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Middle East Press (18 Nov 2016 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Why Saudi Arabia Needs Movie Theatres: New Age Islam's Selection, 18 November 2016

New Age Islam Edit Bureau

18 November 2016

Why Saudi Arabia Needs Movie Theatres

By Sara Al-Akkash

Is The Far Right Rearing Its Head In Australia?

By Talal Yassine

What Does The Arrival Of Trump Mean For Us?

By Khaled M. Batarfi

How Europe's Far-Right Feasts On Trump's Victory

By Rachel Shabi

Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau


Why Saudi Arabia Needs Movie Theatres

By Sara Al-Akkash

Nov 18, 2016

HAVING movie theatres in the Kingdom continues to be a highly debated topic, especially in religious and social circles. Members of the first group believe that art, especially cinema, is a satanic thing. They also believe it will brainwash Saudis and destroy their culture and society. The second group believes that cinema is important because it is a tool that helps people express their opinions and influences social behavior. Cinemas help end the problem of loitering on streets and in malls and allow young Saudi men to spend their time constructively by watching movies. Many young Saudi men travel to nearby countries just to watch movies.

Personally speaking, I do not know why the first group believes that cinema will bring vice and corruption to society when in fact they are merely theatres where movies are shown. In other words, they are similar to TVs.

Today, Saudis can watch an extensive variety of Arabic and Western movies while sitting at home in front of their TV sets thanks to satellite channels. Nobody is calling for a ban on these channels. So why are some people scared and why do they not want the Kingdom to have movie theatres? Why are people allowed to watch films in homes but not in public places?

The concerned authorities can monitor and control movie theatres should we decide to have them. We need to establish rules for the types of movies that can be shown in such theatres. The Ministry of Culture and Information can play a role in the monitoring process. For example, the scenes that are not permitted can be cut. The well-known Saudi writer Dr. Abdullah Sadiq Dahlan said that having movie theatres in the country would promote Saudi culture, help the youth adopt moderate Islamic ideologies and solve many of our complicated social issues.

Some think that perhaps it is not suitable to talk about entertainment while the country is going through a tough period. I believe that this is the right time to have movie theatres for two reasons: entertainment can play a big role in helping people vent negative feelings and energy and become more accepting of others. They would help boost the economy and contribute to achieving some of the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.

Source: saudigazette.com.sa/opinion/local-viewpoint/saudi-arabia-needs-movie-theaters/


Is The Far Right Rearing Its Head In Australia?

By Talal Yassine

November 17, 2016

Pauline Hanson's political diatribe finds many similarities with Trump

Any commentary on the 2016 election in America can't be explored without the lingering artifacts of surprise. Surprise that despite all the racist, sexist, demeaning things that Trump said, he went on to win the presidential election in the US.

Australia hasn't been without its political challenges as well. In particular, 2016 saw the resurrection of the political career of one Pauline Hanson. In the run up to Australia's 2016 election, she served up sound bite after misguided sound bite to the media, just like Trump. Many might suggest that Hanson is Australia's answer to Trump; but while her policies are problematic, it's not fair to compare the two. For a start, unlike Trump I've never heard Pauline state that it is her right as a powerful public figure to grope people.

However, the biggest difference is not about policies or how their abhorrent statements can somehow gain traction on both sides of the globe. The difference is that nearly half the American electorate vote for Trump. Back in Australia during the July election, only 4 per cent thought Hanson was the one Australia needed. Statistically speaking, that's not a lot of people. Particularly if we factor that 96 per cent of the compulsory Australian vote went to literally others on the voting form.

Twenty years ago, Hanson campaigned on a platform that was fundamentally based on immigration. Specifically the problems she saw with the levels of people coming to Australia from Asian countries. She regularly used the terms "we will be swamped by Asians" and claimed that she wanted to "take our country back". Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Exchange the word "Asians" for "Mexicans" and one must seriously consider whether her old speechwriter ditched her for a lucrative deal writing for The Donald.

In 2016 Australia there has been no swamping by Asians, or anyone else for that matter. So, like someone who predicts the end of the world and then looks for excuses when the sun continues to rise, Hanson made more predictions. Predictions that have been widely touted by insecure nationalists and their ludicrous figureheads the world over: The Muslims are coming!

There's no denying that Hanson has some support within Australia, and it comes from a support base that 96 per cent of Australians are not proud of. However, the Trumps and Hansons of the world need only open their mouths, and the tabloids are willing to quote them as viable and rational human beings. Even when they get their facts wrong. Perhaps next time Pauline's political platform could be about immigrants that have actually gone on to do horrendous damage to Australia. Like cane toads or the crown of thorns starfish - just to name a few. At least then Pauline would have some credibility in her argument.

Talal Yassine is the Chairman of Gulf Australia Corporation

Source; khaleejtimes.com/editorials-columns/is-the-far-right-rearing-its-head-in-australia


What Does The Arrival Of Trump Mean For Us?

By Khaled M. Batarfi

17 November 2016

What does the arrival of President-elect Donald Trump mean for us? How much would that affect Saudi relations with the US? I have heard this question a lot since last Wednesday, and my answer is that: Relations with the United States stand on three bases: Mutual interests, fundamental strategies and political cooperation.

On the first base is a deeply-rooted, time-tested and powerful 85-year-old’s partnership, since the oil agreement was signed with US oil companies during the early 1930s. This partnership has expanded to cooperation in military, security, financial, commercial, educational and developmental areas in the following decades.

Saudi Arabia, today, is the largest market for a wide range of American products, which reached $20 billion in 2015, and more in the form of investments. From F15 to Dreamliner, GMC to iPhone, oil drillers to security systems, Coca cola to McDonald, US products are flooding our markets and satisfying our daily needs.

The US market has accommodated hundreds of billions of investment and oil and petrochemical products. Generations of Saudis have graduated from US schools and universities, military and security academies and returned to lead a comprehensive developmental renaissance that built up the country to one the of world most developed, largest economies, and best equipped armies.

Saudi-US Partnership

This sort of relationship is what the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz Al-Saud, envisioned when he said that Britain is a friend, but America is a partner, and partners come before friends.

The second base is at the intersection of regional and international strategic interests, the convergence of objectives and similarity of means. Both countries are working for global and regional peace and protecting the security of international waterways in the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea in order to fight terrorism and drain its resources. They are supporting UN efforts in the fields of environmental protection, human rights and free trade.

They are also striving to achieve these lofty goals through peaceful and defensive means, such as providing material and political support to concerned international organizations and to enforce resolution through implementation of Security Council and international arbitration institutions.

The third base is cooperation to resolve regional conflicts, such as the Palestinian, Syrian and Yemeni, and Iranian interventions and violations of UN resolutions.

Saudi-US agreement on the first and second bases is almost full. At the third base, the two allies agree on goals and might disagree on mechanisms and details. For example, on the Palestinian issue we agree on a two-state solution, but disagree on the method of implementation.

In Syria we agree on the application of Geneva 1 framework, and all Security Council resolutions, but disagree on how to support the Syrian opposition and respond to the Russian intransigence. In Yemen, our agreement is full on the implementation of the Security Council resolutions and on US Kerry Peace Plan.

Still Saudi-US relations are not free from thorny issues, such as JASTA Law, and US leniency toward troublemakers — Iran and Israel. However, these differences are normal in any relationship, and as a result of different interests and visions toward certain issues and style.

Tackling Terror

Perhaps the new American president will be more assertive in dealing with terrorism sponsors and troublemakers in the region, as promised. These include Iran and militias like Hezbollah, ISIS, al-Qaeda and the Houthis.

As for election promises, such as charging allies for protection, I expect the new president to be briefed by his state, intelligence and defense team, during his first days in office, that US foreign military bases and access privileges are there to serve its own interests, guarding international waterways, fighting terrorism and protecting Israel. And that what America had for free or almost free, other superpowers, like Russia, China, France and Britain, would pay hefty fees for.

All in all, US-Saudi relations have been built on solid grounds, since founded by King Abdulaziz Al-Saud and the 32nd US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the 1930s. They remain so, thanks to the good works of thirteen presidents and six kings, up to the seventh king, Salman Bin Abdulaziz and the forty-fifth President, Donald Trump.

These constants and fundamentals will not be affected by a change of leaders. However, policies and stands over certain issues may do.

Hopefully, the new leadership may find it more rewarding and beneficial to US interests if it cooperates with it allies and partners in good faith. We have tried two-faced politics for eight years and it was ugly. Let’s try, “What you see is what you get” leaders, it might get better!

Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi writer based in Jeddah.

 Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2016/11/17/What-does-the-arrival-of-Trump-mean-for-us-.html


How Europe's Far-Right Feasts On Trump's Victory

By Rachel Shabi


As the consequences of Donald Trump's victory are assessed around the world, there are reasons to be very afraid in Europe.

Among the first to celebrate the race-baiting, misogynist authoritarian's election as the next United States president was Europe's populist far-right. Marine Le Pen of the National Front (FN) in France tweeted her congratulations and later said: "Their world is collapsing. Ours is being built."

Geert Wilders, from the far-right Dutch Freedom Party, said: "Politics will never be the same. What happened in America can happen in Europe and the Netherlands, as well."

Frauke Petry, leader of Germany's anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), also congratulated Trump, while hailing the historic opportunity his victory represented.

In Austria, Norbert Hofer, presidential candidate and chairman of the far-right Freedom Party, was similarly jubilant, as was Hungary's far-right prime minister, Victor Orban, as well as Poland's staunchly nationalist president, Andrzej Duda.

Globalisation Of The Far-Right

You get the picture: The varying shades of ethno-nationalist, anti-immigration parties in Europe were really pleased with Trump's success. Not least because it was so unexpected - and if it can happen like that in the US, then why not across Europe?

Meanwhile the first foreign politician to meet Trump following his election win was Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Farage doesn't have a parliamentary seat, but was a leading Brexit campaigner in the referendum to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union, and joined Trump on the campaign trail a few months ago.

Now pressuring the British prime minister, Theresa May, for an ambassadorial role to the US, although May swiftly dismissed the idea, his meeting with Trump seemed intended to send out a signal to European voters: The far-right is for winners.

If Europe's assorted populist race-baiters are happy, it's no doubt bolstered by the impression, emanating from some of Trump's people, that the globalisation of the racist far-right across Europe is the stated goal.

That's according to Stephen Bannon, who runs the white supremacist, misogynistic Breitbart news website, which campaigned for Trump.

He's going to be the next president's chief strategist. A man soon to hold all the power that accompanies this White House position has stated aims to expand the Breitbart empire into France and Germany.

Marion Marechal-Le Pen, who is Marine Le Pen's niece and an FN member of the French parliament, enthused on Twitter about their working with Bannon. As an analysis piece in the US Daily Beast news and views website noted, Bannon "is right now the direct line between the European far-right and Donald J Trump, leader of the free world".


Meanwhile, the think-tank the European Council on Foreign Relations found earlier this year that, while Russia didn't create far-right parties in the EU bloc, it benefits from the pro-Russia sympathies held by a majority of them.

Suspicions routinely circle over Russian support for such parties, while Marine Le Pen's party has received funding from a Russian lender a few years ago (after French banks refused to lend).

Now, with Trump seeking a "partner-like" dialogue with Russia's Vladimir Putin, this full loop of authoritarian power and influence has terrifying potential.

Small wonder, then, that EU member states are worried, holding an emergency meeting last Sunday - although Britain, France and Hungary refused to attend, signalling potential rifts in alliances.

Europe's migration crisis, and failure to deal with it in a coordinated manner, on top of years of economic crisis, have created perfect conditions for the far-right to exploit, using the usual tactic of railing against a corrupt establishment while pushing a nativist nationalism that scapegoats Muslims and migrants alike as a terror threat and the reason for everything that's wrong.

But, the reason to be cheerful - OK, just a little bit less gloomy, then - is the roots of the European project, and all its attendant values, which may be deep enough to withstand this assault.

Ruth Wodak, author of The Politics of Fear: What Right-Wing Populist Discourses Mean, told me by phone that, across Europe, the levels of "dismay and aversion towards a lot of things Trump has said and believes" may well galvanise attempts to fight much harder to thwart any far-right electoral success.

Explaining that this may already have been the effect of Brexit, once the post-referendum disarray in Britain became evident, she holds that commitment to issues such as the welfare state, healthcare, green policies, human rights and a commitment to a joint peace project in post-war Europe may serve as a political dam against the far-right.

For that to work, though, the EU would need to take an economic turn to the left, away from the ravaging neoliberalism and austerity policies that have caused such deep economic pain and fuelled the anger upon which the far-right feasts.

Rachel Shabi is a journalist and author of Not the Enemy: Israel's Jews from Arab Lands.

Source: .aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/11/europe-feasts-trump-victory-161116122158503.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/middle-east-press/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/why-saudi-arabia-needs-movie-theatres--new-age-islam-s-selection,-18-november-2016/d/109128


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