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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 23)

[Saudi troops in Jizan during the 2009 assault on Sa 'da, Yemen. Image by Takahara Osaka/Wikimedia Commons.] [Saudi troops in Jizan during the 2009 assault on Sa 'da, Yemen. Image by Takahara Osaka/Wikimedia Commons.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Monday night of every week.]

Regional and International Relations

Q&A: What's behind MB leaders leaving Qatar? Ismaeel Naar argues that a shift in Qatar’s foreign policy, in order to end the rift within the GCC states, is behind the decision of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders to leave Doha.

Qataris give ground in Gulf spat Ian Black maintains that Doha is trying to bridge the rift with the Gulf states as the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria looms.

Qatar-Gulf deal forces expulsion of Muslim Brotherhood leaders Ian Black analyzes the relations between Qatar and the other Gulf states in light of the Muslim Brotherhoods leaders’ exodus from Qatar.

Saudi role against Islamic State turns on relief for Arab Sunnis Angus McDowall analyzes Saudi Arabia’s intricate position in its alliance with the United States against the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria.

Isil threat helps heal Saudi-US rift after discord Glen Carey reflects on the rapprochement between Riyadh and Washington.

Isil campaign not fight against Sunnis: Gargash The Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs asserts that the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria does not target Sunnis.

Saudi fighter with Islamic State urges fighters to wage jihad in kingdom: SITE A Saudi suicide bomber with the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria calls upon fellow Saudis to wage jihad in the kingdom.

Iranian talks with Saudi Arabia may signal thaw in relations A meeting between the Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers signals a thaw in relations between the two rivals.

Minister asks Qatar to stop giving citizenship The Bahraini interior minister urges the Qatari authorities to stop granting Qatari citizenship to Bahraini nationals.

Doha ‘to continue observing naturalisation laws’ Qatar criticizes the Bahraini interior minister’s statement over the naturalization of Bahraini citizens.

US man imprisoned in Yemen makes emotional plea: 'They're gonna kill me in here' Spencer Ackerman reports on Sharif Mobley, who was abducted in Sanaa in 2010 and went missing inside the prison system for seven months.

Reports and Opinions

Crime and punishment in Saudi Arabia: The other beheaders An Economist article on the spike of beheadings in Saudi Arabia during the last few months.

Leader of uprising in Saudi’s Eastern Province: ‘I will be the next martyr’ Abdel Rahim Assi examines the 2011 uprising in the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia in light of the imminent sentencing of Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr who describes himself as “the next martyr."

Saudi clerics declare Isis terrorism a 'heinous crime' under sharia law Senior Saudi religious clerics issue a fatwa describing terrorism as a “heinous crime.”

Saudi court sentences two to death, jails 13 over attack Two men are sentenced to death and thirteen others to prison terms on charges of killing a police man and three civilians and of forming an al-Qaeda cell in prison.

Kuwait beefs up security against Isil threat The Kuwaiti authorities take new security measures to combat militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria within its borders.

Kuwait arrests 11 Isil supporters The Kuwaiti authorities arrest eleven people from different nationalities suspected of having contact with the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria. 

Repression in Bahrain

Bahrain activist Maryam al-Khawaja released The Bahraini authorities release the activist, who is subject to travel ban and still faces charges of assaulting a police officer.

Maryam al-Khawaja - A Princess of Democracy Imprisoned in Bahrain Alastair Sloan writes on Maryam al-Khawaja and her political activism, shortly before her release.

Political solution fails in Bahrain as monarch tightens his grip on power A news report on the impossibility of a political solution in Bahrain in light of the king’s disregard of the oppositions’ demands.

Bahrain says parties find common ground but Shi'ites say demands not met Farishta Saeed writes on the national dialogue between the Bahraini authorities and the opposition.

Bahrain Premier: No room for complacency The Bahraini prime minister warns against complacency towards groups inciting sedition against the state.  

Crisis in Yemen

Yemeni parties and Houthi rebels sign deal to end fighting, form new government The Yemeni government and Houthi rebels sign an agreement aiming to end the political crisis following the fall of Sanaa to the Houthi rebels.

Yemen Rebels Gain Concessions From Government After Assault on Capital Shuaib al-Mosawa and David Kirkpatrick reflect on the political scene in Yemen following the fall of the capital.

Will Yemenis honour the new deal? Peter Salisbury wonders if the recent deal between the Houthis and government will hold.

Yemeni PM submits resignation amid reports of rebel advances The Yemeni prime minister resigns following the fall of Sanaa to the Houthi fighters.

UN: Yemen's rival sides agree peace deal Fresh clashes between the Houthi rebels and government forces erupt in Sanaa despite the announcement of a peace deal.

Hundreds trapped inside Yemen TV station amid Sanaa fighting The Yemeni state-run television building catches fire after a three-day mortar attack by the Houthis.

Yemeni president accuses Houthis of coup attempt Ahmed al-Zarqa describes the fall of Sanaa as pivotal development in the Yemeni crisis.

Houthi rebels push into Yemeni capital A news report on the advance of the Houthi rebels into Sanaa a few days ago. 

Shia rebels in Yemen besiege university run by Sunni radicals The Houthi rebels besiege Iman University, which is known as a breeding ground for militants.

Yemen capital Sanaa sees new Houthi and Sunni clashes The Houthi rebels and supporters of al-Islah party clashed in the capital last week.

Yemen fighting rages as truce talks collapse The United Nations failed to broker a ceasefire between the Houthi rebels and the government last week.

Analysis: Why are Yemen talks stalling? Peter Salisbury reports on the reason behind the collapse of negotiations between the Yemeni government and the Houthis last week.

Clashes in Yemen capital suburb kill at least 20: sources A news report on the death toll of the clashes between the Houthis and government troops last week.

Quarter of Yemenis suffer from hunger Hashem Ahelbarra maintains that political instability is exacerbating the problem of hunger in Yemen. 


Media watchdog says Qatar cyber law threatens freedoms The Committee to Protect Journalists urges Qatar to revoke sections of a new cybercrime law, which pose a threat to freedom of expression.

Human Rights

Qatar: New cybercrimes law endangers freedom of expression Amnesty International maintains that Qatar’s new cybercrime law undermines freedom of speech.

Qatar: New Cyber Crime Law poses real threat to Freedom of Expression The Gulf Center for Human Rights expresses concern over Qatar’s new cybercrime law.

Bahrain: GCHR Co-Director Maryam Al-Khawaja released, but still faces charges and remains under travel ban The Gulf Center for Human Rights welcomes the release of Maryam al-Khawaja and urges the Bahraini authorities to drop all charges against her.

Bahrain: Women’s rights defender Ghada Jamsheer arrested for tweets The Gulf Center for Human Rights deplores the detention of Jamsheer on charges of defamation on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia: Systematic targeting of members of ACPRA in addition to other human rights defenders The Gulf Center for Human Rights condemns the ongoing persecution of members of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Associations.

An open letter to prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja The Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the Gulf Center for Human Rights write a letter to Abdulhadi al-Khawaja urging him to end his hunger strike.

Bahrain After Directives From The King And The Prime Minister: The Campaign On Social Media Activists Escalates The Bahrain Center for Human Rights asserts that the Bahraini authorities are escalating the campaign against human rights activists.

Bahraini detainees make telephone calls to their relatives at the Criminal Investigations Headquarters, and then disappear for days The Bahrain Center for Human Rights reports on the arrest of Tawfeeq Al Towk last week in Sitra.


البحرين | حمد يغلق الباب أمام الحلّ السياسي
A news report on the impossibility of a political solution in Bahrain in light of the king’s disregard of the oppositions’ demands.

«قائد» حراك المنطقة الشرقية: «أنا الشهيد التالي»
Abdel Rahim Assi examines the 2011 uprising in the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia in light of the imminent sentencing of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who described himself as “the next martyr.”

آل سعود والشيخ النمر: المواجهة أم المهادنة؟
The trial of Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr leaves the Saudi royal family with two options—confrontation or
reconciliation—with regard to the inhabitants of the Eastern Province.

الشيخ نمر النمر... العمامة الثائرة
Nadr al-Matrouk describes Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr as “a rebellious turban” and reflects on his political activism.

تأجيل محاكمة الشيخ النمر: محاولة للتسوية؟
The Specialized Criminal Court postpones the trial of Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr until the end of October.

الشعب خارج قمقم الديكتاتور
Mariam Abdulla examines the trials of human rights activists in Saudi Arabia.

مواجهات بين الحوثيين و«الإصلاح» على مدخل صنعاء
Houthi rebels and members of the Islah party clashed at the entrance of Sanaa last week.

اشتباكات بين «أنصار الله» والجيش... على مرمى حجر من منزل هادي
Ahmed al-Zarqa reports on clashes between al-Houthis and the Yemeni army near the president’s house.

صنعاء في قبضة «أنصار الله» هادي يخرج عن صمته: إنه انقلاب
The Houthis control Sanaa and the Yemeni president describes the move as “a coup.”

السعودية تسلّم بموازين القوى الجديدة في صنعاء: الحوثيون يطيحون «إخوان» اليمن
Ahmed al-Zarqa argues that the Houthis’ coup is a blow to the Muslim Brotherhood and to the Turkish-Qatari influence in Yemen.

الحوثيون يكتسحون صنعاء .. ويتعففون عن السلطة
Khalil Harb reflects on the Houthis’ control of Sanaa and reluctance to take power.

الدول العشر+ واحد تدير أزمة اليمن وحروبه
Mona Safwan argues that the crisis in Yemen has entered a new phase, with the failure of the government to stop the Houthis, and that the crisis will require international intervention.

تعثّر الجولة الثانية من مفاوضات الحوثيين والحكومة
Ahmed al-Zarqa reports on the collapse of the second rounds of negotiations between the Houthis and the Yemeni government.

اليمن: الرحلات معلقة مع استمرار المعارك
Flights to Sanaa are suspended due to the clashes between the Houthis and Yemeni army.

الحوثيون على وشك السيطرة على الجوف
The Houthi rebels clash with government forces and members of Islah party in Jawf.

اليمن: مقتل 4 مسلحين في اشتباكات مع الحوثيين
Four tribesmen die in clashes with the Houthis on a road between Sanaa and Qabil.

اليمن: مقتل 32 شخصاً.. وبن عمر يلتقي الحوثي
A news report on the death of thirty-two people in recent clashes in Yemen and on the meeting between the Houthi leader and the United Nations envoy to Yemen.

البيئة التاريخية للوهابية
Hassan al-Khalaf writes on Wahabism’s historical milieu.

قطر تنفي التدخل في الشأن الليبي
Qatar denies reports that it is interfering in Libya’s affairs.

قطر تنفي تمويل داعش
The Qatari foreign minister denies reports that Qatar is funding the Islamic State in Iraq and Grater Syria.

الطلاق الخليجي لم يقع.. وقطر تنصاع تدريجياً
Khalil Harb argues that a drastic rift among the Gulf states has not taken place and that Qatar is succumbing to pressures.

السعودية: سجن 13 قاتلوا خارج البلاد
A Saudi court sentences thirteen men to prison on charges of joining terrorist groups and supporting fighters abroad.

الكويت: اعتقال أشخاص بتهمة الانتماء لـداعش
The Kuwaiti authorities arrest five people suspected of belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria.

المنامة: الدوحة تواصل تجنيس بحرينيين
Bahrain accuses Qatar of continuing its naturalization of Bahraini citizens who have familial and tribal connections there.

السعودية: هيئة كبار العلماء تؤكد تحريم القتال في مناطق الصراع
The highest religious body in Saudi Arabia issues a statement banning fighting in areas of conflict, such as Iraq and Syria.

دور إقليمي محوري لـ الأزهر
Ahmed Jamal al-Din examines the Saudi efforts to co-opt Egypt’s al-Azhar in its fight against terrorism
though its initiative to renew the Azhar Mosque.

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