Saudi king appoints son as new Mecca governor

December 27, 2013

 — King Abdullah appointed one of his sons on Sunday as the new governor of Mecca, a prestigious and influential position that includes oversight of Islam’s holiest shrine, the state media reported.
The 43-year-old Prince Mishaal, who is the king’s sixth son, will govern the province of Mecca which is home to the Kaaba, the black cube-shaped structure toward which Muslims pray, as well as the large Red Sea city of Jiddah. The move is a reflection of how the 89-year-old king has steadily put his closest relatives in top posts since his ascension to the throne in 2005.
News of the royal order was published in state-owned media. The Saudi Press Agency reported that Mishaal will take over the job from 73-year-old Prince Khalid, who oversaw Mecca’s affairs for six years. Khalid was named the new Education Minister. The outgoing minister, Prince Faisal who is also the king’s son-in-law, requested he be relieved of the post, the report said.
Another of the king’s sons, Prince Mutaib, is head of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, while his son Prince Abdulaziz is the deputy foreign minister and another son, Prince Turki, is deputy governor of the capital Riyadh.
But unlike in Western monarchies, the throne passes through brothers who are the sons of modern Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s last standing absolute monarchies and authority is concentrated within an aging and shrinking circle of Al Saud family leaders.
King Abdullah has already outlived two appointed successors from among the elderly group of sons of Saudi Arabia’s founding monarch. He named his half-brother, 76-year-old Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, as Crown Prince last year to succeed him. Salman had previously served for almost 50 years in the influential post of governor of Riyadh.
Before Sunday’s appointment, the king’s son Mishaal was governor of Najran, a southwestern mountainous region of Saudi Arabia that borders Yemen and has a significant population of Ismaili Shiites, an offshoot of the kingdom’s Shiite minority.


Saudi Crown Prince Dies Abroad After Illness

October 23, 2011

A state funeral is planned for Tuesday in Riyadh for crown prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, who died in New York at the age of 80 after an unspecified illness, the official Saudi Press Agency said.
Nayef, 78, has earned U.S. praise for unleashing the internal security forces against suspected Islamic extremist cells in Saudi Arabia, which was home to 15 of 19 of the Sept. 11 hijackers. Yet he brought blistering rebukes in the West for a 2002 interview that quoted him as saying that “Zionists” — a reference to Jews — benefited from the 9-11 attacks because it turned world opinion against Islam and Arabs.
…King Abdullah….

Nayef_also_has expressed displeasure at some of Abdullah’s moves for more openness, saying in 2009 that he saw no need for women to vote or participate in politics. It’s a view shared by many Saudi clerics, who follow a strict brand of Islam known as Wahhabism. Their support gives the Saudi monarchy the legitimacy to rule over a nation holding Islam’s holiest sites. After Sultan fell ill two years ago, Nayef was named second deputy prime minister, traditionally the post right behind the crown prince. For the first time, however, the mechanism of picking the next No. 2 in the royal succession is not entirely clear. Traditionally, the king names his successor. But this time it is possible that Abdullah will put the decision to the Allegiance Council, a 33-member body composed of his brothers and cousins. Abdullah created the council as part of his reforms and gave it a mandate to choose the heir. Abdullah formed the council in order to modernize the process and give a wider voice. When it was created, it was decided that the council would choose the heir for the first time when Sultan rose to the throne, and his crown prince would need to be named. But it was not specified whether it would be used if Sultan died before the king.


Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin AbdulAziz Al-Saud, Piss be on you.

July 9, 2011

Saudi Crown Prince Dies Abroad After Illness

…Bitch was operated on! Saudi Crown Prince Sultan is reported to have died in surgery in New York h/t Debka