Saudi crown prince pledges to restore ‘moderate Islam’

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday vows to restore “moderate, open” Islam in a kingdom known for its ultra-conservative rule.

“We are returning to what we were before — a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world,” he says at an economic forum in Riyadh.

“We will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas. We will destroy them today,” he adds. “We will end extremism very soon.”

The crown prince’s statement is the most direct attack by a top official on the Gulf country’s influential conservative religious establishment.

Since his sudden appointment on June 21, Prince Mohammed has pushed ahead with reforms. He is widely regarded as the force behind King Salman’s decision last month to lift a longstanding ban on women driving.


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