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Are the young leader's proposals for change supported by the religious leadership and the public in this traditionally very conservative country?Making reliable forecasts about Saudi Arabia is impossible for an outsider.Speaking through a translator, Alissa endorsed a series of recent moves by the crown prince that he said are backed by his colleagues among the ulama, or senior religious leadership."Extremists wanted to connect it to religion," but many members of the ulama "welcomed the decision". Similarly, he said the religious scholars backed MBS' move to curtail power of the religious police. Asked about predictions from some analysts that there would be a religious backlash against these changes, Alissa said this view was "absolutely incorrect".What do ordinary Saudis think about these changes? Official statements and polls are controlled, and there's limited private polling in Saudi Arabia. The best alternative I found during a short visit was simply to walk up to a half-dozen young Saudi men in a public area and ask them what they think.
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