Genuine Reform in KSA?
Another major change targets education. The king appointed Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, his son-in-law, as education minister. Khashoggi said Faisal has been working behind the scenes on plans to reform education. After the Sept. 11 attacks, carried out by 19 Arabs, including 15 Saudis, many in the U.S. blamed the Saudi educational system for helping create an atmosphere that justifies extremism.
Noura al-Fayez has been appointed Faisal's deputy for girls' education — the first time a woman has been appointed a deputy minister.
The Saudi Press Agency said Abdullah has ordered the re-establishment of the Grand Ulama Commission — a religious scholars body — with 21 members from all branches of Sunni Islam. This is a major shift for the kingdom because it will give more moderate Sunni schools representation in a body that has always been governed by the strict Hanbali sect. No minority Shiites, however, have been appointed to the commission.
Abdul-Aziz bin Humain will replace Sheikh Ibrahim al-Ghaith as head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which runs the religious police, according to the agency.Bin Humain, who is believed to be more moderate than al-Ghaith, will head a body whose members have been criticized by Saudis for their harsh behavior.
Best wishes to King Abdullah. KSA is in dire need of reform.