Fate of Saudi Religious Scholars on Death Row

by Kristian Coates Ulrichsen and Giorgio Cafiero Last month, the London-based Middle East Eye reported that three Saudi religious scholars—Sheikh Salman al-Awdah, Awad al-Qarni, and Ali al-Omari—were going to receive the death penalty after the end of Ramadan. The report… Continue Reading  

Congress Questions Gulf Arms Sales

by Derek Davison Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper on Wednesday told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the Trump administration’s decision to rush weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was… Continue Reading  

Saudi Arabia is Changing, But Don’t Give MbS All the Credit

by Annelle R. Sheline Whether admiring his reforms or damning his abuses, news coverage of Saudi Arabia tends to portray Mohammed bin Salman as the kingdom’s key change agent. He has attracted so much media attention that his name is… Continue Reading  

Beyond the Solidarity, the Same Old Middle East Conflicts

by Thomas W. Lippman There’s no telling how much it cost Saudi Arabia to stage that lavish three-summit extravaganza in Mecca last week, but on the surface it appeared that the Saudis got their money’s worth. King Salman presided and,… Continue Reading  

Saudi Religious Moderation: How Real Is It?

by James M. Dorsey Meet Mohammed bin Abdul-Karim Al-Issa, the public face of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s version of moderate Islam.