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Middle East Report With Dr. James Dorsey

Nov 19, 2021

By Umamah Bakharia

Saudi is keeping an eye on the religious ball and global competition for talent

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is refining the ultra-conservative religious establishment and making hyper-nationalism rather than religion a pillar of a new 21st-century Saudi identity.

But the first beneficiaries of a recent decree to give citizenship to high-end achievers in law, medicine, science, technology, culture, and sports suggests that Prince Mohammed, in contrast to the kingdom’s main competitors seeking to attract foreign talent.

Citizenship is granted to some talents, many being religious figures.

“The Saudis are signaling that as much as they attribute importance to economic growth, they also still attribute significance to the religious element to what constitutes Saudi Arabia,” says Dr. Dorsey.

How much is religious soft power worth, Indonesian president searching for answers in Abu Dhabi

Indonesian promise to work with the United Arab Emirates to promote ‘moderate’ Islam.

The pledge, made by Indonesian President Joko Widodo during a three-day visit to the UAE to seek Emirati investment in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority state, is potential for a government coalition partnership and becomes the government’s foremost ally in projecting Indonesia as an icon of moderate Islam.

Young Saudi Shi’ite whose death sentence was commuted leaves jail

Saudi authorities have freed a young Shi’ite Muslim whose death sentence had been commuted to 10 years in prison under recent legislative reforms.

Abdullah al-Zaher was 15 when he was detained in 2012 for participating in protests in the country’s Eastern Province. He was released on Monday following the completion of his revised sentence in a Saudi prison.

Zaher was one of three young men, along with Ali Al-Nimr and Dawood al-Marhoun, whose death sentences for crimes committed as minors had been revised to 10 years in prison earlier this year.


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