Prominent Saudi author Dr. Turki Al-Hamad has shared his views on a wide range of issues, including Saudi Arabia’s current slew of reforms, the Qatar crisis, the vision of the Crown Prince and the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda.
In an interview with Al Arabiya, he said that the extremist discourse is out of sync with the changes of the age and the charting of a great future. He pointed out that Saudi society was developing its consciousness once again, and that ‘Al Sahwa’ group’s conservative ideology no longer appealed to the majority.
Al-Hamad stressed that ‘Al Sahwa’ currents inhibited development and this necessitates a re-birth for Saudi Arabia, which had started its journey “to be born from the womb of history,” as he put it.
On major current changes taking place in Saudi Arabia, he stated: “Saudi Arabia is undergoing rapid transformation with the reform program launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He is a young prince with big ambitions and a vision for the future”.
“The young prince has pumped fresh vigor in the veins of the Saudi state, which were getting blocked with the “cholesterol” of a rampant bureaucracy, widespread corruption, “calcifying” religious speeches, and a preponderance to dwell in the past with teachings about a dead culture, a closed society that has no life, an economy that relies on a singular source of income, and a culture that rejects all the other.”
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“In less than two years, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has opened up all doors to revitalize religious speech with his reversion to the moderate ideologies, practiced by the Kingdom before 1979. This will bring Saudi Arabia’s economy, culture and society back to the right path and it will return to being a natural state that seeks development and prosperity like the rest of this world, away from extremism and adherence to a religious ideology that God never ordained,” he added.
“I am pleased with that direction, and I feel overjoyed and optimistic about the future, and what Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is doing was not expected even by the most optimistic, who felt that the entire situation had reached a dead end, until he came and decided to perform a quick surgery in all aspects of life in the country. This situation was no longer tolerable like in the past, it became an existential issue, like “to be or not to be” as Shakespeare says”.
On the issue of fighting corruption, the Saudi author said: “Corruption, religious extremism and the dependence on one source of income, is a vicious trinity, which threatens the safety of society and the existence of a state in Saudi Arabia. the young prince understood this matter, and therefore his program for regeneration is based on these three axes: Diversifying the sources of income, restoring life to an archaic culture, and fighting the parasites of corruption which feeds on public income”.
“As it is said, defining the problem is half of the solution. This is how the Crown Prince has taken practical steps to reach a resolution, already I am optimistic that a new Saudi Arabia is emerging from the womb of history and that the new generation will live in a clean environment free of corruption, extremism and fearing the future,” al-Hamad said.
On the introduction of entertainment in Saudi Arabia, al-Hamad referred to it as “the culture of breathing a soul and restoring life to a society that lived for decades under the umbrella of a ‘culture of death’, so much so that the thought of one’s fate after death created a terror that haunted Saudi individual, so it paralyzed his ability to enjoy life and love life”.
“God did not create us in vain in this life, but we have been created to build it and live it, not to die alive. Such activities may be normal in any other country, but in Saudi Arabia it is a necessary shock for the arteries of life to return to pumping blood again,” he added.
Muslim Brotherhood strategy
Al-Hamad said that the Muslim Brotherhood had succeeded in gradually finding its way into the educational system in the kingdom, since 1960s. He said that their strategy was to gradually infiltrate power through educational institutions, brainwashing and cultivating ideas, reshaping societies.
“They were previously supported by political causes related to the Arab Cold War at the time, and the ideological Saudi-Iranian conflict about who represents Islam, and who has the right to Islamic leadership and hegemony over the world of Islam. But despite the confidence in the Brotherhood at some point, and the belief in the validity of their approach and intentions, eventually their Machiavellian plans were exposed and the fact that their loyalty was to their organization and their Murshid (guide), and that all they do is to play politics for the sake of their organization, which has nothing to do with any principles or doctrines of faith,” al-Hamad added.
He commented on campaigns of incitement against Saudi Arabia describing it as “open maneuvers”, adding that “even if Saudi Arabia made a large mosque from its territory, and the women were trapped behind high walls, we will find the same incitement. Even prior to these reforms, they still denounced the reticence and backwardness of Saudi Arabia. Now the incitement is more in the open, although the speech has not changed. Their ultimate target is Saudi Arabia and not what it does. Reform and restoration in the kingdom worry them a lot.
“The religious elite of Iran and Turkey become anxious with every power that the kingdom accumulates, by which it keeps them away from achieving their goals. As for the Hamadies (those who support both Qatar’s former Emir and FM, Hamad bin Khalifa and Hamad bin Jassim,) I truly pity them for handing the leadership to whomsoever, and turning Qatar into a laughing stock, a mere stooge and a feather in the wind. The two Hammads are fully aware all these facts, but personal hatred and self-ambitions has ruined Qatar and the people of Qatar.
“Qatar has been hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood, represented by Youssef Qaradawi and the grandson of the Ottomans and the one set to restore their ‘glories’. Erdogan, and each of those that seek to secure their own interests, want Saudi Arabia's collapse as a regional power for it stands in the way of their projects,” al-Hamad stated.
This article is also available in Arabic.