Pakistani fatwa against terrorism, what’s new?

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Will a fatwa (or religious edict) forbidding suicide bombing in the name of jihad actually stop these satanic acts? Theologians affiliated to terrorist outfits base their thoughts on a number of arguments and a collection of text, whether they are Qur'anic or prophetic, or from the sayings of the ancient Salafis to give their actions the required religious cover. This arena has been a battleground between clerics and official and semi-official religious institutions and theorists or ...

Mashari Althaydi

American entry in the Syrian crisis

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

A Syrian army made up of 30,000 fighters is being built east of Euphrates, bordering Turkey and northern Iraq. Half of this army will consist of Syrian Kurds and the other half will consist of the sons of Arab and other regions. The US is the head of this project, and the new player who has finally decided to fight the Syrian war on the ground with the support of opposition forces, so it can impose its vision of what a political solution will be in Syria. The Asharq al-Awsat newspaper was the ...

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

All is well between Tunisia and the UAE

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

This is a procedure the UAE has taken which when explained could have passed smoothly. It simply involved cancelling some incoming flights from Tunisia carrying female Tunisian passengers. Naturally, the decision stirred a controversy in Tunisia. However, after details surfaced on the UAE and Tunisia receiving a security warning from a western intelligence service, blaming fingers cannot be pointed at the UAE. The warning detailed that ISIS allied women were carrying Tunisian passports to target ...

Mashari Althaydi

Will Saleh loyalists have a role during Yemen’s next phase?

Monday, 25 December 2017

As expected, the Houthis’ act of “preying” on their main ally, the General People’s Congress led by Ali Abdullah Saleh, led to a deep rift in the rebels’ governing structure. Saleh is not like anyone in Yemen. Whether you like him or not, you must acknowledge that he succeeded in governing Yemen throughout the past decades. He mastered the political game, and was violent when he needed to and soft when he wanted to. He also developed a network of interests. Saleh ...

Mashari Althaydi

Will artificial intelligence turn against us?

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Ever since God created man, the Almighty has assured us of our sovereignty over the planet and control over all of its creatures. It is for this reason we fear the idea of aliens who may be more intellectually advanced than us or the emergence of intelligent machines that might think independently. A boon or bane Our fear of the appearance of those who surpass our intelligence is evident from the science fiction and futuristic films that speak about this subject (such as Terminator or Star Wars ...

Fahad Amer Al-Ahmadi

When Qatar’s famous turncoat talks about Jerusalem

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Saudi Royal Court advisor Saud Al-Qahtani recently tweeted about a “funny historical incident” related to the controversial cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. A long time back, the leader of “Two-Hamads” regime came crying to the once mature Qatari leadership seeking clemency for the controversial Islamic scholar Qaradawi. The royal audience reprimanded him for making the plea as Qaradawi was supportive of Hezbollah. In response, he replied: “May God bless you, if you wish ...

Mohammed Al Shaikh

Ali Abdullah Saleh: The last dance of Yemen’s snake-charmer

Monday, 4 December 2017

No phrase is more associated with the three-decade rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh than “dancing on the heads of snakes”, his description of what it took to rule Yemen. Over the coming hours, as obituaries are written for the man who in essence created the situation of Yemen today, that phrase will be used more than any other. It is somehow fitting that Saleh will be remembered for a phrase that he himself used to describe his own political success. In a country ruled by one man for so ...

Faisal al-Yafai

Religious debate within Saudi Shiite community vitiated by polemics

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Conservative societies often fear renewal or any kind of critical review of their cultural, social and religious legacy, as “collective memory” lends a kind of communal strength and sanctity. Resistance to renewal is a common trait in most Arab societies as they are accustomed to lack of accountability and follow a culture of obeisance. Religious rhetoric runs deep to the extent that it governs most individual and public activities. ‘Guardians of faith’ I have my ...

Hassan Al Mustafa

Syria: Moment of truth in Geneva

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Will the new Geneva round of negotiations, under the supervision of the UN, finally help to break the political impasse over the future of Syria? Clearly, the crisis is entering a new phase as the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, supported by Russia, continues to gain traction. The West and Gulf countries that supported the opposition have moved on from the idea of wiping out the regime. Everyone is tired of the Syrian crisis that has resulted in nearly 350,000 deaths. Undoubtedly, the time has come ...

Christian Chesnot

Does Lebanon’s Aoun understand the bigger picture?

Saturday, 18 November 2017

What those complaining in Lebanon don’t understand, or what they don’t want to understand - those from the Free Patriotic Movement, before Nasrallah’s supporters - that what is happening in the region is not only a Lebanese story. It’s not just one page in the Lebanese story, it’s also a page dictating the fate and place of Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The story is a new regional and international policy designed and implemented against the Iranian Khomeini invasion ...

Mashari Althaydi

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