1 million Algerian Dinars to wage ‘Yankee Jihad’ in Syria

In this clip Dr Sheikh Imran Hossein explains why it is ‘haram’ for Muslims to go to Syria for ‘Jihad’. He tells his audience of a family who wrote to him of their son who was offered a million Algerian Dinars (just under half a million dollars) to go fight in Syria, and in response says that they cannot stop him from going there, but that if he does they must disown him, as the Syrian war is not a real jihad but simply a fight between hired mercenaries and the Syrian state. Hossein further says that anyone who goes to Syria to kill innocents will burn in the ‘fires of Jahannam’. He notes that the countries financing the ‘Syrian jihad’ are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Libya, whom he says are all under Zionist control (though more accurately American influence).

British government faces legal challenge over flogging of prison services to Saudi Arabia


Saudi blogger Raif Badawi receives his first flogging

The British government is facing another High Court challenge from human rights activists, this time regarding the Ministry of Justice’s decision to sell prison services to Saudi Arabia and Oman.

The Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) launched their challenge today, alleging that the MoJ has no legal power to provide such profit-making services. The so-called MoJ’s commercial arm – ironically titled ‘Just Solutions International’ – was revealed earlier this year but remains shrouded in secrecy, as next to nothing is known about it other than that it has submitted a £5.9 million proposal to Saudi Arabia and a similar bid to Oman. Lawyers for GCHR assert that providing such services overseas is not a “governmental purpose”.

Notably – just as with the announcement of the Royal Navy’s new naval base in Bahrain – there has been no parliamentary debate or vote on the subject, suggesting that the government does not want to draw attention to the matter. GCHR advisory board member Melanie Gingell states that:

“It seems to us that far from improving human rights standards in the detention systems of these undemocratic states, the UK is more likely to be simply improving the efficiency of the systems within which these notorious abuses are being carried out. The British public has been horrified by the public beheadings and floggings carried out in Saudi Arabia, and now mirrored by ISIS, and they have a right to know exactly what role the UK government is playing in these systems.”
She added, “We fear that the driving motivation behind these bids is purely commercial, and the veil of secrecy that has been drawn over them simply serves to deepen our concerns that the UK is making money out of the worst aspects of these states, that it condemns in public, but is happy to give support to in private.”

GCHR have submitted several Freedom of Information requests to the MoJ regarding JSi’s schemes, but all have been rejected. A week ago the Financial Times revealed that new Justice Secretary Michael Gove is planning to clamp down on Britain’s FoI laws, in order to make the process of obtaining information from government agencies much harder for citizens. This contrasts with the “revolution in government transparency” that David Cameron promised in 2011. Writing in the Telegraph, the PM stated:

“Information is power. It lets people hold the powerful to account, giving them the tools they need to take on politicians and bureaucrats.”

Such a reversal of policy is yet another nail in the coffin for Britain’s democracy.

GCHR is crowdfunding to cover the costs of their High Court application. To donate please visit: http://www.gofundme.com/saudiprisons

SaudiLeaks: ‘Syrian regime must be overthrown to avoid revenge for what we’ve done to them’


A new cable released by Wikileaks says that the ‘Syrian regime must be overthrown to avoid revenge for what we’ve done to them’.

Notably the Saudileaks have received next to no media attention, likely because they reveal the extent to which the medieval Kingdom bribes journalists in order to receive positive coverage and suppress negative stories.  This could also account for the media blackout on the Saudi-led siege of Yemen.

Realistically, it seems that continuing the destruction and bloodshed is what is most likely to result in harm to Saudi Arabia itself; it already having experienced two suicide bombings within a week of each other in May. Overthrowing “the regime” in Syria is not going to save the country from attacks now that the takfiri genie is well and truly out of the bottle.

The Saudi Cables
Over half a million cables and other documents from the Saudi Foreign Ministry

Iran is the Future

BRAZIL - JUNE 21:  Iran fans cheer during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Argentina and Iran at Estadio Mineirao on June 21, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 491933191

BRAZIL – JUNE 21, 2014: Iran fans cheer during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Argentina and Iran at Estadio Mineirao 

This is a comment I posted on a Guardian article reporting on King Salman’s decision not to attend the GCC meeting with Obama at Camp David. It sum’s up what I think are the real motivators behind the Persian Gulf countries, and Israel’s, fear of the Iran nuclear deal:

How exactly does a deal to LIMIT Iran’s (peaceful) nuclear programme harm the GCC? Iran isn’t the one bombing it’s neighbour and covertly waging a war against Iraq and Syria. The only aid Iran has given the Houthis is financial, as well as negotiating food imports into the country, and a new airline linking Sanaa to Tehran. The Houthis, like everyone else, are fighting with American-made weapons. By the way, I just read that Yemen is on its way to becoming the worst man-made crisis of the 21st century, due to the blockade making it impossible to get fuel and food (90% of Yemen’s food is imported).

I think the real problem for these despots is what will happen to their economies once sanctions are lifted. 90% of KSA’s income is through oil sales, and it’s population are unskilled and uneducated. Iran’s population is the opposite, and they actually manufacture things, such as cars. Though it’s not reported in the Western press, delegations from all over Europe have been visiting Tehran to sign trade deals in recent months. In fact, there was even a US delegation there yesterday.

Without the sanctions, Iran has the ability to become an economic powerhouse. In fact it is also about to start building hundreds of new hotels to keep up with its blossoming tourist industry. All this strikes fear into the heart of Salman, Netanyahu, Tom Cotton, and the rest.

One further point is, how will lessening restrictions in Iran’s energy sector affect the price of oil? The market is currently flooded with Saudi oil, what happens when it’s also flooded with Iranian oil?

It can’t be emphasised enough how much potential there is for Iran. If you read Fars News or Press TV there are almost daily articles reporting on economic delegations from Poland, visits to Tehran by French car manufacturers, meetings between Iranian ministers and Swiss ministers, and so on. The power they exert is very much in the Chinese tradition, ie. investing in infrastructure rather than selling weapons and dropping bombs, as the American’s and the Saudi’s do.

I probably wouldn’t have started this blog if it wasn’t for the sudden interest I found in Iran last year. Having researched women’s rights in the Middle East, I couldn’t believe that the country so demonised for its human rights abuses was Iran, whose women seem so fiercely independent, and not Saudi Arabia, which goes to extraordinary lengths to keep their women segregated from men, and whose  women must cloak themselves in black tents, while the Persians put Western women’s dress sense to shame. I actually started trying to copy some of the looks I found, which can be seen in my post: Iranian Street Style.

While human rights in KSA are regressing – they have just fired their first female minister – human rights in Iran are making slow but welcome progress – they have just appointed their first female ambassador to represent them abroad. Iran is the future, while the Americans and their Gulf cronies are on a sinking ship.