Catherine Shakdam

The Great Set-Up – Is Washington Postering the UK against Iran?


Who needs enemies when one can befriend the United States of America? And indeed after being baited by Washington to seize one of Iran’s tankers on the premise that the said-tanker was in violation of Britain’s decision to bar Syria from importing crude oil, the UK, America’s very…

What Wahhabism Looks Like From Up Close And Personal


How many times will we need to be reminded of the horrors of Wahhabism – that cult, which for lack of better words murdered and pillaged its way to the heights of power to better rationalise itself a school of thought under the umbrella of Sunni Islam, for our world leaders to…

Broken Democracy — America Detains US-born Journalist without Charge

JOURNAL NEO Marzieh Hashemi

… Iran does it too!” When confronted with news that FBI had detained US-born journalist Melanie Franklin (better known as Marzieh Hashemi) without proper due legal process and in clear infringement of her constitutional rights, US media were only too happy to justify the move…

Saudi Arabia Declares War on Free Speech and Civil Liberties


Saudi Arabia has done it again … that is to land itself in the middle of a controversy that exposes not just the dictatorial devolution of its system of governance but the inaptitude of its governing dogma to self-sustain against the pushes of technology.тEarly this January news surfaced that Prince Mohammed bin Salman called on…

What is Left of Saudi Arabia’s Friendship with the United States?


If 2018 should have told us anything it is that geopolitical alliances exist to be broken – especially when the United States is involved. A fickle mistress, America is not one to be defined by its friendships, or even the treaties it signed, but rather its ambitions. And yet…

Why Supporting Armed Dissidence Could Dissolve Nations’ Territorial Integrity


If anything is to be learned from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder is that moral relativism is a plague that has come to pollute not only the public debate but the very fabric of our psyche – and how we relate to one another as people. The premise so far has been one of…

Beyond America’s Bottom Line — How MBS Could Explode the Middle East


Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged brutal death was not an accident … rather the inevitable result of both our inability and unwillingness to face up to the nature of a regime defined in bloodshed, for the sake of lucrative contracts and one grandiose pipedream…

Saudi Arabia’s Great Tumbling Down – The Boy Who Wanted to be King is No More


Where has Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gone? Since mainstream media broke news of the disappearance and alleged death of Jamal Khashoggi, MBS has gotten a little camera shy … and somewhat politically withdrawn. Whatever did happen to our buoyant reformer, who…

Yemen at War – Whose Legitimacy is the Right Legitimacy?


Earlier this September UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths reaffirmed what he sees as his foremost mandate: “to begin the difficult and uncertain journey away from war.” But how does one go about formulating a way out of war when at its heart lies the very real and intricate issue of legitimacy? If Yemen’s conflict is great many things: competing…

The Saudi Inquisition – Authorities Move to Outlaw Shia Islam


Back in 2017 a report by Human Rights Watch warned against Saudi Arabia’s propensity to play up sectarianism as a valid expression of its state policy. “Saudi clerics, including those holding official positions, have ‘vigorously employed’ modern tools…

Who’s Terrorism? The Politics of Terror and Those Terrorists We Label Friends


Although ‘terrorism’ has become a term our media, state officials, and politicians have grown accustomed to throw around – an expression, more often than not, of their respective world views, the word has yet to be defined objectively…

Yemen’s Media Blackout — the Language of War


“A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.” Albert Camus. Since the Saudi-led coalition declared war on impoverished Yemen: March 26, 2015, foreign journalists and independent news organisations have been…

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