A coalition of Islamic NGOs has condemned Saudi Arabia for liberalizing its policies, most notably allowing the Jeddah World Fest, which was to feature US rapper Nicki Minaj, to be organized. In a statement, the Malaysia Islamic Organisations Consultative Council (Mapim) also cited Saudi Arabia’s cooperation with the US and Israel in its attack on the kingdom.
Beneath the surface, relations are developing between Israel and Saudi Arabia, a powerhouse of the Arab world. Despite leaders’ efforts to keep their relationship low profile, Israel-Saudi relations over the last two decades have caught the attention of the Middle East and the wider world.
FreeMalaysiaToday Mapim president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid said even though Minaj had announced her withdrawal from performing at the concert, the “mere fact” that Saudi authorities allowed her to be invited was “shocking and utterly disgusting”.
“We are outraged by this immoral policy newly introduced by the Saudi government which plans to turn the kingdom into an entertainment hub as an attempt to generate billions of dollars in revenue,” Azmi said. The coalition also said it was “perturbed” by the string of Saudi policies which had affected the region’s stability and misrepresented the teachings of Islam.
Azmi said these included the the “normalization” of ties with Israel and the purchase of US arms worth billions, which strengthened its economy. “All these policies and measures are escalating tensions in the region and creating a situation of pervasive conflict.