Moderate Islam in King Salman’s era

Mohammed Al Shaikh

Published: Updated:

Saudi King Salman is well aware of the machinations of Brotherhood, which exploits our honorable religion to gain political power even if it undermines the kingdom’s security and stability. After becoming King, one of his first decisions was to decisively curb their activities. King Salman had closely dealt with them when he was governor of Riyadh. We knew for a fact that these Brotherhood affiliates were few in number. However, they had a loud voice because they were organized, or to be more accurate, because they received directions from their foreign patrons even if it was at the expense of the kingdom’s independence and sovereignty.

Small minority of extremists

The Brotherhood’s unity, particularly in the media, sought to make people think they were many in number and that they had a wide following among a large cross-section of people across the kingdom. The truth is that the vast majority of Saudi people are moderate Muslims, and they do not create nuisance. This was evident when they welcomed the state’s decisions to modernize and catch up with the world. A large number of citizens have attended various events organized by the entertainment authorities. This proves, beyond the shadow of doubt, about what we always believed about the influence of Islamists and how “they are the most vocal but very few in number.”

Extremists in the country received directions from their foreign patrons even if it was at the expense of the kingdom’s independence and sovereignty.

Mohammed Al Shaikh

Man by nature hates isolation which the Prophet (peace be upon him) warned against as is evident from his own life. However, there are people who find in extremism what they cannot find in tolerance and openness and choose to isolate themselves and ignore the famous saying: “Live for your worldly life as if you are living forever, and work for your Hereafter as if you are dying tomorrow.” This happens everywhere and at all times and it’s not exclusive to one religion. It is most probably due to psychological reasons or narrow-mindedness. Moderate Muslims must balance between the requirements of life and religion. They must contribute to everything that enhances security, welfare and stability without having religion overshadow the worldly.

King Salman’s reign of transformation

We are witnessing a clear manifestation of this balance, which the religion of Islam has urged and which early Muslims practiced during the prosperous phase of the Islamic civilization. This balance has in fact been the most important factor that helped Islam reach all the corners of the world.

Observers around the world have wondered why extremist preachers, who promote isolation, have gone silent. I think the most important reason is because extremism is simply not the basis of Islam, but the opposite is true. Extremists and Islamists are the ones who distort Islam and have projected it as an intolerant religion when instead Islam calls for “for arguing in a way that is best” and not by resorting to violence, like extremists who promote political Islam do.

This blessed era of King Salman’s rule marks a real transformation in our country to resolutely return to moderate Islam in all fields of life. I have no doubt that history will talk a lot about this impressive transformation.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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