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Saudi prince forbids debate on Islamic law

Dec. 28, 2004 at 6:22 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah has stressed that issues related to Islamic rule and national unity are not topics of debate in the country.

"We believe in the Islamic law as a constitution and in moderation as a way for improving and developing in all fields," local press Tuesday quoted Abdullah as saying.

"Anything in the country could be debated except Islamic faith and everything could be put out for discussion exception national unity, pride and security," Abdullah said during the inauguration of a development project at King Fahd Petroleum University Monday night.

He asserted that, "We will continue in the path of the religion without being affected by the extremist criminals and traitors," in an allusion to Muslim fundamentalists believed responsible for bombing attacks in the oil-rich kingdom.

Abdullah's comments came as three Saudi reformists are on trial after calling for drastic constitutional reforms to secure greater public participation in decision-making, which is exclusively in the hands of the ruling al-Saud royal family.

The reformists have also called for the separation of powers and the establishment of an elected parliament.

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