Saudi royal denounces his brother - by Magdi Abdelhadi

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A member of the Saudi royal family has called for the assets of his brother to be frozen.

Prince Khaled bin Talal denounced his brother's media empire in an unprecedented public attack from within the ruling family.

Prince Khaled accused Prince Walid bin Talal of disseminating vice and violating the rules of Islamic Sharia in the conservative kingdom.

Prince Walid is one of the richest businessmen in the world.

It has long been known that there is a split within the ranks of Saud family between liberals and conservatives.

But, until now, they have always managed to keep a lid on the problem.

Prince Khaled said he had been forced to speak out after quiet efforts to advise his brother to mend his ways had fallen on deaf ears.

Prince Walid, known for his liberal lifestyle, owns a media empire which features entertainment channels that have long angered conservative Saudis.

Prince Khaled, told an Arabic website that his brother's plan to introduce cinema into Saudi society was the straw that broke the camel's back.

This was a reference to a Saudi film financed by Prince Walid, and shown in Saudi Arabia late last year despite fierce opposition from Islamist activists.

Nearly all forms of modern entertainment - particularly those that bring men and women together - are regarded by conservative Saudis as morally corrosive and can, in their eyes, undermine the religious foundation of the Saudi society and state.

Magdi Abdelhadi is an Arab Affairs Analyst.

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