That's a tall order, Mohammed, even for a crown prince. A lot of people won't want you to live to see the day.
Mohammed bin Sultan, crown prince of Saudi Arabia, vows to return his country to "moderate Islam" once he gets his turn at the wheel.
In an interview with the Guardian, the powerful heir to the Saudi throne said the ultra-conservative state had been “not normal” for the past 30 years, blaming rigid doctrines that have governed society in a reaction to the Iranian revolution, which successive leaders “didn’t know how to deal with”.
Earlier Prince Mohammed had said: “We are simply reverting to what we followed – a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions. 70% of the Saudis are younger than 30, honestly we won’t waste 30 years of our life combating extremist thoughts, we will destroy them now and immediately.”
Central to the reforms has been the breaking of an alliance between hardline clerics who have long defined the national character and the House of Saud, which has run affairs of state. The changes have tackled head-on societal taboos such as the recently rescinded ban on women driving, as well as scaling back guardianship laws that restrict women’s roles and establishing an Islamic centre tasked with certifying the sayings of the prophet Muhammed.
At this point can Saudi Arabia really break from Wahhabism, the radical Sunni sect that has driven Islamist terrorist groups from al Qaeda to ISIS, al Nusra and Boko Haram? Can this prince really purge radical Islam from his fellow princes, emirs and sheikhs of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States? Or will he end up like Anwar Sadat, gunned down by extremist assassins?