Blog archive: All

  • 17th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A verse from the Qur'an says:  “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because God has given the one more [strength] than the other, and because they support them from their means.” In Saudi Arabia this forms the basis for a system where all women must be...
  • 16th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In the midst of Britain's political turmoil there was a rare – and surreal – moment of consensus in the House of Commons this week over the BBC's use of the phrase "so-called".  MPs were discussing a government move to add four more groups to the official list of terrorist organisations:...
  • 15th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Kuwait yesterday became the first of the Arab Gulf states to set a minimum wage for domestic workers: they must now be paid at least 60 dinars ($198) a month. A law on domestic work approved by the Kuwaiti parliament last year specified a 12-hour working day with a weekly day off, plus 30...
  • 14th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Britain's continuing political upheaval resulted not only in the appointment of a new prime minister yesterday but also a new foreign secretary, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – referred to by almost everyone simply as "Boris" or "BoJo".  In some ways, Boris and the Foreign Office...
  • 13th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A visit to Syria last weekend by three members of the European Parliament has given the Assad regime a useful propaganda boost. Ahead of the visit the Syrian government news agency, Sana, reported: "A delegation from the European Parliament headed by Vice-President for the...
  • 9th July 2016
    By
    Ayman Fares
    Iraq’s law on how local parties are funded and founded has the potential to change the political landscape for better. But various parts of the new act seem to contradict one another. It is less than a year before Iraq holds the next round of significant elections; the provincial elections,...
  • 9th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A British MP who recently went on two trips to Bahrain paid for by the repressive Gulf kingdom's rulers is due to return the favour next week by hosting a reception in the House of Commons "celebrating" 200 years of Bahraini-British relations. Last October, Bahrain's foreign ministry...
  • 5th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    One of the world's strangest human rights organisations, the Emirati-funded Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), was declared bankrupt by a court in Norway yesterday. The case was brought by an employee, Thomas Bechmann, who claimed he was owed NOK 250,000 ($30,120) in unpaid wages...
  • 30th June 2016
    By
    Osama Filali Naji
    "Millennials are the first generation to grow up with the internet ... our minds do not operate within a nationalist space but within a globalised or internationalist space." A view of Brexit from a young British-born Moroccan. The article was first published on the Arab Millennial website...
  • 29th June 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The dissemination of hate speech on Twitter is an obvious cause for concern. Until recently it seems to have relied mainly on the efforts of bigoted individuals and – although there is a lot of it – the need for manual posting has set some limits on how many offensive tweets there might be. But...
  • 23rd June 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A few months ago I began to feel that something odd was happening whenever I posted a tweet about Bahrain. My tweets, usually critical of Bahrain's government, rapidly disappeared from view – pushed down the #bahrain live Twitter feed by lots of newer tweets, mostly supporting the Bahraini...
  • 22nd June 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Twitter announced yesterday that it has suspended hundreds of apparently fake accounts that have been posting sectarian tweets directed against Shia Muslims. Marc Owen Jones, who lectures in Gulf politics at Tübingen University in Germany, began investigating when he noticed a series of...

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