Archive for October 26th, 2017

I will return Saudi Arabia to moderate Islam, says crown prince

Martin Chulov in Riyadh
Tuesday 24 October 2017

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has vowed to return the country to “moderate Islam” and asked for global support to transform the hardline kingdom into an open society that empowers citizens and lures investors.

In an interview with the Guardian, the powerful heir to the Saudi throne said the ultra-conservative state had been “not normal” for the past 30 years, blaming rigid doctrines that have governed society in a reaction to the Iranian revolution, which successive leaders “didn’t know how to deal with”.

Expanding on comments he made at an investment conference at which he announced the launch of an ambitious $500bn (£381bn) independent economic zone straddling Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, Prince Mohammed said: “We are a G20 country. One of the biggest world economies. We’re in the middle of three continents. Changing Saudi Arabia for the better means helping the region and changing the world. So this is what we are trying to do here. And we hope we get support from everyone.

“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.” Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysians must unite to defend the bedrock constitutional and nation-building principles of openness, tolerance, moderation and inclusivity if Malaysia is to succeed and prosper as a nation

I was struck by a foreign news report that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had pledged a return to a moderate past and looked forward to a technology-driven future.

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh, the Saudi Crown Prince 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.”

The crown prince addressed an audience of thousands of global investors and dignitaries who visited the Saudi capital to hear first-hand how the country’s society and economy are being transformed.

He said: “Saudi Arabia was not like this before 1979. We want to go back to what we were, the moderate Islam that’s open to all religions. We want to live a normal life.”

Although the Saudi kingdom still has a long way to go in order to represent moderate Islam and become an open society, this is in stark contrast to some Malaysians who want to take the country towards an extremist direction, completely at odds with the country’s bedrock constitutional and nation-building principles of openness, tolerance, moderation and inclusivity. Read the rest of this entry »