• The cheaply produced anti-Islamic amateur film “Innocence of Muslims,” caused a violent reaction in most Muslim and Arab countries. Not only the film is a loose and totally false biography of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but it also focuses on many negative stereotypes about our beloved Prophet. This is not the first time that criminals who claim freedom of speech attack Islam in such a manner. Terry Jones, a radical Christian pastor who burned the Qur’an and others continue to be active in his ugly mission. • This week’s most positive event is attributed to the Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah and his team, for the successful separation surgery on the conjoined twins Rana and Reem in a specialized hospital in the Kingdom. However, a couple of days later, Dr. Al Rabeeah appeared at the Shoura Council to answer some tough questions. We are all concerned about the level of health services provided in the country and we have the right to question the viability of these services. • History was made in the men-only Saudi Shoura when two women answered questions from members in a face-to-face debate. The breakthrough occurred this week when Muneera Al Aseemi, assistant undersecretary for supporting medical services at the Health Ministry, and Afaf Al Tuwaijeri, the head of training and scholarships at the ministry, used the podium to answer queries from Shoura members. Last year, King Abdullah decreed that women would become members of the Consultative Council in the next term. • Should we be concerned with the Citigroup study about Saudi Arabia’s production capacity? The report indicates that Saudi Arabia may need to import oil by 2030 if the country’s domestic use of crude oil continues to outpace gains in production. Although this may not be a serious wakeup call, we need to realize that Saudi Arabia depends on oil for 93 percent of its annual revenue. We also need to accelerate our exploration for natural gas and seriously work on developing solar and nuclear power to preserve more of our valuable crude for export. • A widespread paranoia has developed among expatriate workers who fear a reduction in their salaries after the introduction of a five-day week in the private sector. This was based on a recent proposal by the Ministry of Labor recommending reducing the working week in Saudi Arabia from six to five days for the private sector. There’s no reason why we should make expat workers feel anger or fear. It would be wise to make an announcement that there would be no reduction in pay.
Tweet: “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.” The US Secretary of State