On October 25, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman promised to make Saudi Arabia a stronghold for “moderate Islam.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted dryly: “Islam does not have to be moderate or unmoderated.”
Often referred to as an Islamic conservative, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan loudly defended his vision of the Muslim religion on 9 November at a symposium on the theme of women in the business world, organized at Ankara by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). According to reports by the Turkish press , the Turkish president said: “Islam does not have to be moderate or unmoderated.” For him, “moderate Islam” would indeed be a concept originating from “in West”. But “what [the people wielding this concept of moderate Islam] really want is weakening Islam,” said the Turkish leader.
These remarks echoed the recent statements of the Saudi Crown Prince , Mohammed bin Salman, who had expressed the wish, at the end of October, of a Saudi Arabia that would be the bastion of a “moderate Islam open to the world”. Therefore, the strongman of the kingdom – who controls the main levers of government, from defense to the economy – has recently launched several projects of societal reforms, such as the introduction of the right to drive for women and openness of cinemas.
You say you want to return to moderate Islam, but so far you have not allowed your women to drive a car
However, President Erdogan took pleasure in highlighting what he believes are the paradoxes of the Saudi high dignitary: “You say you want to return to a moderate Islam but, until now, you do not allow your women to drive a car. Is there a restriction in Islam prohibiting women from driving? There is nothing like it. ”
In addition to rival claims to be a major power in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are seeing their relations tense by the crisis in Qatar: Ankara has indeed established close ties with the emirate , in cold with the other Gulf countries , including Saudi Arabia.