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Abdullah fires KAUST critic 5, October 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Saudi Arabia.
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Saudi King Abdullah has fired the recent outspoken critic of his newest project, the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST). Sheikh Saad Al Shethry decried the University where sexes can mix together freely, women can drive and do not have to wear the Hijab. Perhaps worst of all for Al Shethry, the curriculum itself along with the University as a whole is outwith the remit of the Religious Authorities.

Abdullah’s quick removal of this vocal critic is a strong sign of his intent to protect the integrity of the University. However, as I said in an earlier blog posting, the real challenge comes when the presumed successor – the arch Conservative Prince Nayef – takes over. If he carries on with his Conservative outlook that has epitomized his time in the Ministry of the Interior, it seems unlikely that the University will retain such protection.