Without dwelling on the political and economic aspect of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s deliberations during his recent trip to Egypt, the United Kingdom and then the United States, let us focus solely on the human and cultural aspects of the tour.
In Egypt, the Saudi Crown Prince had a unique meeting with the highest representative of Egyptian Christians and the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, at St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia District in Cairo. He also met with other Christian figures. The discussions revolved around the situation of Christians and the Copts in Egypt and reaffirmed both parties “common commitment to eradicating extremism and terrorism.”
The Saudi leadership is intent on forming a multi-cultural and religious alliance between different religions and cultures to promote peace, harmony and synergy in its war against terrorism and terrorist ideologyMshari Al Thaydi
In the UK, Prince Mohammed, who held several political, economic and security meetings, scheduled a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, principal leader of the Anglican Church.
I do not understand why those who claim to be secular and civil and those who accuse Saudi Arabia of espousing an ideology that promotes terrorism are furious that the Saudi leadership is intent on forming a multi-cultural and religious alliance between different religions and cultures to promote peace, harmony and synergy in its war against terrorism and terrorist ideology.
Is it not necessary for Saudi Arabia to be involved in an ideological war against terrorist groups which promote their beliefs among Muslim youths in Muslim as well as western countries?
Saudi Arabia is the origin of Islam and a destination for all Muslims, so why do these people fight its good efforts, or in the best case scenario, they ignore them or doubt them or underestimate them?
On what premise do they base their judgments?
Following is a quick review of some of the headlines of the BBC in its Arabic version on the Prince’s visit to the United Kingdom:
*British prime minister defends the country‘s relations with Saudi Arabia
*Saudi-British relations: Not everything is alright
*Saudi Arabia is having a public relations’ problem as the world sees it as an unrealistically wealthy country waging war on a poverty-stricken Yemen
*Saudi Arabia imposes embargo on neighboring Qatar
Importance of reforms
This is not a fleeting trend, but a continuous “approach” that only the blind cannot see. I am not surprised that such outlets are attacking Saudi Arabia because that’s become their habit. However, how can they, whether implicitly or explicitly, accuse Saudi Arabia of sponsoring and financing terrorist ideology and then thwart Saudi efforts to fight it?
Let’s assume we believe your accusations against Saudi Arabia. Fine! Help it and encourage it to no longer be extremist. Wouldn’t this be the wise thing to do?
What’s good for Saudi Arabia is not only good for the kingdom but for all Muslims. British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson acknowledged this in an article as he called on British citizens not to ignore the achievements of Saudi Arabia. He stressed that the future of Saudi Arabia, the region and the Islamic world as a whole depends on the outcome of Saudi reforms.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy
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