Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Md. Bin Salman has shaken the political ecosystem of not only Saudi Arabia, but the entire region since becoming the crown prince. Once seen as a patron of ISIS, Bin Salman has vowed to “pursue terrorists until they are wiped from the face of the earth.” He was addressing a gathering 40 Muslim nations under the newly formed club named Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) in Riyadh last week.
Prince bin Salman further reiterated, “We will not allow them (terrorists) to distort our peaceful religion. Today we are sending a strong message that we are working together to fight terrorism.”
“In past years, terrorism has been functioning in all of our countries… with no coordination” against it from governments, he added. “This ends today, with this alliance.”
The influence of Saudi Arabia on the terror organizations cannot be undermined, as it has been observed that since Saudi authorities has turned their face away from terrorist groups, such as ISIS, the outfit is facing collapse.
However, Prince Salman’s speech comes in the wake of bombing and gunmen assault on the Sinai province of Egypt killing over 300 people.
Prince Salman addressed this incident in his speech, referring it as a “painful event” and reminder of “danger of terrorism and extremism.”
He added, “Beyond the killing of innocent people and the spread of hatred, terrorism and extremism distort the image of our religion.”
Countries involved in the coalition include Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Uganda, Somalia, Mauritania, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen and Turkey.
Iran – Saudi Arabia’s regional arch-rival – is not included in the group. Syria and Iraq, whose governments have close connections to Tehran, are also not part of the alliance.
While the alliance officially includes Qatar, the target of a six-month boycott led by Saudi Arabia, organizers in Riyadh said no Qatari officials were present.
Prince Salman is often depicted by the media as arrogant, aggressive, and conspiring, which to an extent is true. However, he has also framed certain aspects of domestic as well as foreign policies which are progressive and in sync with the western values. Liberalizing the curbs on Saudi women is a case in point. The assembling of various Islamic nations against terrorism and with such commitment is something no other Saudi rulers have done before. He is also the first Muslim leader to acknowledge that terrorism is inherently un-Islamic. Saudi Arabia is the home of two holiest Islamic sites, which give the nation the privilege of being the de-facto religious police of the various Muslim nations. The nations like Pakistan, which receives covert support of the Saudis for the terror acts or the Talibans for the same reason can face chocking of the funding and motivation. This is indeed a remarkable move by Bin Salman, which if pursued sincerely, can change the terror landscape of the world.