DUBAI (Sputnik) — Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has spoken in favor of returning to "moderate Islam."
"We will return to the former state or affairs, to moderate Islam, which is open to the world, and all other religions. We will not wait for 30 years, we will swiftly deal a blow to extremist ideologies," the crown prince said during the Future Investment Initiative forum held in Riyadh.
The crown prince also pledged to bring an end to extremism in the country in the near future. The forum participants applauded his words.
But the situation has been changing lately after Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman announced the Saudi Vision 2030 on April 25, 2016. The document includes 80 projects, aimed to develop public service sectors among others and a number of women rights' initiatives. Last month, in a benchmark decision, Saudi Arabia's King Salman has signed a royal decree allowing women in the country to drive.
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According to the US State Department, over the past four decades, Saudi Arabia has invested over $10bn into charitable foundations in an alleged attempt to replace Sunni Islam with Wahhabism, an Islamic doctrine and religious movement described as "fundamentalist."
Early in October, King Salman of Saudi Arabia has paid his first-ever visit to Russia, at the invitation of President Putin, which was accepted already back in 2007 by the late King Abdullah. However, due to the cooling in relations, particularly because of differences pertaining to the Syrian crisis, the visit has been repeatedly postponed.