File Photo Photograph:( AFP )
In the Kingdom's efforts to promote tolerance, attract foreigners and foreign investment into the oil-dependent economy
By Mallika Singh
Amidst Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's efforts to liberalise the conservative Muslim Kingdom, a promotional video published by Saudi Arabia's state security agency categorises feminism, homosexuality, and atheism as extremist ideas.
The verified account of the State Security Presidency tweeted an animated video on the weekend, declaring that "all forms of extremism and perversion are unacceptable".
Takfir was enlisted alongside the ideologies, which is a controversial concept in Islamist discourse, symbolising ex-communication, pronouncing that someone is an unbeliever and no longer Muslim.
"Don't forget that excess of anything at the expense of the homeland is considered extremism," stated the video.
In the Kingdom's efforts to promote tolerance, attract foreigners and foreign investment into the oil-dependent economy, the Crown Prince has pushed for a more moderate approach in his attempts to invoke nationalist sentiment among its countrymen.
Saudi Arabia this year embarked on loosening social restrictions with Riyadh doing away with the guardianship system that prevailed in the country, which stripped women of taking any major decisions about themselves without the consent of the assigned man.
The Kingdom also launched a tourist visa in the country's attempt to take over the presidency of the Group-20 countries next year.
The authorities have also cracked down on dissent, as a large number of women's rights advocates were arrested prior to the uplifting of a ban on women drivers last year, which led to people speculating it was a message that reform can only take place at the government's initiative.
According to Saudi law, groups classified as extremist organisations can be punished with imprisonment.
Homosexuality and atheism are considered to be illegal offences punishable by death in the absolute monarchy, where free media is still an alien concept.
(With inputs from Reuters)