By Daphne Anson
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It will be noted that the eminent British scholar of Islam Professor Denis MacEoin has commented as follows beneath the video on Youtube:
“I advise caution here. Many of the statements made by Muhammad ibn Salman in his Atlantic interview struck me as attempts to pull the wool over many people’s eyes. For example, in the early section, he declared that ‘Islam means peace’ and that this was, in fact, a correct translation. As a fluent Arab speaker and reader, he knows perfectly well that ‘Islam’, which is the fourth form of the verb (aslama) means ‘submission’. `’Peace’ (from the same root) is ‘salam’.
He said a lot of other things (which I can’t recall now) designed to present a positive image of Islam. But the interviewee is right to point out that ‘din wa dawla’ go together. Islam has always been a perfect combination of religion and state. You can’t, for example, remove jihad from shari’a law without removing it from the Qur’an, the ahadith, and the lives of the prophet and his successors. Ditto for the Islamic views of all nonbelievers or specifically Jews and Christians. There are many eminent would-be reformers in Islam, yet none of them has succeeded in creating a true overhaul of the faith. The only true answer to Islamic radicalism would be for total secularism. But would-be secularisers such as Ataturk or Reza Shah failed in the end – look at Turkey under Erdogan or Iran under the post-1979 regime.
In the mid-fifties, when the Baha’i leader Shoghi Effendi Rabbani was writing about the fate of Islam, he considered it a dead letter and wrote about its institutions, clergy, etc as being in total collapse. Today, it is stronger in many ways than it was in the 19th century. If ibn Salman tries to overhaul the Wahhabi state, he will be assassinated. I would like to think he will achieve great things, but I would exercise caution about him and other would-be reformers.“ [Emphasis added]