سعودی عرب کے ولی عہد محمد بن سلمان کا کہنا ہے کہ وہ سعودی عرب میں ’معتدل اسلام کی واپسی‘ کے لیے کوشاں ہیں>>>>>>>
FOLLOWING the rapid ascent of Mohammed bin Salman to the second-most powerful position in Saudi Arabia, a series of unprecedented changes have occurred in the desert kingdom. The young crown prince — seen as the actual power behind the throne — had earlier announced that resort islands off the Red Sea coast would be developed, where the strict religious laws of the kingdom would not apply. He had also recently said that the ban on women drivers would soon be phased out. And the latest in this series of declarations came on Oct 24, when the prince announced the launch of NEOM, a $500bn mega project on Saudi Arabia’s north-western tip. Bin Salman has dubbed this bizarre dream “the first capitalist city in the world. ...” where Saudi law will, again, not be applicable. Along with these futuristic visions, the crown prince has talked of returning his country to ‘moderate Islam’.
From these pronouncements, it appears that bin Salman is embarking on a nation-building project, using a mix of social engineering and authoritarianism to fashion a new, ‘liberal’ Saudi Arabia. However, some things must be considered if the Saudi establishment is serious about changing direction. Firstly, opening nightclubs, beach resorts and allowing concerts, yet at the same time smothering all dissent and criticism, does not translate to a liberal setup. While the prince has announced these ambitious projects, his government has also intensified repression of critics, real and imagined. Over the past few months, clerics, activists and members of civil society have been rounded up by the security apparatus. Even some dissenting members of the royal family have reportedly been detained. For a truly pluralistic sociopolitical setup, people must be allowed to criticise their government, assemble peacefully and discuss ideas openly without fear. Secondly, it is a fact that at its core Saudi Arabia remains a tribal, conservative society. Therefore, any attempts at change must be incremental and, most importantly, should take the population on board. It should be remembered that the 1979 seizure of Makkah’s Masjid al-Haram by religious zealots was triggered by their apprehensions that the House of Saud was not ‘pious’ enough. Much of Saudi society — mainly because of the royal family’s patronage of hard-line clerics and their influence on the education system — may resist high-speed changes that threaten to undo social and religious structures. Therefore, for the sake of stability, the Saudi rulers need to progress steadily but carefully. [Editorial Dawn ]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Since catapulting to power with the support of his father, the king, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pushed forth changes that could usher in a new era for one of the United States’ most important allies and swing the kingdom away from decades of ultraconservative dogma and restrictions. He’s introduced musical concerts and movies again and is seen as the force behind the king’s decision to grant women the right to drive as of next year.
Opposition to the changes has so far been muted, but some critics of the prince have been detained. When social openings in the kingdom were taking place four decades ago, Sunni extremists opposed to the monarchy laid siege to Islam’s holiest site in Makkah.
Prince Mohammed’s agenda is upending the ruling Al Saud’s long-standing alliance with the kingdom’s clerical establishment in favour of synchronising with a more cosmopolitan, global capitalism that appeals to international investors and maybe even non-Muslim tourists.
The prince grabbed headlines in recent days by vowing a return to “moderate Islam”. He also suggested that his father’s generation had steered the country down a problematic path and that it was time to “get rid of it”.
In his sweeping “Vision 2030” plan to wean Saudi Arabia off of its near total dependence on petrodollars, Prince Mohammed laid out a vision for “a tolerant country with Islam as its constitution and moderation as its method”.
Prince Mohammed, or MBS as he is widely known, used a rare public appearance on stage at a major investor conference in the capital, Riyadh, this week to drive home that message to a global audience.
“We only want to go back to what we were: moderate Islam that is open to the world, open to all religions,” he said in the ornate grand hall of the Ritz-Carlton. “We will not waste 30 years of our lives in dealing with extremist ideas. We will destroy them today.”
His remarks were met with applause and a front-page article in the Britain’s Guardian newspaper. In expanded remarks to the paper, the 32-year-old prince said that successive Saudi monarchs “didn’t know how to deal with” Iran’s 1979 revolution that brought to power a clerical Shia leadership still in place today.
That same year Saudi rulers weathered a stunning blow: Sunni extremists laid siege to Islam’s holiest site in Makkah for 15 days. The attack was carried out by militants opposed to social openings taking place at the time, seeing them as Western and un-Islamic.
Indeed, Sunni extremists have used the intolerant views propagated by the ideology known as Wahhabism to justify violence against others. Wahhabism has governed life in Saudi Arabia since its foundation 85 years ago.
The ruling Al Saud responded to the events of 1979 by empowering the state’s ultraconservatives. To hedge the international appeal of Iran’s Shia revolution, the government backed efforts to export the kingdom’s foundational Wahhabi ideology abroad.
To appease a sizeable conservative segment of the population at home, cinemas were shuttered, women were banned from appearing on state television and the religious police were emboldened.
Much is now changing under the crown prince as he consolidates greater powers and prepares to inherit the throne.
There are plans to build a Six Flags theme park and a semi-autonomous Red Sea tourist destination where the strict rules on women’s dress will likely not apply. Females have greater access to sports, the powers of the once-feared religious police have been curtailed and restrictions on gender segregation are being eased.
Unlike previous Saudi monarchs, such as King Abdullah who backed gradual and cautious openings, Prince Mohammed is moving quickly.
More than half of Saudi Arabia’s 20 million citizens are below the age of 25, meaning millions of young Saudis will be entering the workforce in the coming decade. The government is urgently trying to create more jobs and ward off the kinds of grievances that sparked uprisings in other Arab countries where unemployment is rampant and citizens have little say in government.
The prince has to find solutions now for the problems he is set to inherit as monarch.
“What MBS is doing is a must requirement for any kind of economic reform. Economic reform requires a new Protestant ethic if you will, a new brand of Islam,” said Maamoun Fandy, director of the London Global Strategy Institute.
This new Saudi version of “moderate Islam” can be understood as one that is amenable to economic reforms; it does not close shops at prayer time or banish women from public life, Fandy said.
In other words, Saudi Arabia’s economic reforms require social reforms to succeed.
Buzz words like “reform”, “transparency” and “accountability” all used by the prince in his promotion of Vision 2030 do not, however, mean that Saudi Arabia is moving toward greater liberalism, democracy, pluralism or freedom of speech.
The government does not grant licences to non-Muslim houses of worship, and limits those of its Shia Muslim citizens.
The prince has also made no mention of human rights concerns. If anything, dozens of the prince’s perceived critics have been detained in a warning to others who dare to speak out.
Some of those arrested were seen as critics of his foreign policies, which include severing ties with Qatar, increasing tensions with Iran and overseeing air strikes in Yemen that have killed scores of civilians and drawn sharp condemnation from rights groups and some in Washington.
Meanwhile, Prince Mohammed faces a Saudi public that remains religiously conservative. That means he still needs public support from the state’s top clerics in order to position his reforms as Islamic and religiously permissible.
These clerics, many of whom had spoken out in the past against women working and driving, appear unwilling or unable to publicly criticise the moves. In this absolute monarchy, the king holds final say on most matters and the public has shown it is welcoming the changes.—AP
Read .. Wahabism
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism By Aya Batrawy, www.dawn.com
What are the differences between Ottoman Islam and Arabic Islam?
Ottoman Empire was not a secular state but it was also not a state which was ruled by sharia laws.
Now, “arabic islam” is a loose definition. But if we have to compare it, we can compare it to islam of today’s saudi arabia to highlight the contrast.
In Ottoman Empire, religion was used as a unifying tool, it was very practical. And supposedly local judges (Kadı(s)) followed sharia but again this was mostly nominal; for example, alcohol was legal in Ottoman Empire, kadıs could not punish someone for drinking.
Also, religious hierarchy followed a pattern similar to eastern roman empire. Highest religious authority was Şeyh-ül İslam who was also part of The Imperial Council (Divan-ı Hümayun) but his authority was below Padişah (sultan, emperor, khan whatever you want to call it) just like patriarchs authority being below basileus in Roman Empire. Nominally, Padişah needed decree of Şeyh-ül İslam for certain actions but they always gave permission, in cases they tried to oppose, they would simply be replaced by a new Şeyh-ül İslam.
Moreover Ottomans had lots of secular laws besides Sharia such as Atam-Dedem Kanunları (literally meanins laws of the forefathers) derived from turkish traditions. Non-muslims were not subject to same civil laws as muslims; Ecumenical Patriarch of Konstantiniyye was responsible of orthodox christian subjects concerning civil laws for example.
Also, Janissary Order, world’s first standing army in modern sense, elit troops of the Empire, were members of Sufii Dervish Order which significantly diverges from Sunni Islam. Ottoman Dynasty was Sunni muslim just like Sauds but Saudi Arabia follows wahhabism which is the most strict form of Sunni Islam. On the other hand, Ottoman dynasty’s şehzades (princes) would become a member of Janissary Order once they are of age. The ceremony in which princes enter into the order includes an oath that is obviously non-sunni traditions such as pledging in the name of Ali etc….....................................................................
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extremist ideologies" in a bid to return to "a more moderate Islam.".
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