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Inside Arabia, a magazine specializing in the affairs of the Middle East and North Africa, in a report highlighted the efforts and efforts of the Saudi Crown Prince and the de facto ruler of the Kingdom, Mohammed bin Salman to whitewash his infamous person. real record by exploiting influential figures around the world, including athletes, to feed positive propaganda against him, revealing the role of world golf champion Greg Norman in this context.
Since King Salman bin Abdulaziz handed his 30-year-old son Mohammed over when he came to power in 2015, the young prince has hired global polling firms to survey Americans and Europeans on their perceptions of Saudi Arabia, according to the authors. The book “Blood and Oil”.
Unsurprisingly, the country’s human rights abuses against political opponents, women and religious and sexual minorities have become the first image of the repressive Saudi regime, and its record, which Amnesty International has described as “horrific”.
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To change these perceptions or rather divert global attention away from the kingdom’s human rights record, Mohammed bin Salman has implemented a number of steps to change the face of the kingdom, including hosting major sporting events, specifically the “Asian Golf Tour.”
Seduce a golf star with $2.5 million!
For years, the Saudi government has tried to lure professional golfers to whitewash its reputation for its treatment of dissidents, prisoners of conscience, religious minorities and women.
But the Saudi government has failed for years in its quest to sign a global name to be the number one man in international golf tournaments.
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“There is morality in this matter,” said golf star Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner, referring to the kingdom’s human rights abuses over his decision to reject a $2.5 million bid in Saudi Arabia two years ago. to play, to turn down.
A year later, Tiger Woods also missed out on a record $3.3 million to play in Saudi Arabia. Referring to the gruesome murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
Also read: Mohammed bin Salman’s campaign against Saad al-Jabri collides with a barrage of barriers
Now, Saudi persistence has finally paid off with LIV Golf Investments, a subsidiary of the Saudi government-run private investment fund.
Former world number one golf champion Greg Norman, also known as the Great White Shark, has been named as the company’s new CEO.
He became the first man for the recently announced 10-series of the Asian tour, which starts next year.
200 million.. “just the beginning”
Norman described the $200 million in prize money over the next 10 years as “just the beginning.” Amid credible rumors, he will also become a commissioner for a new Saudi-funded golf league.
When Gulf Digest asked Norman if he had “any concerns about the source of the funds, specifically the relationship with Saudi Arabia,” he said: “The Public Investment Fund is the largest investor. They enjoy great independence. Is passionate about the game of golf. “
The magazine described Norman’s statements as “complete nonsense” and pointed out that Mohammed bin Salman is not only the head of the Public Investment Fund. He is also the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. This makes the Public Investment Fund the exact opposite of “autonomy.”
He operates according to the whims of Mohammed bin Salman, the man who ordered the murder of Khashoggi, as well as permanently imprisoning and torturing his critics.
Yet none of this bothered Norman, who ignored human rights issues in the kingdom.
He justified his stance by saying: “He went to Saudi Arabia three years ago. He made his decision only after he “knows what is happening in the country.”
Saudi Arabia ‘one of the worst human rights abusers in the world’
In other words, Norman claims to know more about human rights violations in Saudi Arabia than Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI).
Saudi organizations were classified as “one of the worst human rights violators in the world” earlier this year. This is because of his poor record of torture, executions, extrajudicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary detention and the death penalty.
Julia Legner, head of advocacy at London-based NGO ALQST, said in a recent interview: “The data I collected [HRMI] This fully illustrates the deterioration of the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia.”
She continued: “Since Mohammed bin Salman became crown prince in 2017. He centralized state authority and tightened his grip on most basic rights. With the biggest crackdown on freedom of expression in the country’s history, and a massive trial of human rights defenders.”
Norman claims, according to the report, that he visited Saudi Arabia several times during the past three years to play golf and design golf courses.
And whether or not this is an advertisement for a future Saudi-backed Premier League. This is another example of Saudi Arabia splashing its cash in an attempt to wash its terrible human rights record.
A warning to golfers
And golf professionals tempted to play in these tournaments should take the time to consider the dynamics of sports washing. And how they can break his spell by speaking out about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia
Also read: “The Economist” on the vision of “Bin Salman”: “Luxurious plans and unimplemented projects in imitation of his successful neighbors”!
But Norman doesn’t care. Moreover, his relentless indifference to the marginalized and the downtrodden does not surprise longtime followers of Australian golfers.
Peter Fitzsimmons, a former Australian rugby player, described the great white as not only the “world’s number one narcissist” but also his “biggest fan”.
And this is, after all, the guy who spends his days showing off yachts, private jets and punching American presidents. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump included, as he posted half-naked photos of himself on Instagram.
Norman’s self-aggrandizement is the reason for his inability to understand or empathize with the suffering and misery of others. He has made it clear that he is willing to whitewash and misrepresent the crimes of one of the world’s worst human rights violators for money that his already overflowing bank accounts do not.
In other words, putting greed over principle is undoubtedly what Norman stands for.
(Source: Inside Arabia – translated and edited by Watan)
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