Multiple media outlets in Bangladesh reported that Saudi Arabia is planning to remove an Islamic oath from the country's flag. Quoting Saudi state media, the report titled, 'Kalima Tayyiba will be removed from Saudi Arabia's flag' was published by Bangladeshi online news portal Banglanews24.com on February 6, 2022.
The aforementioned report stated that the Saudi government had decided to change the national flag and anthem and that the holy Kalima Tayyiba will be removed from the new flag. The report further noted that the changes in the country's flag and anthem are a part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's 'Vision 2030,' citing the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The claim was also shared in a Facebook post with over five million views.
Kalima Tayyiba is an Arabic phrase, which means 'the blessed word.' It refers to the Islamic declaration of faith that roughly means 'there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah.'
Fact Check: The Reports are False
The aforementioned claims are misleading. According to Boomlive, the reports from Bangladeshi outlets only cited a draft amendment approved in late January 2022 to regulate the use of the flag and not its contents. According to various reports by state and local media, Saudi Arabia's Shura Council approved a draft amendment of the country's Law of the Flag on January 31, 2022. The amendment intended to revise regulations on the use of the flag, not its contents.
"Saudi Arabia's Shura Council approved on Monday, by a majority vote, a draft amendment to the law of the national flag, emblem and the national anthem but not to their contents," the Saudi Gazette reported.
The report further stated that the changes were proposed to define the proper uses of the flag, emblem, and national anthem, and 'enhance awareness about the importance of the flag and anthem and protect the flag from infringement or neglect.'
The pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat also reported that the said amendment will be limited to the 'flag, emblem and national anthem system without prejudice to the content or form of any of them.' AFP conducted a recent check of the current version of Law of the Flag did not find any changes as of February 15, 2022.