THE 89th Saudi National Day celebrations shed light on the huge achievements of the Kingdom since the beginning of the reign of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, at all levels – social, economic and political.
We are confident history will mark this era in golden letters. We do not exaggerate on what we say because what has been achieved during the five years of his rule could not have been achieved in five decades if the King was not determined to build, develop and modernize his country.
The most remarkable change that the King has brought about is the social openness putting a dent in the efforts of the extremists who had exploited everything in their path to put pressure on the life of the common man on all aspects of his life which tarnished the image of the Kingdom abroad and portraying it as walking through a road of backwardness contrary to the basics of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) and the culture of society open to the other.
It is true that the Kingdom is a rich country and has a strong economy, but this alone cannot be reason for progress. It is the individual initiative and the diversification of sources of income as long as there are practices that limit it based on a misinterpretation of the meaning of religious commitment and linking it to an existing deviant project based on political objective.
The late Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz as was mentioned during an interview with the Al-Seyassah newspaper in 2002, said ‘The Muslim Brotherhood is the origin of the scourge.’
This was the result reached by Prince Nayef after a long review of what the Kingdom presented to the Muslim Brotherhood but its members wanted to divert the society from the prejudice and employ it to achieve their malicious goals.
Yes, Saudi Arabia today, has returned to moderation as Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in 2017, “Frankly speaking, we will not waste 30 years of our lives in dealing with any extremist ideas, we will eliminate the remnants of extremism in the near future, and I do not think this is a challenge.
“We represent tolerance, moderation and correct values, so when one looks at Saudi realities, will find that this is translated into social relations, which have been a major driving force behind the economic development, while there has been a lack of interference in the daily affairs of people practiced by well-known institutions that deviated from the legal role that was drawn from them.
All this would not have been possible had it not been for a clear vision for the future based on the fact that reform begins at the top, and must extend to all aspects of life – the process that was manifold socially as mentioned above, and economically through the protection of public money and putting an end to systematic looting.
The ‘Ritz’s move’ torpedoed all illegalities and helped recover the looted money and gave the world a clear picture of what an enlightened government can do.
It is inspired by the true values of a capable and powerful state set forth by the founder of the Kingdom, King Abdulaziz, may God have mercy on him, and translated by a modern vision worked by an enlightened King and a young Crown Prince who have proved that the Kingdom is not just an oil well, but a civilized modern nation.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times