Saudi Arabia just declared homosexuality, feminism and atheism as ‘extremism’
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with then-Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow in 2017. (PAVEL GOLOVKIN/AFP/Getty)
The claims were made this weekend in an official promotional video posted by the verified Twitter account of Saudi Arabia’s Presidency of State Security, but this now appears to have been deleted.
According to Reuters, the video listed homosexuality, feminism and atheism as takfir – the Islamist militant practice of labelling followers of other schools of Islam unbelievers.
“Don’t forget that excess of anything at the expense of the homeland is considered extremism,” said the video’s voiceover, adding that “all forms of extremism and perversion are unacceptable”.
Homosexuality and atheism have long been illegal and punishable by death in the absolute monarchy, and the country is considered to have one of the worst LGBT+ rights records in the world.
The law punishes acts of homosexuality or cross-dressing with fines, public whipping, beatings, vigilante attacks, chemical castrations, life imprisonment, capital punishment and torture.
Even supporting groups classified as extremist organisations can lead to imprisonment, which immediately puts any activists at risk.
However, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is beginning to impose a more moderate form of Islam, admitting that the ultra-conservative state had been “not normal” for the past 30 years.
Sterilizations happened as recently as 2017, Saskatchewan lawsuit alleges
As a senator calls for a nationwide review of the forced sterilization of Indigenous women, a lawyer representing a proposed class action detailed the women’s accounts of being sterilized without proper and informed consent.
“In the throes of labour … they would be approached, harassed, coerced into signing these consent forms,” said Alisa Lombard, an associate with Maurice Law, the first Indigenous-owned national law firm in Canada.
The women would be told that they could not leave until their tubes were tied, cut or cauterized, she added, or that “they could not see their baby until they agreed.”
At least 60 Indigenous women are pursuing a class-action lawsuit launched last year, alleging they underwent forced sterilizations over the past 20 to 25 years in Saskatchewan. Each woman is claiming about $7 million in damages.
The 65-year-old collapsed at Llanelli Job Centre in Carmarthenshire, southwest Wales, as he reportedly waited for an appointment to discuss his Jobseeker’s Allowance
A man collapsed and died while waiting for an appointment inside a Job Centre Plus – despite reportedly being declared fit to work.
The 65-year-old, who has not been named, was sat in the waiting area of Llanelli Job Centre Plus in Carmarthenshire, Wales, when he fell unwell.
Fellow customers and staff rushed to help him and started CPR but he died at the scene on Friday morning.
It is believed he was declared fit for work by the job centre earlier this year, and was waiting for an appointment about Jobseeker’s Allowance.
One witness said: “I didn’t know him myself, but the man who was sat next to me told me that he had grown up with the guy.
“The man next to me told me that the poorly guy had diabetes and had been declared fit for work by the job centre earlier in the year but he was obviously ill.