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Saudi Arabia

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Kamerynn Harrah

on 9 December 2013

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Transcript of Saudi Arabia

The 2013 WorldWatch List, Open Doors USA
ranked Saudi Arabia second on its extreme christian persecution list.
Saudi Arabia
Kurt Steinmuller
Kamerynn Harrah
Tyler Dawley
Kyle Shaffer
J.T. Esterkamp

Call to Prayer
Adhan, which means
“to listen, to hear, be informed about”
Equivalent to the “church bells” of Christianity
The message sums up the Shahadah pillar of Islam

The Shahadah pillar is the first of the five pillars of Islam.
"There is no deity but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God".

Muslims attempt to pray five times a day to Allah in order to become a better Muslim.

As the Mosques sound the call to prayer through speakers, they welcomes Saudi Arabians to prayer.
Muslims are called by the muezzin, who recites the adhan from the mosque's in Saudi Arabia.
The muezzins are placed in charge of mosques to lead, and recite prayer to Muslims.

Abdullah Interview
The Hajj is one of the five Pillars of Islam, which requires Muslims to perform the trip to Mecca if they are able to.
Freedom of Religion in Saudi Arabia
Gender Roles in Saudi Arabia
- Basic Law states that the media's role is to:
- Educate and Inspire national unity

- One of the world's most tightly-controlled media environments

- Censorship is strict, especially on the Internet

- Introduced in 1965.
- First broadcast ever was a recitation of the Qur'an.
- Dominated by five major companies:
- Dubai TV, Middle East Broadcasting Center, Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, Rotana, and Saudi TV.
- Together, they control 80% of the total broadcasts.
- Satellite dishes have been banned since 1990
- Recently have loosened the ban, and now will generally allow dishes as long as the content being viewed is not immoral or critical of the Saudi government.
- Current absence of cinema in the country.

If you convert from Islam, it is considered "apostasy" and you can be executed.
Children born to Muslim fathers are by law Muslim.
Anyone who practices another religion in Saudi Arabia keeps it away from the public square.
In fact, on the Saudi Arabian flag there is a sword that represents the military, and religious strength of the country, and also the House of Saud: The ruling family of Saudi Arabia.
The inscription on the flag reads,"
There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God".

This message, and the flag itself are a great representation of religious freedom in the country.
Islam is the state religion.
99% of the country is Muslim.
Freedom of religion is not enshrined in the Iranian constitution.

The government has some of the strictest Internet practices in the world. Criticism of the government, the royal family, or religious leaders and their decisions tends to not be tolerated, and does not pass the censors. In some cases, it can lead to journalists being banned and news offices closing in the kingdom.
Reporters Without Borders ranked Saudi Arabia 161st out of 173 countries for freedom of the press.
Saudis are looking elsewhere for uncensored news and entertainment. They are finding it through satellite signals. Even though technically it is illegal to own a satellite dish in the country, the skyline of every city is dotted with them on people's rooftops.

The content in Saudi Arabia's domestic mass media is under the control of the government, having to pass through censors before it makes it on air or in print.
- Content filtering is achieved by using software designed and optimized for controlling what content viewers can view. Content filtering is commonly used to by governments, ISPs, schools, employers, and parents to restrict content delivered over the internet via the web, e-mail or other means.
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology

Content Filtering
- All Internet traffic goes through a central network based in King Abdulaziz City, where a content filter is implemented.
- Additionally, a number of sites are blocked according to two lists maintained by the Internet Services Unit (ISU)
- "Immoral" - explicit and adult themes
- Sites promoting Shia ideology
- Citizens are encouraged to report immoral websites to the government

The control or suppression of what can be accessed, published or viewed on the internet. It may be carried out by governments, private organizations at the behest of government, regulators or on their own initiative.

Use of the internet is not all that common is Saudi Arabia with only about twenty percent of the population using it.

The government of Saudi Arabia not only views the internet as a threat to its own power but also to the country's way of life


Internet Censorship
Founded in 1996 by the Emir of Qatar
Network is made up of multiple stations
Arabic 24/7 news channel
Al Jazeera atfall (childrens station)
Around 12 sports channels
Al Jazeera English

Literally means "The Island" (Arabian Peninsula)

Al Jazeera was not the first such broadcaster in the Middle East; a number had appeared since the Arabsat satellite, a Sa`udi Arabia-based venture of 21 Arab governments, took orbit in 1985. The unfolding of Operation Desert Storm on CNN International underscored the power of live television in current events.

While other local broadcasters in the region would assiduously avoid material embarrassing to their home governments (Qatar had its own official TV station as well), Al Jazeera was pitched as an impartial news source and platform for discussing issues relating to the Arab world.

The network was praised by the Index on Censorship for circumventing censorship and contributing to the free exchange of information in the Arab world
Al Jazeera
- Malak Ghair Allah ("You Only Have God To Count On") ("You Have No One Except Allah") - by Mohammed Al-Haddad
- Released in 2007
- Filmed by an entirely Saudi Arabian crew
- Tells the story of a successful man who has strayed from the path of true Islam. He smokes, flirts with women, and doesn't join his colleagues at work in performing the five daily Muslim prayers.
- "I wanted the youths to understand that it's not the looks that count. It's what inside that matters," al-Khatib (Director) said. "The video also has this message: Don't give up and think, 'I sinned, therefore I'm going to hell,'" the director added. "Believe that there's a God and he is always there to help you."

Digital Media
- Blogosphere
- All users are encouraged to register with the government and the new rules, as of Jan. 1 2011, prohibit criticism of Islam or anything that compromises public order.
- Saudi Arabia was listed 5th on a list entitled "10 Worst Countries To Be A Blogger"
- http://cpj.org/reports/2009/04/10-worst-countries-to-be-a-blogger.php
- An estimated 400,000 blog sites are blocked currently
- Twitter
- Tweets went up 400% in 2009, compared to the worldwide average of 90% in the same year.
- Although still regulated, harder to control due to the nature of Twitter being a constantly updated outlet.
- Facebook
- Had 5 million users, but has been banned since November 2010, due to Facebook not conforming to the Saudi conservative values.
- A statement from an unnamed official: "Facebook has crossed the line with their content", explaining the temporary ban

- 2012, first feature film to bet in Saudi Arabia
- Also, first feature to be directed by a Saudi Arabian woman (Haifaa al-Monsour)
- Critically acclaimed and has won numerous awards around the world

- Story of a young girl named Wadjda, who passes a green bicycle everyday in a store, with her heart set buying it one day so she can beat her neighbor in a race. She enters Qur'an reciting competitions, hoping to use the prize money to one day buy the bicycle. But her father is threatening to leave her mother for another woman since Wadjda's mother is incapable of bearing children anymore.

- Critics praise the themes of freedom and individuality and the film continues to be successful around the world.
Hillary Clinton stated that the US was losing the information war as "Al Jazeera has been the leader in that [they] are literally changing people’s minds and attitudes. And like it or hate it, it is really effective,”

Bahriain, China, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, U.S., and Israel have all either banned or requested station shut-down due to the content and comments being released on the network.
“Editorial Independence” a hot topic issue since station is funded by gov’t
Independence often disputed, with claims that the Qatar government manipulates Al Jazeera coverage to suit political interests.
Al Jazeera's long-time Berlin correspondent Aktham Suliman left in late 2012 "Before the beginning of the Arab Spring, we were a voice for change," he says, "a platform for critics and political activists throughout the region. Now, Al-Jazeera has become a propaganda broadcaster."
Al-Masjid Al-Haram
Medina (Yathrib)
"The number of pilgrims coming from outside the kingdom to perform Hajj this year reached 1,100,544 pilgrims" (MOFA)
Hijrah - Muhammad's migration to Medina
Home to the three oldest mosques in Islam - Quba Mosque, Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (pictured above), and Masjid al-Qiblatain.

The Masjid al-Qiblatain was where the direction of the Qibla changed from Jerusalem to Mecca
al-Masjid al-Qiblatain
The Mosque of Two Qibla
Saudi Aramco
Digital Media
Women2Drive Campaign
- June 17, 2011
- Led by Manal Al-Sharif
- 40 women with international drivers licenses participated in the campaign
- Officially, no law bars women from driving, but
- senior government clerics have ruled against the practice, a ruling generally supported by the public.
- Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to tactically prohibit women from driving and the campaign is still active to this day.
- The women posted photos and videos of themselves driving on various social media sites to protest
- Al-Sharif was arrested shortly after the campaign began and was released 9 days afterwords.
- Her video of the social protest reached 700,000 views
- "No Woman, No Drive"
- Mock parody music video against ban

Other exports include Natural Gas and Dates
King Abdullah
Founded by King Abdulaziz
Also known as Ibn Saud
Served as first king from 1932-1953
Islamist Monarchy
Primarily Sunni
Estimates of 15% Shi'a, mainly in the Eastern Province
Iran is a major enemy of Saudi Arabia - majority Shi'a
- Top 10 Everyday Things Banned in Saudi Arabia
At every prayer time, every business will close its doors in order to worship Allah.
Folkoric music and dance native to Saudi Arabia
music of Makkah and Madinah incorporates both local and music influences from other Islamic countries.
Usually accompanied with a dance ritual
First Saudi Arabian Music Video
Music involving anything but religious praise is most likely to be removed by the "religious police"
Combines poetry and songs of Arab Andalusia
Television cont.
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend"
Saudi Arabia and Israel
- Saudi Arabian government predicts that Saudi's watch 50-100% more television than their U.S. or European counterparts
- On average, 2.7 hours are spent daily watching television in Saudi Arabia
- Pay-TV market is quite small, with it reaching about 21% of population with televisions.
- Expected to continue increasing due to the absence of cinema.
- Al Jazeera Sports is the largest pay-TV market, representing 59% of all subscriptions.

Call to Prayer Video
Freedom of Religion in Saudi Arabia
One example of the absence of freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia is the practice of Christianity
According to Open Doors USA,
"Public Christian worship is forbidden; worshipers risk imprisonment, lashing, deportation and torture. Evangelizing Muslims and distributing non-Islamic materials is illegal
Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are worried that the nuclear restrictions placed on Iran will not be enough and are teaming up for a “contingency plan” that may involve attacking Iran

“According to the Sunday Times, Riyadh has agreed to let Israel use its airspace in a military strike on Iran and cooperate over the use of rescue helicopters, tanker planes and drones.” (Sunday times)

The United States and other countries such France and Great Britain are currently drafting at Geneva.
Christian Persecution List:
Daily Prayer in Saudi Arabia
Government ruled by the House of Saud
Allegiance Council - 2007
Women and men are separated in both the public and private square in order to promote Islamic traditions and laws.
Women must cover the "awrah" parts of their body, which are parts not meant to be exposed.
Similarly to the other Islamic states, Saudi Arabia regulates the level of rights women are allowed to posses.
In fact, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving a vehicle.

The Saudi Arabian government believes that regulating this aspect of a woman's life is for their own good.
The governments justification is that it believes that driving could potentially damage, or impede a woman's ability to conceive a child.
Driving negatively affects the ovaries, and uterus.
Spoken Word Video
Sex Segregation keeps strange men away from women in Saudi Arabia.
As you can see from the above examples men exhibit more freedoms then women in Saudi Arabia.
Men also control the mobility of women. They regulate the whereabouts of their wives.
Women most gain the permission from their husbands to leave the house.
It is estimated that the oil reserves in Saudi Arabia sum up to 1/5th of the worlds total reserves
Ghawar Field
However, women in Saudi Arabia accept the rules and regulates applied to them because they believe the rules were set forth by Allah.
Following these conservative gender norms and family values brings them closer to Allah, and also helps them become a better Muslim.
Jalabiya for men - not religious, more of everyday wear.
Disparity between rich and poor
"Meanwhile, Saudi's are paying most of their salary on rent, private schools, private hospitals -- because public ones aren't good -- while salaries have practically stayed the same" Manal Al Sharif
Males are guardians to women
Manal Al Sharif
Niqab, Hijab, and abaya must cover the body.
The only restriction to male wear is that the area between naval and knees are covered.
Headdress-taiga, gutra, and igal
Brief Overview
Full transcript