Prof. Fahad M. Al-Otaibi*
Crown Prince: Extremism and terrorism are our common concerns

In an interview with the Guardian two years ago, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman has vowed to fight extremism and return the kingdom to “moderate Islam”. 

This, as he said, will transform the hardline kingdom into an open society, empowers citizens, and lures investors. 

He identified the problem of the kingdom in the control of the rigid doctrines of society for thirty years, which came as a reaction to the Iranian revolution (1979). 

He said: "what happened in the last 30 years is not Saudi Arabia. What happened in the region in the last 30 years is not the Middle East. 

After the Iranian revolution in 1979, people wanted to copy this model in different countries, one of them is Saudi Arabia. 

We didn’t know how to deal with it. And the problem spread all over the world. 

Now is the time to get rid of it.” Building on the fact that Islam is a moderate religion and that more than seventy percent of the kingdom in their twenties, he said: "We are simply reverting to what we followed – a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions. 70% of the Saudis are younger than 30, honestly, we won’t waste 30 years of our life combating extremist thoughts, we will destroy them now and immediately.”

After this interview, Martin Chulov wrote an article in the Guardian in Tue 24 Oct 2017 under the title:" I will return Saudi Arabia to moderate Islam, says crown prince: Mohammed bin Salman tells the Guardian that ultra-conservative state has been ‘not normal’ for past 30 years". 

In his article, Chulov identified some challenges facing the prince's plan i.e. the ban on women driving, scaling back guardianship laws that restrict women’s roles, and opening cinemas and theatres...

Today, and after two years after Chulov 's article, we can see easily how the crown prince defeated these challenges. Saudi women are legally driving their cars, they started to play a great role not only in their domestic lives but as national figures. 

Also, cinemas and theatres are opened in the kingdom, and citizens attending these places in a civilized way. 

Not only this, but there are also many positive changes led by his royal highness which may be mentioned in another article. 

Prof. Fahad M. Al-Otaibi


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