July 20, 2012


My take this week: welcome ramadan
ARAB NEWS - Friday 20 July 2012
• For the third time in ten months, Russia and China vetoed last night a UN Security Council resolution that threatened Syrian authorities with sanctions if they did not stop using heavy weapons against an uprising and withdraw troops from towns and cities. It is unfortunate that the Syrian regime continues to sustain the violence in the 16-month conflict that has killed thousands of people. It is also unfortunate that Russia continues supplying the Syrian government with arms to kill its people.
• Saudi Arabia condemned comments by Russia’s human rights envoy on the situation in the Kingdom as “hostile” and an unjustified interference in the Kingdom’s internal affairs. I see no reason for Russia to raise tension with Saudi Arabia. I have written many articles about Russia’s biased position in the 16-month-old uprising in Syria. Russia has blocked two UN Security Council moves to press the Syrian government to end its crackdown. Unfortunately, more Syrians are still being massacred every day.
• Last week I wrote about the death of Abdul Rahman Al-Ghamdi who was chased by police while driving his car with his family. The good news this week is that Saudi Arabia will make amendments to rules governing religious police chasing people. It was announced that a group of procedures to govern the Commision for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice practices would be published shortly. Barely three months ago, the head of the Commission announced the ban on chasing people including suspects or even culprits. Obviously the ban was not effective.
• Security forces foiled an attack on a police station in Awamiya in the Eastern Province city of Qatif, killing a masked gunman. Four policemen were injured in a separate assault on their patrol. I told BBC we should not generalize; this is not about Sunnis and Shiites. I call on community leaders to intervene and persuade whoever is provoking security forces to stop their activities. I also call on security forces to exercise self-restraint. This land is spacious enough for all of us. As Martin Luther King said: “Non-violence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.” 
• Last but not least, if you are a pet lover like me, I suggest that you join an interesting Facebook group. The group offers advice on adopting or fostering a pet, offering tips to other pet owners, volunteering, educating, and spreading the word in Saudi Arabia about animal welfare. Here is the link:

Twitter: May Ramadan bring you peace and prosperity, good health and wealth, and brighten your life forever. 

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