Saudi Arabia is liberalizing and accepting social changes deemed un-Islamic.
The Saudi society is supporting social changes while reckoning with hardline past.
Forty years on from the Islamist takeover of Mecca’s Grand Mosque in 1979, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pledged to revive moderate Islam.
In the past, the kingdom sought to appease hardliners, morality police enforced modesty and prayer times while banning music and gender-mixing.
Saudis have welcomed curbing the ultra-conservative clergy, the morality police and lifting a ban on cinema.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said, “I am now with the moderate, centrist Islam open to the world. That is our true religion.”
Adel al-Kalbani, a former imam of Mecca’s Grand Mosque who has long criticized singing was present at musical concert, entertainment offerings and at card game tournaments.
The kingdom’s top clerical body endorsed ending a ban on women driving in 2017.
Prince Mohammed ordered arresting the hardliners and critics as he pushes to liberalize society.
Saudi population mostly born after 1979 resent how religion has been used to keep them from having fun.
Winds of change inside the holiest site in Islam are being broadly welcomed.