Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia needs the chance to modernize society

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia needs the chance to modernize society

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

It is clear that the Western and Muslim Brotherhood media circus is in full swing in demonizing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia over events in Turkey. However, the Crown Prince, since the middle of 2017 onwards, should be praised for many reforms in the area of rights for women, economic initiatives, and showing a more caring approach to Christianity. Therefore, individuals should focus on the positives that are taking place in Saudi Arabia under the Crown Prince.

Of course, events in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi are extremely grisly but Saudi Arabia isn’t denying this. Equally, it would take a real biased individual to claim that the Crown Prince sanctioned such a crime. This clearly isn’t the case. Instead, a tragic rendition attempt – or, an act of persuading Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia – went tragically wrong based on human failure and Saudi officials overstepping the mark. Hence, individuals involved in the death of Khashoggi will be questioned and face the legal process that exists in Saudi Arabia – thereby, they will be punished for the deeds they committed.

Yet, the enemies of the Crown Prince who fear his modernization processes have created a fictional narrative about Khashoggi. Sadly, like usual, the gullible Western media circus seems to have fallen for the Muslim Brotherhood narrative. Therefore, despite Khashoggi being lauded for supporting press freedom and other noble areas, the facts point in the opposite direction. After all, if Khashoggi supported press freedom then why did he befriend President Erdogan of Turkey and fellow cronies who support the Muslim Brotherhood? Surely, Khashoggi knew full well that hundreds of journalists have been arrested in Turkey and that you have tens of thousands of political prisoners?

Despite this, Khashoggi felt at ease in Turkey despite the internal situation where any dissent by Kurds, Gulenists, or leftists equates to prison. Likewise, he didn’t mind mixing with political elites who support imprisoning journalists at the drop of a hat. Hence, the human rights angle is being overly politicized against the Crown Prince based on glossing over the facts of certain aspects of Khashoggi. The same applies to the fake moralizing of Erdogan who is extremely authoritarian.

The Washington Post uttered, “Turkey once had a robust, independent press, but Mr. Erdogan has waged a multifront campaign: closing media outlets, forcing others into new ownership, and using friendly judges and prosecutors. In the latest cases, some reporters and editors were convicted for what they said on Twitter.”

The Crown Prince in slightly more than one year enacted many internal reforms in Saudi Arabia that shouldn’t be ignored. Of course, the situation and power concentration methods in Saudi Arabia are extremely complex and archaic in relation to modern political systems. Hence, certain methods enacted by the Crown Prince may appear problematic but he fully understands the risks he is taking because he is taking on a very conservative establishment.

Rights of women increased under the Crown Prince and future role models

Women in Saudi Arabia under the Crown Prince can now apply for funds to start businesses without the consent of males; targets increased for women working in the private sector; a female was elected to a senior political position for the first time; divorced women can now get custody of their children without going through the legal system; women can now watch sport live even if segregation at the stadium still occurs; and other important reforms. Therefore, it is important that the Crown Prince remains focused and is supported internally and internationally.

Of course, the Crown Prince understands that internal discontent exists because many ultra-conservatives worry about a new more open Saudi Arabia. Equally, these reforms are only at the early stage because the Crown Prince wants to open up many areas to women. This is not only based on his more open approach but also because the Crown Prince knows that Saudi Arabia must utilize women in the economic realm – and social realm.

The Guardian reported last year, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has vowed to return the country to “moderate Islam” and asked for global support to transform the hardline kingdom into an open society that empowers citizens and lures investors.”

In the same article, the Crown Prince stated strongly, What happened in the last 30 years is not Saudi Arabia. What happened in the region in the last 30 years is not the Middle East. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, people wanted to copy this model in different countries, one of them is Saudi Arabia. We didn’t know how to deal with it. And the problem spread all over the world. Now is the time to get rid of it.”

Overall, the Crown Prince needs internal and international support because his vision of a new Saudi Arabia will not only benefit the region – but it will turn the tide against ultra-conservative Salafism. Hence, it is hoped that the quagmire in Yemen will be ended and that Saudi Arabia will note the angle of the Russian Federation in stabilizing Syria. In other words, the energy of the Crown Prince should be focused on internal issues related to modernizing society, the diversification of the economy, enhancing the role of women, and creating a genuine dialogue with all major religions.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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