Voltaire Network

Saudi Arabia could abandon Wahhabism


Opening the Economic Forum, “Future Investment Initiative”, Mohamed Ben Salmane, the Prince heir to the throne of Saudi Arabia, declared his intention to transform Saudi Society, making it “normal, tolerant and good”.

Over the past few months, the Prince has fluctuated between autocratic political measures (incarcerating oppositional leaders) and measures to liberalize society (such as authorizing women to drive their own cars).

The undertaking that the Prince gave is a logical consequence in his country’s evolution following Trump’s speech in Riyadh on 21 May 2017. Saudi Arabia had stopped supporting jihadist groups and has withdrawn its armed forces from Syria. The country now envisages dismantling the Wahhabi ideology, which provided a terrain which the Muslim Brotherhood used to invent Jihadism. The third stage should see the Global Islamic League being transformed. The difficulty lies in the historical alliance between the founder of the Saud dynasty and Mohammed ben Abdelwahhab, the founder of Wahhabism.

Anoosha Boralessa

Voltaire Network

Voltaire, international edition

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