How far will Saudi reforms go? Evidently not far enough for open debate on Islamic principles that radical Muslims in the Kingdom are using to incite terrorism. Crown Prince Abdullah gives us a hint: “Saudi Arabia will not allow anybody to attack the Islamic faith in the name of freedom of expression, Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier and commander of the National Guard, declared yesterday.” This from Arab News, with thanks to “Allah.”
“‘This country will never accept anybody, whoever he may be, to hurt the Islamic faith, in the name of freedom of opinion or any other name,’ the crown prince said in an address to the nation aired live on state television.
“Prince Abdullah was giving guidelines for the national dialogue forum, which has so far held two sessions in Riyadh and Makkah with the participation of prominent intellectuals and religious experts, including women.
“He said the Kingdom would go ahead with its political and economic reforms. ‘We will not allow anybody to stand in the way of reforms, be it by calling for stagnation or recession or any other reckless adventure,’ he said.
“Prince Abdullah urged all citizens to work jointly with the government to achieve reforms. ‘But the state will not allow anybody to destroy national unity or disturb the peace of its people under the pretext of reforms.’ . . .
“Prince Abdullah reiterated the Kingdom’s opposition to extremism, which is disparaged and hated. ‘Moderateness is the right path,’ he said and called upon Saudis to follow the wise, moderate Islamic line. ‘It’s the method of the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet (peace be upon him).'”
“He said the Kingdom would remain a free Muslim and Arab nation, with its citizens enjoying honor, security and equality.”
Including equality for non-Muslims? Sorry. That’s unlikely, as Abdullah probably doesn’t see it as the moderate Islamic method of the Qur’an and the Prophet. After all, as I show in Onward Muslim Soldiers, radicals look to those traditional sources to justify jihad and dhimmitude.