The Saudi royal family often works tirelessly to make sure that there are no public rifts between the many princes. Of course, there are numerous rivalries, but the Godfathers, so to speak, often work to mend them or at least subdue them from public view.
[The Saudi royals. The New York Times.]
This time there were unable to. Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal is probably the most widely known Saudi next to Ussama Bin Ladin. The Prince does not have any known ambitions for the crown, instead he has become the king of a business empire. The richest Saudi and the 22nd richest person in the world [his fortune is estimated at $13.3 billion], Prince Bin Talal has assets ranging from Citi [or Shitty] Bank to the Lebanese Broadcast Corporation [its satellite version].
Prince Bin Talal owns more than LBC, his media empire included the recording company and video-music channel Rotana. When it comes to his media empire, Prince Bin Talal often promotes content that objectives women as purely sexual beings. It is ironic that much the media that is attacked by Saudi clerics for being offensive to Islam is actually owned by his Saudi prince.
No one man is more responsible for the low-brow media in the Arab world then Bin Talal. This irony used to go unnoticed and whenever Saudi clerics attacked his media they never mentioned Bin Talal proprietorship. Bin Talal’s financial clout in the Kingdom protected him from being attacked for Bin Talal could easily have a critical cleric sacked.
But Bin Talal cannot sack his brother and that irony has finally come to the fray. In a rare public spat, Bin Talal has been attacked by his brother Prince Khaled Bin Talal. Khaled has long been known to the a strict Muslim unlike his brother. Let me rephrase that: Khaled is not just a strict Muslim, but a fanatical Wahhabi zealot. In private, he has nearly declared his brother a kufar [unbeliever]. Khaled is a little nice to his brother for he does not refrain from calling Shias in the Kingdom blasphemous. This guy is a pure religious fanatic.
Prince Khaled has now finally broke his silence about his long held resentment about his brother’s media empire. He has called his brother’s media a vice against Islam.
Khaled said he often spoke to Bin Talal in private in an effort to get him to correct his ways. Bin Talal was always unpersuaded, and Bin Talal’s efforts to introduce cinemas into the Kingdom was what finally put Khaled’s anger over the top and compelled him to speak out.
What will happen now? Bin Talal is a sleazy Saudi douchbag, but he is right in provoking the backward religious establishment. May a thousand cinemas open in the Kingdom.