Wednesday 15 August 2012
Last Update 16 August 2012 11:40 am
MAKKAH: Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, has commended the security and stability of the Kingdom and affirmed they were the basic pillars behind economic, knowledge and social stability while at the same time encompassing the development of the political work.
“Whoever tries to hamper with the security and stability of this country will be severely punished,” he said in statements published Tuesday by the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News.
Prince Salman made the statements during a “suhour” (late night Ramadan meal) given in his honor by Saudi businessman Abdul Rahman Fakeeh at his home in Makkah.
Prince Salman reiterated that the government would welcome any rational criticism which is made away from publicity and public agitation. He strongly warned those who transgressed these boundaries and said the rulers were adhering to the common Arab saying “may Allah have mercy on that who points my mistakes to me.”
Prince Salman pointed out that the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to all ministers and senior officials were crystal clear, namely to “serve the two Grand Mosques and the Holy sites.”
“We should always take into account that Islam was revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in clear Arabic language on this very land. This entails a big responsibility on us and imposes a commitment on us all to stick to the Holy Book and the Sunnah. In fact, the adherence to the Qur’an and Sunnah have been explicitly stipulated in the Kingdom’s system of rule,” he said.
Prince Salman pointed out that prior to the unification of the Kingdom under its present name by founder King Abdul Aziz in 1932, every town, village or tribe was an independent country all by itself. “People were hostile to each other but King Abdul Aziz was able to gather them in one nation and one country based on Islamic Shariah as it came in Article 6 of the system of rule,” he said.
The Crown Prince recalled that about six million pilgrims have performed Umrah during this year and said it was our honor and responsibility to serve them. “In the past people did not feel safe or secure. They had worries about their own safety and that of their families. Now there is complete safety, security and stability,” he noted. He said the country was now progressing on the road to development according to a carefully studied plan and under a comprehensive vision.
Prince Salman said the ideal investment the country was looking for was not in oil and other resources but in man and future generations. “The investment we are looking forward to is not in oil but in man and in future generations,” he said.
The Crown Prince reiterated that the doors of the rulers were wide open for any citizen to pin point their shortcomings and negations to them. “I say will all transparency that we will be happy to listen to any citizen who detects loopholes and shortcomings either in the creed, the interests of the people and the state. We will welcome him and be happy to listen to him,” he added.
He said listening to the complaints and comments of the subjects was encouraged by the Holy Qur’an, the Sunnah and the Prophet’s companions. “We are human so we are liable to making mistakes. We should therefore accept advice which should be given according to certain rules and should be confined to the citizen and the ruler alone.”
Prince Salman said advice to the rulers should be given without much ado and publicity. “We are one family which was born on this land. Our blood is red not blue. We have not come from above or were born by colonialism. We are Adnanites from the descendants of Abraham,” he said.
The Crown Prince asked all those present at the party to strongly adhere to Saudi customs and traditions and to be proud of the local heritage. He referred to a visit to the Kingdom made by former US president George Bush who insisted to wear a sword and dance Ardah (Saudi folklore dance) with the people. “We organized a visit to the National Museum in Riyadh for him. We asked the dancers to organize themselves in two lines. When the president arrived, his guards asked him to keep away from the people carrying the swords. The president would not heed his guards, he asked for a sword and joined the dancers. This was a nice touch from him. It showed that he respected our heritage.”
Prince Salman recalled that he had a man named Fahd who used to serve him and his guests with Arabian coffee. He said Fahd would not serve coffee to anyone who would take the cup by his left hand. “President Bush extended his left hand to take the cup of coffee. Fahd refused to give him the cup. I explained to the president that this was part of our customs and traditions and he accepted that,” he said.
Prince Salman reiterated that Saudi Arabia was based on monotheism which was the driving force for its strength and steadfastness. “Anyone who may wish to topple us will not succeed unless he takes us away from our religion and creed. We should therefore always stick firmly to our religion and faith,” he said.
The crown prince vowed that the government will open its doors to anyone who comes back to his senses after going astray.
“We will always accept citizens who realize their mistakes and come back to us but we will not tolerate tamping with the security and stability of the country. We are all on the same boat and we should make efforts to keep it safe and intact,” he said.
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