Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, told an investment conference in Riyadh Tuesday that he plans to move the country toward a more moderate form of Islam, and will do more to combat extremist Islamic elements who have taken refuge in his country.
“We want to go back to what we were, the moderate Islam that is open to the world, open to all the religions,” Prince bin Salman said. “We will not waste 30 years of our lives dealing with extremist ideas, we will destroy them today.”
The 32-year-old Prince bin Salman officially became heir to the Saudi throne earlier this year, and is responsible for a handful of shocking reforms inside the country, including a recent decision to allow women to obtain drivers’ licenses and operate cars in public without fear of retribution from religious police — a ban that has been in place more than six decades.
Apparently, Millennials can make big changes — or, at least, suggest them. Women in Saudi Arabia are still required to wear a headscarf, and must be under the guardianship of a male family member at all times. And although Prince bin Salman has been outspoken about reforms, the changes don’t sit well with the country’s Wahhabi clerics, who define the Islamic religion for the government.
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