King Salman may have appointed his favorite son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince but it would be wrong to assume that all is well in the Kingdom. At the hastily convened — and forced — pledge of allegiance meeting in Makkah, a Saudi prince was captured on video angrily shaking his finger in Bin Salman’s face. Guards hustled the angry prince away.
The coerced pledge of allegiance itself was strange; after all, such a pledge is only given to a new king. The decision to hold such a meeting is clearly a sign of nervousness. Sources privy to the ruling family’s affairs say there is great unease at the manner in which Bin Salman is assuming greater authority over matters of state. They would not mind if he were capable of managing these affairs properly. He has a dismal record so far.
Two things in particular irk them: open targeting of Hamas that some members of the family see as a legitimate resistance movement with much popular support in the Muslim world, and the deliberate spoiling of relations with Qatar with whose rulers many Saudi princes have good relations. Another point of friction is Bin Salman’s reliance on the Emirati crown prince rather than seeking advice from his more experiences cousins at home. Watch when Bin Salman tries to dismiss some of his senior cousins from their positions; there is bound to be pushback, if the inside sources have it right.
Muhammad Abul Kheir
Carbondale, IL, US