The Problem With Liberalising Arabia

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

One of the main drivers behind support for Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman’s vision for Saudi Arabia has been his perceived willingness to liberalise Saudi society. Reforms including allowing women to drive have been welcomed, while the opening of cinemas and the hosting of the WWE Royal Rumble have been seen as signs of real intent that Saudi Arabian society …

‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’…just doesn’t exist. No matter how loud you say it.

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

On 14th August a French court ruled that the banning of the ‘burkini’ was ‘necessary, appropriate and proportionate’ in the fight against terrorism. To any layman with the most basic understanding of human rights, the decision is nothing short of outrageous. But, surprisingly, the decision is perfectly in line with the French principles of ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’.

I am a British Muslim. Here is what I really think.

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Let me begin by describing my upbringing. I was born in Middlesex Hospital in the United Kingdom, began attending my local nursery from 6 months old (a non-Muslim nursery, mind you), then onto a state primary school, high school, sixth form and finally onto a University of London branch. Until very recently, I held one nationality and one nationality only; …

Christian and Muslim Values: Just how far apart are they?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

A lot can be said about ‘values’; ‘British’ values, ‘Christian’ values, ‘their’ values. The context in which the whole term has been thrown about has nearly always been ‘us’ versus ‘them’. So how different are Syrian refugees, who are predominantly Muslim, from Christians? Let’s make it simpler. How different are the values of Islam from Christianity? One event in history …

In-Depth: how the response to the Paris attacks made ISIS stronger

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Painting a picture with a bloodstained brush intended to cloud and distort all inkling of mutual understanding is the business of information manipulation. The self-described Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are not only masters of disseminating distorted messages through turning vulnerable participants into electronic proxies, but also by using human suffering to paint a particular narrative. The …