In the News Today
Saudi King Abdullah, a gradual modernizer, dead at 90
From the article:
His changes looked minute to the outside world. But in a kingdom where ultra-conservative Muslim clerics long have held a lock on all aspects of society, King Abdullah’s incremental reforms echoed mightily.
When Abdullah took the unprecedented step of opening a new university where men and women could mix in classrooms, part of his gradual campaign to modernize Saudi Arabia, grumbling arose among the hard-liners who form the bedrock of the powerful religious establishment. One sheikh dared to openly say that the mingling of genders at the king’s university was “a great sin and a great evil.”