Caryle Murphy on Saudi youth’s changing attitude towards religion, and how religious figures in the country no longer hold the high authority they once had:
Young Saudis overwhelmingly want the kingdom’s commitment to Islam to remain firm and in their personal lives they remain devout, observant followers of their faith.
But increasingly, they demonstrate less willingness to accept their religious heritage without re-examination, as their parents did. They are more willing to question a fatwa or ignore it; some are daring to openly discuss taboo subjects like atheism. Increasingly too, they favor a religious practice that is more voluntary, less enforced by the state, and more respectful of differences among Muslims.