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Latest Wahhabi Stories

2008-08-01 12:00:31

MOSCOW _ Saudi Arabia's religious police have banned selling pet cats and dogs and walking them in public places in the country's capital Riyadh to preserve public morals, the Al-Hayat newspaper said Thursday. The religious police, known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, or the Muttawa, are charged with enforcing Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic code. Its members usually ensure that unmarried men and women do not socialize, women are properly covered and...

2008-07-15 09:00:56

By Brian Viner Last Night's TV THE QUR'AN CHANNEL 4 BANGED UP FIVE Whatever is the opposite of turning in one's grave, Lord Reith must be doing it. The old boy, who gave the BBC the mission to educate, inform and entertain, would have heartily approved of The Qur'an, even if as a beetle-browed son of the kirk he would have wondered why two hours were being cleared from the schedules to transmit it. This wasn't the BBC's decision, of course, but that of Channel 4, which is more the home...

2006-07-24 07:30:00

By Andrew Hammond RIYADH -- The fact that he still has a newspaper to edit is proof enough to Khalaf Alharbi that the ceiling of freedom in ultraconservative Saudi Arabia is rising. His mischievous tabloid Shams, Arabic for Sun, has endured suspension, the arrest of one of its journalists and the carping of Islamist hard-liners who say it embodies the Westernized future they fear Saudi Arabia will face if liberals get their way. But with a daily print-run of nearly 70,000, and recent...

2006-07-13 06:09:42

By Andrew Hammond JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - The first Saudi Arabian film festival opened this week, but the silver screen remains so controversial in the conservative kingdom that the word "cinema" does not even appear in the title. "The Jeddah Visual Show Festival" kicked off on Wednesday night with two hours of home-grown short films. The public can see the films three times a week for a month. Public movie screenings are taboo in Saudi Arabia, where puritanical scholars...

2006-06-08 10:19:09

RIYADH (Reuters) - A leading Saudi royal on Thursday defended the ultraconservative Islamic state's education system, saying that Muslim militancy blamed on Saudi school textbooks had its roots elsewhere. The Saudi curriculum came under intense scrutiny after the September 11 attacks on U.S. cities in 2001 since 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudis acting in the name of al Qaeda, which is led by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden. But a report issued last month by U.S. think-tank Freedom...

2006-05-25 08:47:54

By Andrew Hammond RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's education system continues to preach hatred for both Muslims and non-Muslims who oppose the ultraconservative state's version of Islam despite pledges of reform, a report published in the United States said. The Saudi curriculum came under intense scrutiny after the September 11 attacks on U.S. cities in 2001 since 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudis acting in the name of al Qaeda, which is led by Saudi-born fugitive Osama bin...

2006-05-24 14:10:00

By Andrew Hammond RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had taken measures to limit the power of controversial religious police who hardline clerics say make society more moral but many accuse of interfering in people's lives. Interior Minister Prince Nayef decreed that public prosecutors would deal with all cases concerning "harassment," stopping the ultraconservative kingdom's unique morality squad from detaining suspects for hours, the state media said. "The role of the...

2006-04-21 02:29:33

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Saudi journalist was freed after he had been detained for criticizing conservative Islamists, an international media watchdog said. Rabah al-Quwai, who writes for the daily Shams and some Saudi-run Web sites, was detained in the northern city of Hail, and held for 13 days. Quwai was freed on Saturday, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a statement received by Reuters late on Thursday. "Quwai ... said he was compelled to sign a statement saying...

2006-02-28 20:06:32

By Andrew Hammond QATIF, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - For Shi'ites living on Saudi Arabia's east coast, freedom is an invisible line in the sand. "Over there it's Dammam and if you hold a Shi'ite gathering you are arrested straight away. In Qatif here, you can do what you want," said Hussein as he drove along the road that separates the two municipalities in the Eastern Province. Saudi Arabia's minority Shi'ites, long viewed as heretics by authorities, are slowly testing government...

2006-02-28 09:05:00

By Andrew Hammond RIYADH -- Young Saudis, thirsty for cinema in a country with no big screens and just the bare bones of a movie industry, are determined to drag the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom into the celluloid world. Seven Saudi movies will take part in a film festival in the United Arab Emirates' capital Abu Dhabi in March, the strongest showing yet for the nascent Saudi cinema at any festival. And entertainment firm Rotana -- owned by royal entrepreneur Prince Alwaleed bin Talal --...


Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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