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Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Speaks in Favor of Returning to 'Moderate Islam'

© AP Photo / Markus Schreiber / Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh with the 'Kingdom Tower'
Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh with the 'Kingdom Tower' - Sputnik International
Riyadh will put an end to extremism in Saudi Arabia, according to the country's crown prince.

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.

In this aerial photo made from a helicopter, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers with the four-faced clocks stands over the holy Kaaba, as Muslims encircle it inside the Grand Mosque, during the annual pilgrimage known as the hajj, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. - Sputnik International
Saudi Arabia Accused of 'Trying to Impose Wahhabism' on Iran via TV
Saudi Arabia's legal system is based on Sharia law, outlining, particularly, harsh restrictions for representatives of other religions. For example, the public practice of non-Muslim religions is banned in the country. Also, until recently, Saudi women were not allowed to enter sports stadiums and drive.

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.

READ MORE: Saudi activist Manal Al SharifSaudi Arabia to Allow Women to Drive Starting Next Summer

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.

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