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Arabic press review: Royal intrigue in Bahrain and Emirati social media permits

Bahrain's king attempts reshuffle, Emirati social media stars now need licences and Algerians concerned by spike in Islamophobia in France
Bahrain's King Hamad (AFP)

Battle royale in Bahrain

Reportedly well-placed sources have told London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi of a power struggle among Bahrain's King Hamad and his prime minister, Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa.

King Hamad, who is backed by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, is reportedly attempting to unseat Khalifa bin Salman from the position he has held since 1970.

The struggle according to the sources, is part of a larger plan to change the order of succession in the family, replacing current Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad with his brother Nasser bin Hamad, King Hamad’s fourth and most favoured son.

The sources however said it remained unclear whether Salman bin Hamad would be tipped to become prime minister in order to steer him away from the role of future king.

Al-Quds al-Arabi claims the internal Bahraini power struggle is being pushed by the long rivalry between King Hamad and Khalifa bin Salman, as well as by Zayed’s desire to keep Bahrain squarely under the influence of the Emirates.

Licence to tweet

Starting next month, the United Arab Emirates will begin implementing a new law regulating electronic media, including advertisements and social media, according to online news outlet Arabi21.

The law requires that social media personalities and internet celebrities obtain a government business licence, as well as an advertisement licence should they wish to publish advertisement content on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

The law which was passed in March and will come into effect in July, sets the value of the licence at 15,000 dirhams ($4,080) a year, with a fine of 5,000 dirhams ($1,360) for violators.

Algerians concerned over Islamophobia in France

The French National Observatory Against Islamophobia has revealed an increase in the frequency of attacks targeting the Muslim community in France prompting concerns among the Algerian community, which constitutes the largest segment of Muslims in the country, according to Algerian newspaper Echorouk el-Yawmi.

During the period between 29 May and 3 June, the Observatory documented attacks including a shooting, sexual assault, arson, and desecration of places of worship during the holy month of Ramadan, prompting the head of the observatory, Abdallah Zikri, to say that the situation had become alarming.

The Observatory said that this phenomenon wasn’t new, as Muslims in France have long been targeted by racist attacks. The Observatory had most recently revealed a 138 percent increase in Islamophobic threats between January and March compared to the same time period in 2017.

* Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.

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