Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman, has pledged to make Saudi Arabia a “moderate, open” country.
This act, which will be in favour of an image catering to foreign investors and Saudi youth, would have the Prince in disagreement with ultra-conservative Clerics in the country where the ultra-conservative lifestyle has been a ‘tradition’. The Prince promised to bring an end to extremism in Saudi Arabia.
The Prince made this known on Tuesday, 24th October, 2017, at an Economic Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He said, “We are returning to what we were before – a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world.”
“We will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas. We will destroy them today. We will end extremism very soon,” he added.
So far, this seems to be the most direct attack on Saudi Arabia’s influential conservative lifestyle by a Saudi Official. This lifestyle has been a part of the Saudi people for decades.
While the Saudi government continues to draw criticism from international rights groups, Prince Mohammed has pushed ahead with reforms since his sudden appointment on 21st June. Authorities have vied to modernise certain sectors in the kingdom, hinting that long-banned cinemas would soon be permitted as part of ambitious reforms for a post-oil era that could shake up the austere kingdom’s cultural scene.
The young prince is widely regarded as being the force behind King Salman’s decision last month to lift a decades-long ban prohibiting women from driving. Could this be a positive change in Saudi Arabia? Or, could it be negative?