see where they are going with this. The Wahhabi clerics soon to be replaced by various international consultants and advisors telling them how to better follow some foreign ideology.

Still clergy, but wearing different clothes.

Screenshot 2022-01-13 at 08.44.07.png

https://twitter.com/TurkiHAlhamad1/status/1481474905552175106

@Haji 2003

To be fair, I would opine that his tweet probably applies to 99.9% of the clergy from most, if not all, faiths throughout history. The Shia clerics tend to be better than the vast majority of other ecclesiastical authorities, however, given their concessions to the use of reason. Nevertheless, Sunni, Jewish, Trinitarian Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and even some (though far from all) Shia clerics have definitely been more of a burden on than an asset to religion, given that the line between faith and obscurantism can often be quite blurry.

Anyway, I think that all this talk of “secularisation” in the Wahhabi–Salafi KSA is more cosmetic than indicative of actual reforms. The Saudis and their ilk are still financing and arming the religiously motivated Wahhabi–Salafi terrorists in the MENA and South-Central Asia, among other regions. Until the Saudis stop exporting religiously driven terrorism and show toleration toward non-Wahhabi–Salafi creeds, secularisation is a moot point at best and a PR smokescreen at worst that only serves the interest of the Saudis’ Western masters.

After all, since the 1960s countless Western media have harped on the Saudis’ supposed drives toward “modernisation” and “secularisation.” All these moves turned out to be motivated by the desire to curry favour with the Western public rather than a sincere desire to alter the Saudis’ domestic and foreign policies. Mark my words: the Saudis’ “secularisation” is just more theatre designed to deceive a captive foreign audience. A truly secular, or rather pluralistic, Saudi state would stop relying on religious bigotry and terrorism.

1 minute ago, Abu Hadi said:

The 'various operators' meaning mostly the US Govt. I agree that they are not helping the situation by using the treatment of the Uyghurs as a blunt instrument to pound on the Chinese Govt when it is convenient for them to do this. From what I've seen, I don't think they really care what happens to the Uyghurs. This is the behavior you expect from the US Govt, at the same time, most other government, including Muslim governments, are also pretty much silent on this issue. That is the tragic part and the reason why this is still going on. If the Muslim governments cooperated, at least on this issue which is something they could cooperate on, they could put enough pressure on the Chinese to stop this cultural and physical genocide that has been going on for years now. This would not be too difficult, if they had the will to do it. 

@Abu Hadi

The reason for their silence, in my view, is that there is no independent evidence of “genocide,” aside from the harpings of Western NGOs, media, and governments such as the USG and its NATO puppets. Iran has not blamed China for committing “genocide,” nor have other Iran-friendly governments such as Russia and Venezuela. The whole “genocide“ charade is a Western ploy to distract the masses’ attention from Western and Zionist actions elsewhere. It is projection in action. For example, the West (including Israel), which has a history of eugenics (see the forced sterilisation of nonwhites, Palestinians, and so on), is falsely blaming China for allegedly sterilising Uighur Muslims. The Rohingya “genocide” being promoted by Western NGOs and regimes is another such diversion that is based on half-truths and distortions that whitewash the role of Wahhabi–Salafi terrorists in attacking Buddhists and Rohingya alike in order to smear the regime in Yangon, so that the West can detach Myanmar from China as part of its new “Cold War” vs. Chinese economic influence in South-Central and Southeast Asia. It’s no different from the West’s shenanigans in the former Yugoslavia, Syria, Libya, and so on, in which the West tries to manipulate Muslims into serving as proxy warriors vs. governments that oppose the Western/Zionist agenda. “Muslim” groups such as the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and its fronts such as CAIR that are financed by the Zionist-allied GCC (Saudis, Qataris, and so on) pretend to speak on behalf of Muslims while parroting the Western narrative about, say, Gaddafi’s “rapes” and Assad’s “chemical weapons” while requesting the West‘s intervention to “protect innocent Muslims” (read: Wahhabi–Salafi terrorists, as was seen in Libya and Syria and elsewhere).

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2 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

The fact that none of the Muslim countries came to their assistance is probably something that is more 'soul crushing' than the actions of the Chinese government. You expect the Kufar to come after you at some point, but what you don't expect is being abandoned by your brothers and sisters in Islam.

 

If I remember correctly the protests against the 2003 invasion of Iraq were predominantly in western countries rather than Muslim ones. And the Guardians of the Two Holy Mosques actually allowed their territory to be used for the invasion.

I see in the western media some surprise about the lukewarm support the Uyghurs are getting amongst Muslims. I think it's ultra cynical to assume that Muslim public opinion can be weaponised as and when it suits and then switched off when it does not.

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Saudi Arabia’s Religious Reforms Are Touching Nothing but Changing Everything

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Some speak of the reign of former king Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (who ruled from 1964–1975) as a turning point, with his conservative orientation financed by growing oil revenues. But today those reveling in the very recent changes speak instead of the slowly radicalizing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood during the 1960s and of 1979 as a dramatic juncture. That is the year when the Saudi leadership, reacting to religious challenges—the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Iranian revolution, and rising religiosity throughout the region—doubled down on its commitment to religion in public life inside the kingdom.4 Social restrictions increased, support for domestic religious institutions grew more generous, funding of religious activities abroad flowed more freely, and the country’s religious leaders seemed to exercise a veto over areas of public policy.

 

 

 

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The current minister of Islamic affairs, Abdullatif Al al-Sheikh, is one of the main figures of the new Saudi narrative on purported religious centrism. He portrays this path as one that fully conforms with Wahhabi doctrine and the “methodology of the righteous forebearers.”13 According to his narrative, that methodology needs to be refined after decades of encroachment by Islamists. Even before his appointment as minister, he completely adopted the Saudi political leadership’s religious discourse, adding political zeal to his dual credibility as a son of the official establishment and a member of the al-Sheikh family (of al-Wahhab).14

Nationalist social media accounts widely believed to be state affiliated have occasionally gone so far as to generate hashtags to singly thank the minister for his efforts at harnessing “good citizenship” and “patriotism,” “fighting terrorism,” and promoting state policies and overcoming bureaucratic resistance.15 For his own part, the minister does not shy away from tweeting to support state foreign and domestic policies, denounce conspiracies against the kingdom and its leadership, or reinforce to the Saudi public the idea that true Muslims leave discussions of politics to their rulers.16

The trickle-down changes inside the ministry have been quite apparent. In 2018, the minister of Islamic affairs (then newly appointed) denied the existence of a “written” black list but confirmed that those “who don’t fit with the new vision of the king and his crown prince of a moderate nation that rejects extremism” will not remain in their posts.17 As a case in point, consider how Saudi political authorities have sacked or otherwise marginalized imams who oppose social liberalization; instigate strife by praying against specific individuals, countries, and sects; or discuss politics.18

 

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The rhetoric is clear: the Ministry of Education has sought to root out any Muslim Brotherhood members or intellectual influence among Saudi teachers.

 In pursuing its reform agenda, the Saudi state defines Muslim Brotherhood influence as the source of radical religious interpretations in formal curricula and classroom instruction.

Saudi state’s reckoning, the fight against extremism, so-called deviance, and terrorism is equated with the fight against the Muslim Brotherhood, making disobedience to the rulers and the prospect of a revolution a totally foreign idea to Saudi Arabia and the ostensibly correct form of Islam its leaders uphold.77

The Saudi state’s approach has evolved over time. In 2015, the Ministry of Education removed books rather than teachers, eliminating writers deemed pro-Brotherhood from curricula and school libraries. It then moved against some teachers in 2018 after both the crown prince and the minister of education publicly denounced the penetration of Brotherhood ideology into the Saudi education system.84 

 

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There is no expectation, however, that the substance of these curriculum changes will include the same intellectually stimulating debates offered in the democracies of the West or elsewhere in the Middle East. Even the teaching of Vision 2030’s pillars and expectations to Saudi citizens is still mostly done using the traditional method of rote memorization. Nonetheless, the integration of these new subjects without, for example, trying to give them a more acceptable Islamic label is in itself a challenge to the way these subjects were previously prohibited.

Meanwhile, a restructuring of the academic and financial governance of Saudi universities to make them less reliant on the state has simultaneously allowed for the opening of foreign universities in the kingdom—with the Ministry of Education still playing a guiding role.94 It is not clear whether those universities would offer the religious education provided in national universities.

 

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Two underappreciated aspects of the changes stand out. First, social liberalization and political liberalization do not go hand in hand. Up until now, just the opposite has occurred. Political control is growing more centralized not only in terms of the wider state apparatus but also within the royal family. It is not just a matter of an audacious and ambitious crown prince making bold moves, but a remarkable restructuring of governance as well as social and political life.

Second, while the changes are potentially far-reaching, their ultimate direction is uncertain. Most are individually minor (and few are wholly unprecedented), and they remain quite reversible. And while state structures and officials have accepted and even applauded the moves, some social resentment and resistance is still possible—and unintended consequences might still materialize. Many small, incremental steps do not amount to an integrated and coherent vision but instead an audacious leap that may bring unknown results—or may lead to an eventual retreat.

For those who deal with Saudi Arabia, it makes sense to spend less time trying to identify winners and losers or good and bad actors. Instead, other actors must be prepared to deal with the country in ways that would have seemed unimaginable a decade ago and are difficult to anticipate fully today.

 

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In an April 2018 interview with the Atlantic’s editor-in-chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, Mohammed bin Salman initially baffled his interlocutor by suggesting there was no such thing as Wahhabism. He was not so much denying the reality of the historical figure behind the movement; rather, he was suggesting that Saudi Arabia’s past—and especially its future—should be understood in more national and religiously pluralistic terms. To that end, he said:

But our project is based on the people, on economic interests, and not on expansionist ideological interests. Of course we have things in common. All of us are Muslim, all of us speak Arabic, we all have the same culture and the same interest. When people speak of Wahhabism, they don’t know exactly what they are talking about. Abd al-Wahhab’s family, the al-Sheikh family, is today very well known, but there are tens of thousands of important families in Saudi Arabia today. And you will find a Shiite in the cabinet, you will find Shiites in government, the most important university in Saudi Arabia is headed by a Shiite. So we believe that we are a mix of Muslim schools and sects.79:blabla::hahaha:

When this new image of Saudi Arabia operates in the education sector, the leadership’s shift is not just rhetorical: teachers viewed as radical are being removed from classrooms.80 Whereas there has been only quiet winnowing of dissident voices among judges, the Ministry of Education has been quite explicit about targeting teachers who belong to suspect groups.81

https://carnegieendowment.org/2021/06/07/saudi-arabia-s-religious-reforms-are-touching-nothing-but-changing-everything-pub-84650

A Brief Overview of the Saudi Arabian Legal System

https://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Saudi_Arabia.html

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2 hours ago, Ashvazdanghe said:

@Ashvazdanghe

Personally, I view the conflict between the Saudi leadership and factions of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) as a fight between competing elements rather than distinct camps. Many of the MB militants in the KSA are not ideologically distinct from the Wahhabi–Salafi clerical establishment, but merely differ in their opposition to elements of the Saudi political elite (royal family). In many cases, the MB militants are, if anything, more bigoted and sectarian than some of the pro-establishment clerics. The MB militants are trying to establish a more “populist” version of Wahhabi–Salafi governance than that which is promoted by the Saudi political elite. These MB militants have often sided with pro-Qatari elements of Daesh in criticising the corruption and modernising influence of the Saudi royal elite, especially under MbS. These elements are also being courted by the West and Israel: given ongoing concerns about the KSA’s slow drift toward Russia, China, and Iran, NATO and Co. need to utilise disaffected Islamists within the KSA as “leverage” vs. MbS.

The Saudi elite under MbS has unsettled the West and Israel by forging closer economic ties with China, considering Russian military aid, and making on-and-off overtures to Iran. Although MbS has sided with the West and Israel on Yemen, in other respects he has proven more unpredictable than, say, pro-Western puppets such as Muhammad bin Nayef (MbN) and Alwaleed bin Talal (AbT), both of whom, like longtime Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan, represent the “comprador” vs. the “nationalist” elements within the Saudi elite. These latter elements are close to the Bush–Clinton–Obama consortium as well as Qatar-linked, pro-Turkish elements of the MB. Bin Sultan, in particular, has long enjoyed good relations with Turkey’s Erdoğan and played the role of senior operative in coordinating Saudi–Qatari–Turkish operations in Syria at the behest of the Anglo-Saxons and Zionists. Hamas sided with this nexus vs. Assad, too. So the matter is clearly more complicated than the simplistic view of the MB as “good cops” vs. Saudi “bad cops.”

In the event of a wider war in the MENA, Turkey and its financial patron Qatar would likely support Wahhabi–Salafi “populists” within the MB, including Yemen’s al-Islah, and Daesh as weapons vs. the “nationalist” Saudi elite by supporting the detachment of Hejaz from the KSA. At this point I think the West realises that it is gradually losing its influence over the KSA and must take drastic measures to prevent the KSA from entering into rapprochement with Iran over time, given that Russian and Chinese influence in the kingdom is undermining Western hegemony. The West and Israel will increasingly support an alliance of the MB and Daesh under MbN, AbT, bin Sultan, and Erdoğan vs. the “nationalist” Saudi faction (MbS). Turkey, Qatar, and Pakistan are already unifying their support for a pan-Islamist “Sunni” bloc vs. Russia, China, and Iran. I think the risk of a Western-led coup vs. MbS within the next five years is rather high.

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This is on the FT, but not behind a paywall, basically because it's a big ad by the Saudis:

https://ft-ithra.trunky.net/cultural-renaissance-in-saudi-arabia??utm_source=FT&utm_medium=Premium_Native_Amplification

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On 1/16/2022 at 10:37 AM, Northwest said:

The Saudi elite under MbS has unsettled the West and Israel by forging closer economic ties with China, considering Russian military aid, and making on-and-off overtures to Iran.

I am not sure how true all of that is. Certainly in 2020 there was a lot of press coverage of private flights between Israel and Saudi carrying Netanyahu. 

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They seem to be having a go at the slums of Jeddah, and there's a racial undertone to the move.

 

Screenshot 2022-01-26 at 17.48.44.pngScreenshot 2022-01-26 at 17.49.01.pngScreenshot 2022-01-26 at 17.49.23.pngScreenshot 2022-01-26 at 17.49.47.png

 

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