The 32-year-old crown prince is in line to succeed his ailing 82-year-old father, King Salman. In the meantime, the crown prince has been given sweeping powers and has launched an ambitious program, Vision 2030, to modernize the country.
He has also embarked on reforms. He lifted a ban on cinemas and presided over a decision to allow women to drive. He plans to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy away from oil. He has even announced a Red Sea tourist resort, where women will be able to wear bikinis, and a $500 billion high-tech city called Neom. He will seek to present an image of a friendlier, more tolerant Saudi Arabia which is modernizing fast and open for business.
Critics remain unimpressed. Hundreds protested his UK visit outside the prime minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street. They chanted, “Hands of Yemen,” and called on the UK to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia. They cited Saudi Arabia’s continual ill treatment of women, as well as its brutal repression and lack of a free press along with the botched war in Yemen as reasons to oppose MBS’s visit.
We asked you: Should Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Get an Official Invitation to Visit America?
68.6% said yes
24% said no
7.4% said you are unsure.
As usual in our polls we asked for your comments. Here are just a few:
He has inherited a regime that he appears to be changing with a more modern outlook. Let’s give him a chance.
So that Trump does not look bad, I would say yes, but be very guarded with this man.
The more we learn about MBS the better for us. I don’t like the $110 billion arms deal with them. They export Wahabbism to schools and mosques around the world promoting violent jihad and subversion of our Constitutional system.
All Heads of State should be greeted. But tone down the extravagance.
Saudi Arabia is an important ally of the West in a region where our influence has diminished. They are reforming, a positive sign. We must not forget how long it took for women to gain the vote and for blacks as well.
Saudi Arabia’s human rights record is concerning, but since it hasn’t stopped us from doing business with them until now, wouldn’t it send entirely the wrong message to shun a leader who promises reforms? if he’s sincere, then he needs support. If it’s for show, a lack of support might cause him to discontinue his reforms. Either way, our answer must be the same.
Of course. Let’s be practical and support the most progressive Saudi leader ever, who is also an opponent of Iranian fascism.
A “qualified yes” if and only if Saudi Arabia stops building and funding radical Wahhabi mosques and madrassas, AND it arests its citizens who do so.