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February 14, 2009

King Abdullah Sacks Head of Saudi Religous Police and Senior Judge (chad)

and in Saudi Arabia that means putting them in a sack and beating them like pinatas.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has sacked two powerful religious officials in a wide ranging shake-up of the cabinet and other government posts.

One of the dismissed men was the head of the controversial religious police force. The other was the country's most senior judge.

...

The sacked head judge, Sheikh Salih Ibn al-Luhaydan, caused controversy last September when he said it was permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV channels which broadcast immoral programmes.

Sheikh Salih Ibn al-Luhaydan said some "evil" entertainment programmes aired by the channels promoted debauchery.

Our correspondent says the sheikh may well be paying the price for airing his opinions.

source

Don't mess with the King's Pay Per View Porn.


Update: Some more in depth reaction:

The shake-up, the first major one since Abdullah came to power in August 2005, is significant because it dilutes the influence the hard-liners have had for decades on the religious establishment. The king, who has repeatedly spoken about the need for reform, has brought in a new group of officials and scholars who are younger and more in tune with the diversity of cultural Islam than their predecessors.

"They bring not only new blood, but also new ideas," said Jamal Khashoggi, editor of Al-Watan newspaper. "They are more moderate and many are also close to the reform agenda of the king, having worked closely with him."

...

The Saudi Press Agency said Abdullah has ordered the re-establishment of the Grand Ulama Commission — a religious scholars body — with 21 members from all branches of Sunni Islam. This is a major shift for the kingdom because it will give more moderate Sunni schools representation in a body that has always been governed by the strict Hanbali sect. No minority Shiites, however, have been appointed to the commission.

...

Another major change targets education. The king appointed Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, his son-in-law, as education minister. Khashoggi said Faisal has been working behind the scenes on plans to reform education. After the Sept. 11 attacks, carried out by 19 Arabs, including 15 Saudis, many in the U.S. blamed the Saudi educational system for helping create an atmosphere that justifies extremism.

source


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posted by xgenghisx at 10:01 AM

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