2003 News Story

Prince Khalid speaks of progress towards reform

Governor of Asir Province Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, speaking today ex tempore at a student gathering at King Khalid University in Abha, commented that the concept of reform is not strange for the Saudi people and government, and pointed out that the founding of the Saudi state over two centuries ago was at the time regarded as "reform", and this "reform" led eventually to the establishment of the modern Kingdom in 1932. He criticized those who advocate reform on the western model, and said western values and traditions should not be adopted along with western language and dress. It is a false argument, he said, that using western technology requires turning to western thinking. He argued that it is possible to use modern inventions without assimilating the beliefs of their manufacturers, saying: "We can, and should, use modern inventions without abandoning our Islamic creed and Arab heritage."

Prince Khalid went on to describe as "illogical and irrational" those who want to isolate the Muslims from the rest of the world. Fortunately, he said, the Kingdom's leadership, the majority of Muslim scholars, and most of the citizens, do not wish this, but on the contrary, call for the country's development, while preserving deep-rooted principles. The way of thinking that calls for acceptance of all matters that do not contradict with religion is the best way towards progress. Islam, he said, was not spread by the sword, but by Muslims who set themselves up as good models for others.