In the last few days, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) gave an important interview on national Saudi television. The interview has been streamed and watched by millions of Muslims all over the world.
After I watched this historical interview, I can say without hesitation that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia MBS has started the "true" war against Radical Islam.
Since 9/11 the U.S. and the rest of the world has spent trillions of dollars in traditional wars against "terrorism" without effectively addressing the radial ideology behind it. This simply has resulted in numerous failures and inability to eradicate the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism.
The U.S. and many other countries were simply focused of the symptom of the disease (i.e., terrorism) instead of being focused on the disease itself (i.e., radicalism). The former (terrorism) needs "kinetic" warfare while the latter, and more important factor (or radicalism), needed an "ideological" warfare.
Ignoring the ideological warfare has made many of our efforts in the "War on Terror" fruitless and possibly counterproductive.
On April 27 2021, all of a sudden MBS the crown prince of the KSA has announced long awaited religious changes and reforms that can end radicalism, create harmony between civilizations, and defeat the phenomenon of terrorism.
The crown prince announced that the kingdom will no longer follow "Wahabism" blindly and will no longer consider it the only source for understanding Islam. MBS has clearly allowed the process of Ijtihad — which means new and modern understanding of the religious text.
To understand the value of this step we need to realize that Ijtihad was not allowed in the Sunni Muslim world for more than 1,000 years. In other words, the way of understanding Islam today is the same way it has been understood more than a 1,000 years ago!
Another fundamental concept that has been emphasized by MBS is using another way for evaluating and approving the "Hadith," or the sayings of prophet Mohamed. This new way that has been announced by MBS accepts only a type of Hadith called "Motawater."
The latter decision by the crown prince means that the Hadith has been narrated by huge numbers of people rather than few individuals. This change in the way of approving the Hadith of prophet Mohamed can simply end many traditional Sharia Laws such as killing apostates, stoning of women to death for adultery, killing homosexuals, launching wars on innocents to spread Islam, honor killing, female genital mutilation (FGM) and more.
These laws represent a Sharia value system that has been established by the "Hadith" rather than the Quran itself.
Another wonderful thing with MBS's talk was that he emphasized the concept of "forgiveness" in interpreting the religion instead of trying to use it as a way to punish people. The crown prince of the KSA has taken it even further to clarify that the KSA will not punish any one for not implementing religious rituals unless the punishment is explicitly and unambiguously stated in the Quran.
The Quran simply never stated any form of punishment for not praying or not fasting in Ramadan, or not wearing a specific dress code. In fact, the Quran has been very clear on the concept of "There is no compulsion in religion Quran (2): Verse 256 [Madaneia Verse]"
Finally, and as a person who fought the ideology of radical Islam for more than 35 years, I vouch that what The Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has declared is far more important and more effective in fighting the war on terror than all the kinetic wars that have been launched so far by the U.S. and its allies to end the phenomenon of terrorism.
Dr. Tawfik Hamid (aka Tarek Abdelhamid) M.D.; Mlitt (Edu) has testified before Congress and before the European Parliament. Dr. Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How to Defeat It." Read Dr. Tawfik Hamid's Reports — More Here.
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