In recent years, there have been attempts by sections of society and the media to damage the relationship between the two leading family descendants of the Kingdom’s founders.
Criticism of the Al-Saud and Al-Asheikh families has often been in the form of articles aimed at undermining efforts led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and members of the Al-Asheikh family to promote openness and tolerance in Saudi Arabia, while looking to weaken the strong historical bonds between those who have played a key role in shaping the country’s religious and cultural identity.
This has been evident in some malicious media articles claiming that the state is attempting to distort the religious image of the Al-Asheikh family.
Some articles may prompt people to stigmatize jurists, scholars, and statesmen for allegedly hampering the cultural and religious practices of the Kingdom, in contradiction with historical discourse.
The foundations and pillars of cooperation between the Al-Saud and Al-Asheikh families date back to 1747. The main role of the Al-Asheikh family is defined in promoting the doctrinal, religious, and cultural discourse of the Kingdom.
The foundations and pillars of cooperation between the Al-Saud and Al-Asheikh families date back to 1747.
One of the accomplishments within the framework of pure monotheism was a project begun by Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdulwahhab that distanced religion from the impurities of heresies, myths, and superstitions.
The state, in matters of developing and renewing the conversation of religious identity and promoting the values of tolerance of others, has assigned the matter to various people, jurists, and scholars, many of them from the Al-Asheikh family.
Some critical articles have been written in a bid to upset the Kingdom’s orientation toward restructuring the role of institutions concerned with preserving religious and societal values.
This means that none of the institutions are allowed to undertake the same task as those once carried out by police officials along with members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
Alongside the crown prince, the Al-Asheikh family has played an active part in modernizing the country while considering the constraints of its religious identity.
Members of the family include Minister of Islamic Affairs Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, who prohibits religious speeches that exclude and reject others. Instead, he has championed speeches that promote the concepts of tolerance and respect and that seek to establish good relations based on every individual’s right to exist and have different religious beliefs.
Education Minister Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh has reformulated the curriculum in a way that helps to make the next generation not only more accepting of different points of view but also keen to promote a spirit of peace and coexistence with others.
Adviser at the Royal Court and chairman of the General Entertainment Authority’s board of directors, Turki Al-Asheikh, is working to turn the Kingdom into a top tourist destination and entertainment hub while encouraging leisure and tourism investment not only related to Hajj and Umrah.
Bearing in mind the actions of the Al-Asheikh family in promoting tolerance and opening new horizons for cooperation and acceptance, it is difficult to accept arguments that the state is seeking to undermine the religious symbolism of the Al-Asheikh family and why some individuals are hostile to the development, modernization, and reform policies adopted by the crown prince.
• Fares Al-Ghannami is a Saudi writer and intellectual interested in political affairs. Twitter: @farescom200