Saudi ‘returning to moderate Islam,’ crown prince says
Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday vowed to restore “moderate, open” Islam in the kingdom.
“We are returning to what we were before — a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world,” he was quoted as saying by news agency AFP at an economic forum in Riyadh.
“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 said.
Last month, Saudi Arabia had announced that it will allow women to drive from next June.
The Crown Prince was said to have conceived the decision, as part of the Saudi government’s major reform drive.
The announcement followed a first of its kind gender-mixed celebration of Saudi national day.
The “reforms” are being seen as part of the Saudi government’s “Vision 2030” plan as the kingdom prepares for a post-oil era.
“With more than half the country aged under 25, Prince Mohammed, the architect of Vision 2030, is seen as catering to the aspiration of the youth with an array of entertainment options and promoting more women in the workforce,” AFP had reported at the time of Saudi announcement to lift ban on women drivers.