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Politics of the Middle East - Final Exam - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Politics of the Middle East Part I – Saudi Arabia The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia epitomizes the epicenter of the Islamic Religion through the presence of the religion’s two most holy cities Mecca and Medina within its borders. Hence, the kingdom’s practice of Islam is enforced to the fullest through both governance and Islamic religious etiquette…
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Politics of the Middle East - Final Exam

Download file to see previous pages... There is the observance of the Five Pillars of Islam including Observation of the Holy month of Ramadhan, the giving of alms, prayer, five times a day, the belief in Allah, and Mohammad as his Messenger, and the pilgrimage to Mecca. Both the majority Sunni, and the minority Shia, are in agreements as to the above Islamic essentials, hence a unique way of life is espoused through clothing code, gender socialization, the adherence to the above Five pillars amongst others. Fundamentally so is the Kingdom’s guidance through the Hanbali School of jurisprudence (Fiqh) that being present in existent pre-modern texts provides principals that are rooted in the literal interpretation of both the Quran and Hadith, in addition to being predominantly Sunni. Nonetheless, judgment is often divergent from other previous ones, as Saudi law provides judges with the powers to apply personal interpretations of the Sharia Law (jurisprudence), as principally guided by the above two Books. Apart from the above is the presence of royal decrees, these being the other chief source of law and governance. These decrees, supplement existent Sharia Law in such realms as commercial, labor and corporate law. Of importance, though to a lesser degree are existent traditional tribal customs and laws rooted in the traditional aspect of the Saudi people. It is worthwhile to note that the Saudi population is deeply rooted in its divergent ancient-urban traditions that are organized along tribal and clan identities such as the nomadic Bedouin tribal communities (Niblock 56). The existent Sharia court system primarily constitutes the Kingdom’s basic judicial system and processes, with its judges and lawyers forming part of the Kingdom’s Ulema, the religious leadership. In existence also, are extra-Sharia government tribunals, primarily set up to handle royal decree-related disputes. Of fundamental importance, is the final judicial appeal directed towards the King, who through Sharia Law provides the final procedural measures. However, there exists criticism of the Kingdom’s judicial (justice) system specifically pertaining to its slow, arcane nature, which espouses a lack of some safeguards requisite in this modern era. The judiciary’s top echelon, comprising of mainly the older generation of Ulema, is ultra-conservative posing a hindrance to the Kingdom’s modern interrelationships with the global society. Like a majority of its Arab League neighboring states, the Kingdom is endowed with both oil and gas mineral resources. In fact, it is the leading exporter of crude oil primarily located in the Eastern Province, with oil accounting for roughly 95% of the Kingdom’s exports, in addition to 70% of government revenue (Schlesinger 75). Thus, through these vast oil revenues, the Kingdom, just like a majority of its oil-exporting neighbors, has utilized the same towards rapid modernization, hence promoting a sort of welfare state. Through its privatization of a majority of its critical industries, such as telecommunications and power/ energy, the government continues to promote economic growth. Through increased oil prices, from 2008-2009, have triggered a second oil boom, akin to that of 1981, with current per capita income being calculated at $7,400; inflation being factored in. Being ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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