From the United States, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman peered at the world. His platform this time was the magical country and the land of dreams. During his visit, he held extensive meetings with decision makers and corporate heads. It is for this reason that the visit became the focus of the world at various levels.
Earlier this week, renowned US journalist Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed the crown prince for the magazine Atlantic. In the interview, the crown prince addressed the Saudi society, superpowers and the rest of the world. Rich and extensive in scope, the interview can be viewed as a comprehensive roadmap for the Saudi society and state, as it contained the pillars on which the internal structure and the nature of the Kingdom's relations with external powers and states will be built. The interview was based on political realism, encouragement of social freedoms and pushing beyond the classical traditional codes.
Arab and Islamic societies, including the Saudi society, have been victims of ideological abuse characterized with the domination of the Muslim Brotherhood’s and its affiliates’ ideology. This had a profound impact on the developmental, social, political and economic spheresFahad Suleiman Shoqiran
Domestically, the prince underlined that women will be equal to men as they are social partners, educationally and professionally. He underscored that extremism has no place in Saudi society and that the time for the Muslim Brotherhood’s infiltration was up, as it is the one which raised Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Even Khomeini, Khamenei, Nasrallah and Mughniyah were under its influence.
The myth of Islamic empires, as well as the dreams of the Caliphate will be confronted intellectually and militarily. Islam has been effectively hijacked, and what we are witnessing today from the rise of the hard right in Europe, and the outbreak of attacks on those who show any religious features are all over the news.
Restoring Islam's image
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has vowed to restore the image of Islam as religion of peace. Yes, it is a religion of peace and not of the sword. But the “triangle of evil” embodied by the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran and terrorist groups, seeks to build a state that governs via violence, as witnessed under the rule of ISIS, Al-Qaeda or Hezbollah. All of these organizations want to demolish the region, distort Islam and conquer the world.
During his interview with the Atlantic, the crown prince said that moderate states, which include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, “are defending the idea that independent nations should focus on their own interests, in building good relations on the foundation of UN principles. The evil triangle doesn’t want to do that.”
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In terms of international relations, even with Israel, the prince explained this relied on the peace process, which is the same proposal made by Saudi Arabia through King Abdullah’s initiative, which was approved by Arab states in Beirut in 2002. Therefore, ties with Israel depend on achieving peace. If peace is achieved on this basis, it will enable establishing interests with all countries that are internationally recognized and that are recognized by the UN, including Israel. This is obvious and comes within the context of international charters and UN laws.
The noise and the uproar coming from some fighters in this context are of no use as they know well that they and those who belong to the axis of resistance are the ones who let down Palestinians the most. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia is the biggest advocate of the cause of the Palestinian people worldwide and throughout the history of the crisis to this day.
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The Prince covered many points that can be summarized in the categories of religious openness, dialogue with the other, equality between men and women, annihilation and defeat of extremism and terrorist groups and wiping out their doctrines and ideologies, advocating moderate and enlightened Islam, promoting peace among nations, constructing a negotiation and a discussion procedure to attain a peace process and strengthening the work of the axis of moderation.
The menace of the Muslim Brotherhood
Arab and Islamic societies, including the Saudi society, have been victims of ideological abuse characterized with the domination of the Muslim Brotherhood’s and its affiliates’ ideology. This had a profound impact on the developmental, social, political and economic spheres. This influence marked a decay. Consequently, the society turned its back on life, curtains fell on the stage of bliss, darkness prevailed and violence, extremism, discontent and terrorism spread.
In the interview, Prince Mohammed bin Salman drew the path for taking the Saudi society out of tunnels to the horizons. This reminds us of the saying of his great grandfather, the founder King Abdulaziz: “Before uniting land, our goal was to unite souls and ideas. This nation will not succeed merely by virtue of its geographical dimensions, if it remains torn.”
This article is also available in Arabic.
Fahad Shoqiran is a Saudi writer and researcher who also founded the Riyadh philosophers group. His writings have appeared in pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Alarabiya.net, among others. He also blogs on philosophies, cultures and arts. He tweets @shoqiran.