Now the New Crown Prince is effectively ruling Saudi Arabia due to his father's medical problems and he is a very, by Saudi standards, liberal politician. Before he was made the Crown Prince he led a ton of reforms such as effectively restricting the power of the religious police, he was making the first steps to move Saudi Arabia away from being SOLELY controlled and economically dependent on Oil Money with new financial reforms. He was also the spearhead in the movement to allow Saudi females the ability to drive and to lessen other social restrictions on the youth of his country, and when he was effectively thrust into power this year by the one-two punch of his father's alzheimer's and being named the new Crown Prince everyone was wondering if he was going to stop with these reforms because, frankly it is very dangerous in that part of the world to be as liberal as he is.
Cut to October, he releases a public statement saying that the current Ultra Conservative State of Saudi Arabia is NOT NORMAL and that the Saudi state has been in a crisis for 30+ years and needs to be more liberal and moderate. It needs to accept other religions, it needs to allow foreign investors and foreign people into the country without the restrictions currently placed on them. He then proceeded to publicly break the Alliance between the religious clerics and the House of Saud and form a foreign investment fund and a social reformation fund. Read about it at this link https://tinyurl.com/y7g4m3cf
Now, in response to that he's caught a lot of flack from other government officials. People refusing to do what they have been ordered to do on religious grounds and a bunch of other stuff. Also, tons of rich people who kinda think his new way of doing shit might make them less rich. Earlier this year he formed an Anti-Corruption Committee... cut to yesterday and he kinda used the Saudi police in a way that 'Helps?!?' his liberal reform by just having them arrest every Saudi politician that his committee had found grounds for corruption due to economic and religious reasons. I can't say if it's a good thing or a bad thing but Yesterday's actions in Saudi Arabia weren't really a coup so much as the Crown Prince arresting half of his cabinet and reshuffling the government in a way that consolidates the power where he wants it, Under him and in control of the more liberal politicians so he can move his plans forwards... I'm kinda just hoping that if he REALLY does want to make the Saudi state a less conservative hell hole, and I'm not sure he does, that he doesn't end up getting himself assassinated with all this before he can make headway because the person they would get in there if that happens would probably be a lot more in line with the old way of thinking. Which, you can also read about here https://tinyurl.com/yddwycs4 (Both articles use the same picture of him but they are different articles)
Like I said though, I'm not sure what I think about the arrests or what's happening. Basically I HOPE that this all ends with a more moderate and more accepting Saudi Arabia that can grow beyond the ultra conservative state it has been but I don't know if this is the way it should be brought about.
But that's a lot more detail than I knew about. I didn't realize how hell-bent on social reform bin Salman was, or that the economic reforms were going so far - I guess they're taking a page from Dubai and trying to think about a future where they can't depend on oil, which is a Very Good Idea.
As the Guardian article says, it's a practical problem for them too, since they have a huge youth population who currently have no future to look forward to and a smart king knows what that usually means for ruling houses. Getting them jobs and freer lives would be a hell of a lot better than what Saudi Arabia's done in the past with idle, angry youth, shipping them off to be some other poor country's problem.
Thanks for the infodump!
Joxam wrote:In fairness though there is clearly also just plain old money and family politics being played here, Alwaleed bin Talal is, again by Saudi standards, on of the most liberal princes in the country but he also pledged to give away all 32 BILLION dollars of his personal wealth when he dies and so he gets arrested.
Yeah, I guess that's where the clan stuff comes in. Given how freaking HUGE the House of Saud is, with all its manifold princes, I'd be flabbergasted if there wasn't any extended family intrigue.
However, you've probably seen Trump's Jerusalem embassy decision in the news now, and, well
weird it's almost like sticking a thumb in the eye of the entire muslim world by overturning a decades-long balancing act is a problem.