however, that Islamic principles of modesty would be strictly observed, and made sure that the broadcasts contained a large amount of religious programming.
Struggle with Saud
The struggle with Saud, the king, continued in the background during this time. Takingadvantage of the king's absence from the country for medical reasons in early 196
, Faisal beganamassing more power for himself.
e removed many of Saud's loyalists from their posts andappointed like-minded princes in key military and security positions,
such as his brother Abdullah, to whom he gave command of the
ational Guard in 1962.
Upon Saud's return,Faisal demanded that he be made regent and that Saud be reduced to a purely ceremonial role. Inthis, he had the crucial backing of the ulema, including an edict (or
) issued by the grandmufti of Saudi Arabia, a relative of Faisal's on his mother's side, calling on Saud to accede to his brother's demands.
Saud refused, however, and made a last-ditch attempt to retake executive powers, leading Faisal to order the
ational Guard to surround Saud's palace.
is loyalistsoutnumbered and outgunned, Saud relented, and on
arch 4, 1964, Faisal was appointed regent.A meeting of the elders of the royal family and the ulema was convened later that year, and asecond fatwa was decreed by the grand mufti calling on Saud to abdicate the throne in favor of his brother. The royal family supported the fatwa and immediately informed Saud of their decision. Saud, by now shorn of all his powers, agreed, and Faisal was proclaimed king on
ovember 2, 1964.
Shortly thereafter, Saud left into exile in Greece.
King of Saudi Arabia
Upon his ascension, Faisal still viewed the restoration of the country's finances to be his main priority.
e continued to pursue his conservative financial policies during the first few years of his reign, and his aims of balancing the country's budget eventually succeeded, helped by anincrease in oil production.Faisal embarked on a modernization project that encompassed vast parts of the kingdom andinvolved various public sector institutions. The pinnacle of his achievements in modernizing the
ingdom was the establishment of a judicial system, a project led and executed by International
awyer and Judge, the former Syrian
inister of Justice, Zafer
oussly.The improved financial situation allowed Faisal to pursue various reforms and modernization projects. Several universities were established or expanded during his rule, and he continued tosend a great number of students to foreign universities, especially in the United States. Thesestudents would later form the core of the Saudi civil service
any of the country's ministries, government agencies, and welfare programs were begun duringFaisal's reign, and he invested heavily in infrastructure.
e also introduced policies such asagricultural and industrial subsidies that were later to reach their height under his successors,
halid and Fahd. In 1964, he issued an edict that all Saudi princes had to school their childreninside the country, rather than sending them abroad; this had the effect of making it"fashionable" for upper class families to bring their sons back to study in the
Faisalalso introduced the country's current system of administrative regions, and laid the foundationsfor a modern welfare system. In 1970, he established the
inistry of Justice and inaugurated thecountry's first "five-year plan" for economic development.
Television broadcasts officially began in 1965. In 1966, an especially zealous nephew of Faisalattacked the newly-established headquarters of Saudi television but was killed by security personnel. The attacker was the brother of Faisal's future assassin, and the incident is the mostwidely-accepted motive for the murder.
Despite the opposition from conservative Saudis to