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A major international conference, which opens at the Muslim World League (MWL) headquarters in Makkah on Sunday, will discuss solutions to tackle the issue of growing extremism among Muslim youth. The conference will also confront the challenges posed by terrorism.
“The conference will try to counteract erroneous perceptions among Muslim youth by providing them with proper guidance,” said Abdullah Al-Turki, secretary-general of the MWL.
Makkah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah will launch the three-day conference, entitled “Islamic Culture: Origin and Reality,” on behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
“The main reason for the increase in extremism and terrorism among some Muslim groups is their ignorance of the true teachings of Islam,” Al-Turki told Arab News.
He said it was the joint responsibility of governments, Islamic scholars and the media to fight extremism in Muslim communities.
The conference will discuss King Abdullah’s recent call urging the Islamic scholars to stand up to terrorism and extremism, he pointed out.
He said the conference would bring together a large number of prominent Islamic scholars from the Kingdom and other parts of the Muslim world
Speakers include Abdullah Bou Khalkhal, president of the Amir Abdulqader Islamic Science University, professor Arif Ali Arif of the International Islamic University, Malaysia, Mohammad Al-Mukhtar of Abdullah Bin Yassine University, Mauritania, Helail, chief justice of Jordan, Kamal Mohammad Obeid, rector of Africa International University, Sudan, and professor Riyadh Ali Al-Ilah of Al-Azhar University’s Gaza branch.
“The conference will enlighten the Muslim nation on the need to take more care of its youth and protect them from foreign deviant thoughts and ideologies,” the MWL secretary-general said.
He said the conference would have a big global impact, with the participation of nearly 1,000 delegates, including 500 pilgrims who have come to perform Haj this year as guests of the MWL.
“Pilgrims will convey what they have learned from the conference to their communities back home,” he added.
Al-Turki said the conference would also contribute to strengthening Muslim unity, which is essential for the success of the Ummah. “Haj plays an important role in bolstering Islamic unity with the participation of pilgrims from different parts of the world.”
Speaking about the conference’s theme, he said: “Culture is considered one of the basic pillars in building nations, and establishing renaissance of peoples. Hence, a nation’s sound culture, free of any distortion will have a great impact on the healthy life, integrity and stability of society.”
Al-Turki described Islam as the greatest culture and civilization in the history of mankind, adding that it is based on the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. “Islamic culture is the main characteristic of the Muslim nation,” he added.
The conference will deliberate on the reality of Islamic culture and its challenges. Its sessions will focus on five pivotal topics under the titles “Islamic culture: concepts and characteristics,” “Islamic culture: realities and challenges,” “Islamic culture and changing times,” “Toward a culture of awareness,” and “Issues in Islamic culture,” Al-Turki said.
Research papers will be presented on cultural invasion and psychological defeat; division, conflict, and intolerance; ignorance and backwardness, and absence of Islamic reference; and the cultural diversity and unity of the Muslim nation.