Saudi king shakes up religious establishmentArticle here
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Saudi king on Saturday dismissed the chief of the religious police and a cleric who condoned killing the owners of TV networks that broadcast "immoral" content, signaling an effort to weaken the country's hard-line Sunni establishment.
The shake-up — King Abdullah's first since coming to power in August 2005 — included the appointment of a female deputy minister, the highest government position a Saudi woman has attained.
The king also changed the makeup of an influential body of religious scholars, for the first time giving more moderate Sunnis representation to the group whose duties include issuing the religious edicts known as fatwas.
Saudi Arabia's king does not have unlimited power. He has to take into account the sentiments of the sprawling ruling family as well as that of the powerful religious establishment, which helped found the state nearly a century ago.
Abdullah's changes indicate that he has built the necessary support and consensus in the religious elite and in the ruling family.