10 Stories

Maid's Beheading Sparks Anti-Saudi Backlash

Indonesia sours on Wahhabism after abused maid executed

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia and the strict Wahhabi form of Islam it has exported have fallen rapidly out of favor in the world's most populous Muslim nation after the kingdom beheaded an Indonesian maid earlier this summer for killing her allegedly abusive employer, the Washington Post finds. The execution sparked a... More »

Saudis Bust Women Drivers

Kingdom should grant more freedoms, princess says

(Newser) - Two women who defied Saudi Arabia's ban on women drivers and three who defied the nation's ban on being driven by women have been arrested by the country's religious police, according to the Saudi Women for Driving coalition. The arrests appear to be the first in the... More »

Saudi Women Take to Road to Defy Driving Ban

Activists in Riyadh get behind the wheel today

(Newser) - Motorists in the Saudi capital this morning morning may have spotted something rarer than the Arabian unicorn : female drivers. Activists say brave women around the country got behind the wheel before dawn today in a protest against the kingdom's ban on women driving. Despite a heavy police presence, some... More »

Mass Trials Signal Saudis' Anti-Terror Progress

Nearly 1K will be tried according to Islamic law

(Newser) - The biggest mass prosecution of Islamist extremists in Saudi Arabian history is the latest clue that the kingdom’ anti-terror campaign in on track, the Economist reports. The Saudis plan to try 991 prisoners on charges ranging from committing terrorist violence to justifying it in religious sermons—and will do so... More »

Religious Tensions Follow India Bombings

Sufis feel threatened by rising rival factions

(Newser) - A sign on a mosque door in India warns outsiders—that is, members of conservative Muslim sects—to keep out. “These are dangerous times,” one mosque member told the Washington Post. “We cannot trust anybody.” Such is the climate in India, where moderate Muslims feel besieged... More »

9 Dead, 100 Wounded in Iran Mosque Blast

Attack scatters meeting of extremist Shiite organization

(Newser) - A bomb killed nine and wounded more than 100 in an Iranian mosque today, scattering members of an extremist Shiite group, the BBC reports. Police and militia have cordoned off the area while medics attend to victims and local media call for blood donations. No one has claimed responsibility for... More »

In Saudi Arabia, a Hotel for Women

Men-free Luthan Hotel 'meeting a very big demand' in conservative Muslim kingdom

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia’s first hotel catering exclusively to women—right down to its plush spa—opened this week in Riyadh, the Independent reports. The conservative kingdom enforces strict Islamic segregation of sexes in public, but women can stay at the Luthan Hotel without a male guardian—nor any men on... More »

57 Saudi Men Arrested for Flirting

Prosecutors say they exhibited 'bad' behavior to woo girls at malls

(Newser) - Authorities in Saudi Arabia arrested 57 young men accused of flirting with girls at shopping malls in Mecca, the BBC reports. Prosecutors say the men wore indecent clothing, played loud music, and danced to attract the girls’ attention. The arrests were prompted by Saudi’s Commission for the Promotion of... More »

Saudi Officials See Red Over Valentine's Day

'Immoral' holiday sparks temporary ban on color

(Newser) - In preparation for Valentine's Day, Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned all things red. The morality cops are out in force in search of the color of love, reports CNN, with plans to confiscate everything from flowers to stuffed toys. The ban is part of a yearly effort, complete with raids... More »

Bungled Europe Bombings Linked to Iraq Al-Qaeda

First attack by Iraqi group outside Mideast

(Newser) - Terrorist plotters behind bungled bombings in London and Glasgow six months ago have been linked to an al-Qaeda group in Iraq. The bombings are the first attacks attempted by the group Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia outside the Mideast, reports the New York Times. The plotters drove a vehicle packed with gas... More »

10 Stories