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FINAL COMMUNIQUE of Global Conference: Islam and Counter Terrorism

FINAL COMMUNIQUE

Global Conference “Islam and Counter Terrorism”  ORGANIZED BY THE Muslim World League Under the aegis of the

Custodian of the two holy mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud

Makkah al-Mukarramah   03-06/05/1436 <> 22-25/02/2015

With the help of Allah Almighty the World Islamic Conference on “Islam and Counter Terrorism” has concluded its deliberations. The eventhas been organized by the Muslim World League in Makkah, on 3-6/05/1436H corresponding to 22-25/02/2015. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saudhas patronized the event.

On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Al-Saud, Governor of Makkah Region has inaugurated the conference. He welcomed the Rabita’s guests, and conveyed the Custodian   the Two Holy Mosques’ thanks and appreciation to the MWL, its Supreme Council’s President, and its Secretary General. He lauded theOrganization’s contribution and efforts in educating the nation towards its homelands and  issues. He has also mentioned its endeavors in refute suspicions and falsehoods leveled against Islam and its civilization and holy places; and in countering terrorism, extremism and fanaticism.

During his speech, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques exhorted scholars and intellectuals to tackle the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

His Eminence Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, and President of the Rabita’s Supreme Council described Islam’s moderation, and its innocence of the terribleactionsperpetratedby terrorists. He called on the Rabita to focus their efforts in addressing the present phenomenon of terrorism and extremism.

 His Excellency the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdelmohsin Al Turki highlighted the Rabita’s resolve to counter terrorism whose evil flies far and wide. It will endeavor to reveal and unmask its falsity. It will also expose its follower’s deviation. He indicated the seriousness of terrorism on the present and future on the Muslim nation.

His Eminence, Sheikh Al-Azhar Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb delivered a speech to the participants. He stressed that fighting terrorism starts with knowing its root causes. He lauded the Kingdom’s experience in this matter. He also exhorted education institutions to get rid of the overwhelming chaos of permitting innocent bloodshed and classifying Muslims of apostasy and decadence.

Along this conference,a distinct exhibition has been held highlighting the Kingdom’s efforts in fighting terrorism and extremism. The exposition also shows the MWL,its bodies and programs in confronting extremism and terrorism.It hasdelineated the Rabita’s work in consolidating the culture of dialogue and coexistence. The participants have expressed their admiration of this distinct effort, and thanked those who made it possible. They have also expressed their appreciation to Prince Mohammad Bin Nayef Counseling and Care Centerfor its effort, and requested them to displaythe exhibitionin various events in the Kingdom and abroad.

The Congresssessions discussed the submitted research and working papers, and ascertained the innocence of Islam ofterrorism. Furthermore, religious justifications claimed by the terrorists have nothing to do with Islam’s message;hence, this faith is based on moderation, justice, kindness and mercy for the people. Its lofty texts confirm the respect for human rights the respect of human dignity, in addition to the sacredness of souls, honor, wealth and property. Allah says in Sura An-Nahl, verse 90: “(Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition.)”

The participants considered that accusingthe Muslim Umma; its religion and culture of terrorism is harmful. Such a charge willundermine the efforts to address this phenomenon.Furthermore, the Muslims’ genuine and sincere effortstowardinternational cooperation to in the service of global security and stabilityare ignored.

The Congress strongly condemns the Israelis occupations criminal practices against the people of Palestine. It called the world community to reject the Judaizition of the holy Quds, and to put an end to Israelis’ actions which are considered a type of terrorism.

The participants praised international efforts in combating terrorism. They commended the efforts of Saudi Arabia and its wise leadership in countering extremism, educating the Umma about the danger of these global phenomena is a relentless endeavor. The Kingdom is keen on establishing stability and security in the world, and called on Arab and Muslimcountries to benefit there from.

The success of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in this fight has been attributed to its total application of Islamic Sharia since its foundation. Theleaders of the kingdomcare about the safety, security and stability of their citizens and expatriates living on its soil. It is noteworthy that the population is finely tuned with its leadership for its consistent quest to promote Islamic solidarity; its services to the two holy Mosques and their visitors. It is also concerned with Muslim issues and causes. The latter security and stability are at the core of its agenda. The Congress invited Arab, Muslim and international states to take advantage of the Kingdom’s experience and called for more collaboration with it in fighting terrorism.

The Congress has discussed the concept of terrorism, its causes and effects, and reached the following:

First: The concept of terrorism

The participants highlighted the necessity to coin a comprehensive definition to terrorism. This labeling shall encompass the types of violence, and adjust ambiguous concepts to prevent any error orprejudice.

It seems that the most inclusive definition is the one issued by the Islamic Fiqh Council of the MWL in its session dated 21-26/10/1422 H: “Terrorism is the unlawful aggression perpetrated by individuals, groups, states, in acts of transgression on man; his religion, his blood, his intellect, his money and his honor. This includes all forms of intimidation, abuse, threats and unjustified killing. It includes any type of banditry, any violent or threatening actions to conduct criminal schemesindividually or collectively. These, aim at causing terror and intimidation; to harm people or put their lives, freedom, security and situations at risk. There are also additional forms of terrorism, such as harm to the environment, or any damage to public and private properties; exposing any national or natural resources to danger.”

Second: Causes of terrorism

The participants discussed the reasons behind terrorism. They noticedtheir variation, complexity, and inter connection.On the global level, however, important patterns emerge.The biased and double standard in international dealing with Islamic issues is so obvious. The world community turns a blind eye when it comes to helping vulnerable and oppressed people toget justice. Its position is either toremain silent or accept the de-facto policy of starvation and siege; destruction and killing arewithout accountability or punishment.

The upsurge of this phenomenon in many Muslim societies has been attributed to these reasons:

  1. Religious reasons such:
  • The ideological deviation is based on irrational concepts that govern the Muslims’ relationship with others. These include jihad, governance, loyalty and disavowal.  This encompasses Dar al-Islam (Muslim countries) and Dar al-Harb (non-Muslim countries), and any relevant provisions. These must be referred to qualified knowledgeable scholars.
  • The Congress emphasized the failure of some scholars in discharging their obligation of teaching the Umma. Their actions have led few ignorant and sophists to dare and challenge them. They even have gone as far as to assign semi-literate scholars to give Fatawa. These dogmatists have allowedshedding sacrosanct bloodand ransackingpossessions. They rebelled against their rulers without knowledge. They have gone off course and led others astray.
  • Escalation of sectarian intolerance, which has inflamed resentment and hatred, and has revived historical enmities. This situation has led Muslims to serious dissensions and has made them into rival warring groups.
  • The participants felt that the turn of events in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, had made these countries spots of daily crimes. These events were due to one of the most prominent causes: poor management of State affairs. Certain groups have tried to tackle the problems based on biased sectarian ideology. These, seek to favor the influence of a particular sect at the expense of other national constituents of the society.
  • Countries have excluded Shari’a from daily public life in most Islamic countries. They also havebeenreluctant to apply it, despitethe desire of Muslim populations.It’s after all the way to achieve Allah’s pleasure. Shari’a is the means by which people’s private and public interest is regulated. In other words, it promotes justice, mercy and guidance and goodness in community.
  • The mosque’sshortcomings in one of its most prominent duties: education,reform and discipline.
  1. Social, Administrative and Economic:
  • Generally, there are shortcomings in social and economic development programs to meet societies’ needs. Unemployment and poverty are on the rise, and there is an absence of cultural justicein many Muslim countries.
  • The society’s institutions lacked the drive to deal with bad social phenomena. In the absenceof this line of defense, negative media influence filled the void. This has led to intellect extremismand deviant behavior.
  • Many Muslim communities lacked the drive to protect people’srights anddeal in fairness in matters of employment and judicature. They have failed to secure a decent life for the poor, the vulnerable, and thedisadvantaged.  Consequently, very little attention has been givento their problems, and demands.
  • Rampant administrative and financial corruption, poor accountability system, declining performance of government institutions in many Muslim countrieshas been left unchecked. They have also failed in discharging their trust and resolve to plan sustainable development. They have shown shortcomings to face problems and crises as required by their responsibility.
  • The family has failed to ingrain the process of education, guidance and good upbringing. It has been unable to provide appropriate psychological environment to its members. This situation has led to the disturbing phenomena of family disintegration and domestic violence.

c) Cultural and media:

  • Anti-religious doctrines have rebelled against Islamic provisions, principles and values. This has been done without regard to what these serious provocations would cause to Muslims in general.   
  • Under the pretext of freedom of expression, outrageous excesses of the global media and its constant abuse of the prophets, and their messageshave reached their zenith. At the same time, homeland laws are protecting the  abusers from deterrent punishment. This situation has led to the culmination of carrying out acts of revenge away from legal ways and legitimatemeans.
  • The spread of ignorance among young people has played into the hands of extremistideology.They have been impressed and influenced by extremist thought due to lack of religious knowledge and heir shallow understanding, in addition to their ignorance of hidden issues around them.

Third:  Effects of Terrorism

The participants reviewed the effects of terrorist acts, and their negative impact on Islam and Muslim principles. It has also highlighted its undesirable influence overthe institutions of Da’wa, religious science and charity throughout the world. They showed its harmful effects on these institution's efforts as well.The following are the worst painful consequences:

  • Ithas tarnished the image of Islam throughout the world, and has promoted the stereotype label linking it to terrorism and violence. This has provided its enemieswith the excuse to brand Islam with the ugliest epithets. This has also paved the waytohostile media to carry on attachingIslam’s religion and symbols.
  • Furthermore,the aim of these maneuvers is to alienate some people from the Islamic Sharia. Theyquestion its validity in this day and age.They quotewrong modelsforthe application of some of its laws, along with equating it with violence and oppression, aim at undermining Sharia in their eyes.
  • The confidence of many Muslim children in their religion, its values and tolerance has been shaken. All of these factors have made thema prey to destructive trends. These, have taken advantageof the vacuum to weaken theirreligious feeling, and shattermany of the meanings of pride in and allegiance to Islam.
  • Islamic religious reference of the Fiqh Councils has been weakened, and qualifiedscholars demeaned. Anunfounded wave of accusing people of apostasy, depravity and innovation started. Swells of doubts based on falsehood, and rumors have been directed against scholars and leaders in addition to suspicion and phony claims. Dark forces have even enticed people to attack and shun them to pretentious and half-scholars who issue fatwas without knowledge or forethought.  They deviate and lead others astray.
  • Muslims and Mu'ahids (non-Muslim living in a Muslim land)as well as guiltlesspeople have been killed in horrible wayswithout guilt or crime. They have dared to attack what Allah has made sacred and forbidden to touch. All these atrocities have been committed by erroneous and unfounded interpretations.
  • Terrorism causes corruption on earth, destabilizes security, spreads terrorand chaos, andcreates havoc, destroys property. Itdamages public and private funds, and cause harm tocapabilities and infrastructure in the homelands.
  • Undermining the position of Muslims to claim their rights and support their international causes. This situation stems from the stigma of terrorism attached to them. So, they scaled down from being victims deservingthe world’s sympathy, to convicted criminals without proof of guilt.
  • Weakening many Islamic countries and communities, in addition to threatening their unity, security and the fragmentation of their social fabric, have given a pretext to international communities to interfere in their internal affairs.  They depleted their energies, scattered their resources and hindered their plans of development. This has led to increased unemployment and rise in poverty;high-crime levels, corruption and moral decay and family disintegration. Combined, these elements have preventedthe acquisition of knowledge, enacting welfare systems and establishing community values, and honest living.
  • Sectarian strife, and mounting animosity among Muslims, hasdrawn   them into conflicts. They have beendriven into warring factions. Their communities and their countries are on the verge of crumbling into small factional and ethnic feuding entities.  These conflicts have diverted them away from working for the best interests of their nation and civilization.
  • Muslim minorities have been denuded of their potential. A wedge of enmity has been driven between them and their fellow citizens and communities. The relationship soured among compatriots of one single country, and has spoiled any chance of rapprochement to bridge the widening gap based on baseless fear.Thus, Muslims faced isolation and marginalization in their own homelands. New extraordinary laws have been enacted to restrict their freedom and control their civil and personal rights. 
  • The Da'wa work has been disrupted,and the efforts of preachers have been wasted. These have lost track of their priorities, instead of putting their efforts in useful endeavors; they started defending Islam and the rights of Muslims. Charitable work has been weakened, and the trust in its institutions has dwindled. Harassment and crackdown on Muslims ensued.   

Recommendations

To address those reasons and avert the effects of this dangerous scourge, the Congress recommends the following:

  • As far as Muslim countries are concerned:
  • They must apply Islamic Sharia, in all life’s affairs. They must start implementing serious steps that will achieve comprehensive changes. These reforms will accomplish justice, maintain dignity,uphold rights and meet the aspirations of the peoples.  And preserve the countries' assets.
  • The terrorism definition of the Islamic Fiqh Council of the Muslim World League in its sixteenth session of the year 1432H/2002 must be adopted.
  • Develop an integrated strategic plan for the prevention of terrorism of all kinds. They must take advantage of the Kingdom’s experience, and cooperate with the international community in the field of countering it. They must then proceed to resolve regional conflicts and foster economic and social developments and good governance standards.
  • Islamic solidarity must be promoted as well as aiding poor countries. The latter economic plans should be buttressed to reduce poverty and unemployment. As these are destabilizing factors that would encourage terrorist organizations to exploit the sorry conditions of young people.
  • Create research centers specialized in gathering and analyzing information on terrorist activities. Their findings must be available to relevant security departments. Individuals accused of terrorism must undergo scientific analyses to find the reasons leading to such devious behavior. Counseling must be initiated within these centers, which will serve as a reference nucleus to those relevant bodies; support must be extended to centers active in this field.
  • They must support religious institutions, and allow them to carry out their duties ineducating youth and disseminating moderation.
  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s efforts in issuing a binding resolution criminalizing the defamation of religionsand the infringement of their symbols have been lauded.Without it, itwill create a culture of hatred and strain relations between peoples.

II- As far as religious institutions and scholars are concerned:

  • Responsible institutions must publish the right methodical Sharia science derived from the texts of the Qur'an and Sunnah. These must be based on the understanding of the righteous predecessors; the companions, followers and leaders of the Muslims. They must promote the moderate aspect of religion.
  • Scholars must set proper role models for young Muslims. The prestigious status of religious science and scholars must be maintained.Providing advice on the provisions of religion must be steady.
    • This could be achieved by taking advantage of available means to protect youth before they fall into the snare of suspicions. Appropriate plans must be drawn thereof.
    • Dialogue must be started withyoung people. Youths must get involved in solving their society’s problems leading to sound thinking. Proper concepts must be put right through correct religious knowledge to deter misguiding suspicions and lethalwhims.
    • Institutions providing fatwas must be supported by supplying them with skilled muftis who are qualified in religious science and Sharia. Furthermore, people must know where to seek fatwa.  
    • Scholars must address novel issuesand ideas with open minded jurisprudence. This could be done by balancing the texts from the Sharialaw, andthe reality of changing times.They should revive consensus fatwa to put anend to odd individual ones. Sharia institutions and righteous religious scholars must be supported.
    • Institutions must educate young people about the reality of Jihad, and its provisions, objectives and legitimate objectives. Religious associations must correct erroneous concepts about it, and other Islamic terminologies.   
  • Manners must be taken into account when differences arise.No one should hasten to accuse people ofapostasy, depravity and innovation.

III- As far as the Institutions of Education and Media are concerned:

These institutions must spread Islamic values, and take advantage of the cultural resources of the Umma.New academic subjects must be added to the curriculum. These must focus on tolerance, justice, peace;prohibit injustice; rejection of violence, and the inviolability of blood and injustice.

  • They should start the reform of the education curricula in accordance with the creed of the nation and itsfixed principles. The poor state of its educational systemin many Muslim societies must be addressed.  They must hone their ability to ward off deceptive thoughts, fend off behavioral and intellectual deviation. Knowledge must be transformed into an influential   behavior in young persons.
  • Making use of the new media tools in spreading awareness among segments of society,especially young personis useful. Such step will be even more beneficial when youth have beenwarnedabout the risks of dealing with terrorism sites, whether through promotion, financing or recruiting.
  • The media people must develop ways and methods of programming       aimed at young people. This scheme will reinforce their pride and adherence to Islamic values. 
  • The media must concentrate on programs showing moderate Islam that promote a culture of tolerance and dialogue. These factors will increase the level of communal accord, and protect against conflict and dissension.
  • Review the content of educational curricula throughout the world. These must be cleared of any false or erroneous information on Islam.

V- As far as families and community are concerned:

  • Family awareness must be cultivated, and a sense of responsibility between parents and children must be promoted. Such close relationshipwill protect generations from digression and extremism.
  • They must follow up children from early age and check their relations with their friends. Families must hold discussions with their children to know their thoughts and problems.
  • Society must join forces to confront terrorism and deepen the concept of solidarity within communities. All out, efforts in this regard must be immobilized, and each member of the community-based on his ability, must realize that he has a role to play in society. The prophet (PBUH)said: “Each one of you is a shepherd, and is liable for his flock. The man is a guardian in his family; the woman is a guardian in her husband’s home; she is accountable for his charges”
  • Integrated efforts between official and public social institutions should be started. This will consolidate human values and prevent terrorism and fight it. Community must cooperate with the security forces to face this scourge.

V- As far as the Muslim World League’ missionis concerned:

  • Hold coordinating meetings with relevant bodies to develop practical plans to confrontdeviant ideology.
  • A committee of scholars and experts must be formed to visit the countries affected by terrorism. They should meet the officials, and explain the Islamic vision on how to handle this phenomenon.
  • The Rabita should cooperate with Islamic universities and research centers to clarify ambiguous concepts. It must provide a solid scholarly material that will be placed into the hands of orators and preachers involved with youth.
  • The creation of the Counter Terrorism World Body “CTWBunder the umbrella of the MWL.” The latter will study terrorism and analyze its causes and motives. Research studies thereof must be published, and practical programs must be drawn. Methods of prevention must be implemented along with coordinating with competentorganization.
  • Organize an international meeting featuring various religious bodies and intellectual associations. Muslim and non-Muslim personalities should meet to clarify Islam’s position about terrorism; and show the Muslims’ efforts in countering it.It must further show the areas of cooperation among them.
  • A committee will be selected by the Secretary-General to follow up the recommendations of this conference. A summary of practical programs of its research and recommendations must be prepared.

The conference has issued “The Makkah Proclamation.” It consists of five messages addressed to: the leaders of the Muslim Umma; its scholars, media, youth, and the entire world. This has been done under the obligation of providing advice to the Umma and humanity at large; with the hope clarifying the truth, and discharging the responsibility before Allah. The aim of this appeal is to set the community free of its painful reality.

*******

In conclusion, the participants supplicate Allahto grant His mercy and forgiveness to the late Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

They have also expressedtheir thanks, appreciation, and congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. They implored Allah to grant him supports and success to achieve the Muslim Umma’s expectations leading it to face current challenges and the dangers and impending threats.

They thanked HRH the Crown PrinceMigren bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and DeputyCrown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, for their efforts in supporting counter-terrorism. They lauded the Kingdom’s support to the Muslim World League to accomplish its objectives and programs.

     They thanked His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Al-Saud, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Masjids and Governor of Makkah Regionfor gracing the opening of the conference and the interest shown to the Rabita, its events and guests.

The participants thanked His Eminence Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, and Chairman of the Supreme Council of Rabita for his efforts in support of its programs.

     The Congress appreciated the efforts exerted by the Muslim World League, under the leadership of His Excellency the Secretary-General Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdelmohsin Al Turki. They valued his interest in Islamic causes.

 

Issued in Makkah al-Mukarramah

06/05/1436 H

February 25, 2015

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