The Son of the Man who Put the Saud in Saudi Arabia

by Mark Steyn
Ave atque vale
July 18, 2017

I see that Prince Abdul-Rahman bin Abdulaziz al Saud died the other day. If you’re having trouble keeping track of your Saudi princes, well, I don’t blame you. Unlike the closely held princely titles of the House of Windsor, the House of Saud is somewhat promiscuous with the designation: there are (at the time of writing) over 10,000 Saudi “princes” running around the country – and, in fact, at this time of year, more likely running around Mayfair and the French Riviera, exhausting the poor old blondes from the escort agencies. I believe that’s Abdul-Rahman at right, although to be honest all Saudi princes look alike to me, except that some wear white and others look very fetching in gingham. As I once remarked to Sheikh Ghazi al-Ghosaibi, the late cabinet minister, he was the only Saudi I knew who wasn’t a prince.

Abdul-Rahman was a longtime Deputy Defense Minister, whose catering company, by happy coincidence, held the catering contract for the Defense Ministry. The first Saudi prince to be educated in the west, he was a bit of a cranky curmudgeon in later years, mainly because of changes to the Saudi succession that eliminated any possibility of him taking the throne. But he nevertheless held a privileged place as the son of Ibn Saud, the man who founded the “nation” and stapled his name to it. When I say “the son”, I mean a son: Ibn Saud had approximately 100 kids, the first born in 1900, the last over half-a-century later, in 1952, a few months before ol’ Poppa Saud traded in siring for expiring.

Abdul-Rahman’s mother was said to be Ibn Saud’s favorite among his 22 wives – or, at any rate, one of the favorites. Top Five certainly. She also had the highest status, because she bore him more boys – seven – than any other other missus. They’re known as the Sudairi Seven or, alternatively, the Magnificent Seven. She also gave him seven daughters. They’re known as the seven blackout curtains standing over in the corner. This splendidly fertile lady’s name was Hussa bint Ahmed, and she was Ibn Saud’s cousin once removed and then, if I’m counting correctly, his eighth wife. But she’s a bit like the Grover Cleveland of the House of Saud – in that he’s counted as the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, and she’s the eighth wife and also either the tenth or eleventh. He first married her when he was 38 and she was 13. But he divorced her and then remarried her. In between their marriages she was married to his brother, but Ibn Saud was a sentimental lad and never got over his child-bride-turned-sister-in-law, so he ordered his brother to divorce her.

Don’t worry, though: In the House of Saud, it’s happy endings all round. Two of their daughters wound up marrying two of the sons of another brother of Ibn Saud. The Saudi version of must be a hoot: “Hey, thanks for the DNA sample. You’re 53.8 per cent first cousin, and 46.2 per cent uncle.”

Anyway, all this Saudomy reminded me that on The Mark Steyn Show back in January I offered a few thoughts on Ibn Saud’s establishment of his alleged kingdom. This is the first time this has been aired in the wider world, so give it a click and see what you think:

Also see:

Eye Gouging and Paralyzing: Saudi Arabia’s Tribal Justice

saudi-arabia_2526258bby Samuel Westrop:

By playing the clerics and institutions against the people, the House of Saud rises above the power struggle and justice itself, and continues further to consolidate its power.

A Saudi court ordered Ali al-Khawahir, a 24-year-old Saudi citizen, to be surgically paralyzed as punishment for a crime he committed as a 14-year-old, that had left his victim paralyzed. The Western media has described the court’s ruling as an “eye for an eye punishment.”

According to reports in the Saudi Gazette, Khawahir stabbed a childhood friend in the spine during an argument ten years ago. The punishment, as decided by the Sharia courts, is similar to other methods used to administer justice, including beheading, flogging, stoning to death and eye gouging.

This arrangement is the product of the religious and tribal structure upon which Saudi Arabia’s system of justice and law enforcement is based. Although Saudi Arabia is a theocracy in which the ruler is responsible for applying Islamic law, the actual system of justice revolves around a nexus of power and money, a structure that protects the tribal and religious values that keep Saudi Arabia firmly in the control of the House of Saud.

In 1971, the judicial system was revised — a move that consolidated the power of those at the top. Power-holders across the country were tasked with appointing a number of quasi-judicial bodies to deal with administrative and economic disputes. With no legislative authority, however, these courts required the clerics to sanction their existence. For this very purpose, the clerics set up the Institute for Religio-Legal Opinions.

The Institute has its own enforcers, known as the Mutawayyin — The Committee for the Exhortation to Good and Interdiction to Evil – who ensure that Islamic values are implemented. The Committee’s most notable moment occurred in 2002, when its members prevented young girls from leaving a burning building because they were not wearing headscarves; at least fourteen of the girls were burned to death.

Crucially, Sharia Law, applied in both the criminal and civil courts, is not codified. With no precedence or structure, except for half-a-dozen defined crimes, Saudi judges, all of whom are Wahhabi clerics, are free to implement punishments in accordance with their own beliefs.

In many ways, the system is feudal. As in medieval Europe, a blood-money payment to the victim’s family is evidently often permissible in lieu of legal retribution – an alternative to punishment presumably designed to prevent bad blood between different communities or tribes. In the case of Ali al-Khawahir, the price of avoiding paralysis is one million Saudi riyals ($266,000) – a price the family cannot afford.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

No, Saudi Arabia is Not Headed for a Revolution

obama22-450x314By Daniel Greenfield

There has been some speculation about this recently and while just about anything is possible, there has been a fairly clear pattern in the revolutions of the Arab Spring.

The most vulnerable countries have been Westernized governments allied to the United States. The so-called dictators. The least vulnerable have been Islamic autocracies.

The rulers most likely to be overthrown were semi-secular governments in formerly stable countries who proved unwilling or unable to use their militaries to protect their rule. Those who were willing to shoot people in the street had less to worry about.

Gaddafi, who had shifted over to the American side of the board, was beating the insurgency until Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy came to the rescue of the Islamist rebels. Assad has still managed to hold out and may yet survive if the gang of three, with a new player in France, don’t come through.

Saudi Arabia has very little to worry about because its enormous oil wealth allows it to bribe sizable chunks of its own population and foreign leaders. That was something that Gaddafi was never good at, wasting money on various eccentric causes. The Saudis fund terror, but they fund American political leaders. They fund think tanks and university chairs, not soap factories for Farrakhan. Saif Gaddafi, the son of the madman, understood this and was beginning to cultivate those relationships and the safety that came with them, but he didn’t get far enough up the ladder.

While Gaddafi lost because of Western intervention, Saudi Arabia was given a free hand in putting down Iranian backed protests in Bahrain, with only a few words of criticism. There’s little doubt that Obama Inc. would give the Saudi monarchy even more leeway if it had to put down a domestic insurgency.

Then there’s the question of trajectory. No one on the Western side is likely to back a Shiite uprising and they don’t even have the numbers. The Muslim Brotherhood would love Saudi Arabia, but it doesn’t have the support to try something like that. Even its efforts in the UAE have gotten its tail nicked. Furthermore the Brotherhood’s Arab Spring was a Qatari project. And Qatar’s rulers aren’t about to push into Saudi Arabia. If the Brotherhood won, then Qatar would be next. If it lost, then the Saudis would find a way to make their Emir pay.

That just leaves Al Qaeda. A Salafist takeover of the Kingdom isn’t impossible, but it’s doubtful that the support is there. Twenty years from now when the oil revenues have dropped and the poverty level has grown and there are a lot more Islamist countries in the region, then Saudi Arabia might become a sitting duck, but even though it would have all that American firepower on its side.

Furthermore one of the reasons that the Saudis fund terrorism is to be able to control it enough to keep it away. That hasn’t always worked, but it’s worked pretty well considering the general lack of a serious domestic threat considering the sizable number of Saudi nationals involved in terrorism.

Saudi Arabia is still the petrofortress. It has bought more than enough influence to be protected and as long as its oil and money holds out, the House of Saud isn’t going anywhere.

See also:

Behind the Lines: A Gulf apart (

Saudi Arabia still head of terror finance octopus

sausi petrodollars

Money Jihad:

Saudi Arabia remains the world’s top financier of terrorism and sponsor of fundamentalist Islam throughout the Arab Spring.  U.S. media and Treasury officials don’t really like to discuss it in public, but a report earlier this fall from France 24 gives further confirmation, if you needed it, of the fact that Saudi petrodollars are behind the latest Salafist inroads in the Middle East.

Read it all:

How Saudi petrodollars fuel rise of Salafism

Since the 2011 Arab revolts, a loose network of underground zealots has evolved into a potent and highly vocal force. Behind the remarkable rise of Salafism lies the world’s leading producer of oil – and extremist Islam: Saudi Arabia.

By Marc DAOU

When protesters incensed by an anti-Muslim video scaled the walls of the US embassy in Cairo on September 11, tearing down the Stars and Stripes, a black flag could be seen floating above the battered compound. From Sanaa, in Yemen, to Libya’s Benghazi, the same black banner, emblem of the Salafists, soon became a ubiquitous sight as anti-US protests spread like wildfire across the Arab world. The 2011 Arab uprisings have served the Salafists well. With the old dictators gone, a once subterranean network of hardliners has sprung into prominence – funded by a wealthy Gulf patron locked in a post-Arab Spring rivalry with a fellow Gulf monarchy.

The ‘predecessors’

A puritanical branch of Islam, Salafism advocates a strict, literalist interpretation of the Koran and a return to the practices of the “Salaf” (the predecessors), as the Prophet Mohammed and his disciples are known. While Salafist groups can differ widely, from the peaceful, quietist kind to the more violent clusters, it is the latter who have attracted most attention in recent months.

In Libya and Mali, radical Salafists have been busy destroying ancient shrines built by more moderate groups, such as Sufi Muslims. Fellow extremists in Tunisia have tried to silence secular media and destroy “heretical” artwork. And the presence of Salafist fighting units in Syria has been largely documented. Less well known is who is paying for all this – and why.


For regional experts, diplomats and intelligence services, the answer to the first question lies in the seemingly endless flow of petrodollars coming from oil-rich Saudi Arabia. “There is plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that Saudi money is financing the various Salafist groups,” said Samir Amghar, author of “Le salafisme d’aujourd’hui. Mouvements sectaires en Occident” (Contemporary Salafism: Sectarian movements in the West).

According to Antoine Basbous, who heads the Paris-based Observatory of Arab Countries, “the Salafism we hear about in Mali and North Africa is in fact the export version of Wahhabism,” a conservative branch of Sunni Islam actively promoted and practised by Saudi Arabia’s ruling family. Since the 1970s oil crises provided the ruling House of Saud with a seemingly endless supply of cash, “the Saudis have been financing [Wahhabism] around the world to the tune of several million euros,” Basbous told FRANCE 24.

Opaque channels

Not all of the cash comes from Saudi state coffers. “Traditionally, the money is handed out by members of the royal family, businessmen or religious leaders, and channelled via Muslim charities and humanitarian organizations,” said Karim Sader, a political analyst who specializes in the Gulf states, in an interview with FRANCE 24.

Until the Arab Spring revolts upended the region’s political landscape, these hidden channels enabled the Salafists’ Saudi patrons to circumvent the authoritarian regimes who were bent on crushing all Islamist groups. These were the same opaque channels that allegedly supplied arms to extremist groups, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to Western intelligence officials.

Free education

Other, slightly less shadowy recipients of Saudi petrodollars include the numerous religious institutions built around the Arab world to preach Wahhabi Islam, as well as the growing list of Saudi satellite channels that provide a platform for radical Salafist preachers. A large share of the booty also goes to Arab students attending religious courses at the kingdom’s universities in Medina, Riyadh and the Mecca.

“Most of the students at Medina University are foreigners who benefit from generous scholarships handed out by Saudi patrons, as well as free accommodation and plane tickets,” said Amghar. “Once they have graduated, the brightest are hired by the Saudi monarchy, while the rest return to their respective countries to preach Wahhabi Islam”. According to Amghar, the members of France’s nascent Salafist movement follow a similar path.

Direct funding

Exporting its own brand of Islam is not the only item on Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy agenda. “While they see themselves as the guardians of Islamic doctrine and have always generously financed Muslim missionaries, the Saudis’ priority is not to ‘salafise’ the Muslim world,” explained Amghar. “Their real aim is to consolidate their political and ideological influence by establishing a network of supporters capable of defending the kingdom’s strategic and economic interests.”

Since last year’s Arab revolutions, these supporters have benefited from more direct – and politically motivated – funding. “With the region’s former dictators out of the way, Salafist groups have evolved into well-established parties benefiting from more official Saudi aid,” said Sader, pointing to the spectacular rise of Egypt’s al-Nour party, which picked up a surprising 24% of the vote in January’s parliamentary polls.

“The Saudis were genuinely surprised by the Arab Spring revolts,” said Mohamed-Ali Adraoui, a political analyst who specialises in the Muslim world. “Riyadh’s response was to back certain Salafist groups (…) so that it may gain further clout in their respective countries,” Adraoui told FRANCE 24.

Gulf rivalries

The Saudi strategy is similar to that adopted by its arch Gulf rival Qatar – a smaller but equally oil-rich kingdom – in its dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood, the other great beneficiary of the Arab Spring. “When it comes to financing Islamist parties, there is intense competition between Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” said Sader.

read more

See also:

Money Jihad: How Islamists Finance Their Operations

Pat Condell Rips Saudi Arabia again (Video)

The Savage Lands of Islam

Webinar: How America’s Addiction to Saudi Oil is Funding Global Terror

Saudi Arabia – Moderate Voice or Draconian Monarchy?

Amber Lyon exposes one of America’s greatest propaganda machines

By: Kerry Patton:

Award winning investigative journalist, Amber Lyon, once worked for CNN. She covered multiple atrocities throughout the Middle East placing herself and her team in grave danger on multiple occasions. This week, she may have placed herself in more danger by exposing her former employer’s organization—CNN.

Alex Jones, from, interviewed Amber Lyon earlier this week. Words cannot describe how betrayed many CNN fans (liberals) must feel based on what was exposed. Simply put, media cannot be trusted anymore.

Amber Lyon specifically exposed multiple unethical practices fulfilled by CNN—she should know considering her tenure working there. Specifically, Amber revealed how CNN creates propaganda pieces and was paid to create such by foreign nations such as Bahrain.

Bahrain has an unprecedented amount of civil unrest at the moment. The Sunni government rules the majority Shiite country. Government officials have implemented brutal measures of control in violation of human rights to quell some of the protests taking place there.

Government officials have not allowed journalists to cover the atrocities in Bahrain. They have done their best to keep the world ill-informed about the amount of violence which has unfolded over the past year. Sadly, even American based media has agreed to limit the coverage of truth throughout the region.

Middle East coverage has been abysmal and virtually one sided. The world has heard time and again how virtually everything evolving throughout the Middle East entails some type of linkage back to Iran—and in many regards this is true. Think about the atrocity throughout Syria and immediately Iran is mentioned. Thankfully, some people have woken to the reality behind the implosion of violence throughout the Middle East and that implosion was not caused just by Iran.

The Middle East crisis does, in part, involve Iran. But equally, or even more so, it involves the Muslim Brotherhood. But even that statement isn’t necessarily accurate considering without Saudi Arabia, Muslim Brotherhood operations would be crippled due to the financial backing the “House of Saud” furnishes them with.

American based media cringes every time something like this is mentioned considering how much influence Saudi Arabia has inside virtually every US institution ranging from our media all the way to the highest office—the White House.

Read more at the Examiner

Kerry Patton, a combat disabled veteran, is the author of Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies and the children’s book American Patriotism. You can follow him on Facebook or at And be sure to go to Kerry’s new Facebook fan page and click “Like”