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HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of Makkah Region,
His Eminence Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom, and the head of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League.
I welcome you to this meeting, where a group of distinguished personalities is participating. These scholars follow closely Islamic affairs and issues of the nation. They are here to discuss the phenomenon of terrorism; the great scourge of the era, and mother of crimes. This bane continues to appear in various organizations, and renewed in diversified forms. It has drawn many Arab and Islamic nations into a state of conflict and deteriorating security. The results of which are economic and social declines. Terrorism has plunged Muslims, their prophet and religion into a tidal wave of abuses. Thus, the enemies of Islam seized the opportunity to sow the seeds of dissension among the people of the same nation.
Aware of its mission and spurred by the concerns of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the Muslim World League (May Allah grants him health and support), has considered it a duty towards the nation and leaders to hold this conference. Its aim and objectives are to address this dangerous trend. It is also notable; that insecurity and political unrest in a number of Arab countries contributed more to its spread.
We hope that this conference will focus in its meetings and committees on the practical aspects of programs and plans. We also hope to develop a comprehensive plan to combat terrorism in the Islamic world and beyond. We invite countries and organizations and other concerned and interested parties to cooperate with the Rabita. We must follow and participate in the implementation of this plan.
The reasons that lead to extremism in religious concepts, and the resulting radicalization of attitudes, ideas and judgments, may also lead to violence and terrorism. And this is the most important scourge that scholars and workers must deal with.
These are, as you may know, varied, and differ in importance and influence.
The terrorism we face within the Muslim Ummah and our own homelands today, on which we are concentrating on treating; basically, is religiously motivated. It has been founded on extremism, and the misconception of some distorted Sharia concept. These are relevant to the lives of the mass of Muslims, and their relationship with others.
We are all hope that the conference will focus on these and other religious perspectives, to reach practical results in addressing them.
Many Islamic and non-Islamic countries have had the experience of fighting terrorism. Each country has gained qualitative information and practical knowledge. This happened in accordance to the nature of terrorism the country has faced and the predominant national and international circumstances at that time.
These experiences must put in the balance of evaluation and consideration. The aim thereof is to take advantage of the best practices that would be appropriate to the environment compatible with the Muslim culture. Therefore, a comprehensive, integrated strategy search in this area must be initiated.
The experience of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is unique and leading in this area. It has achieved a great deal of experience and success. It has also gained comprehensive means and methods atop Islamic vision and approach. Its experience is worthy of all praise, and it must be taken as a model in research and studies dealing with this important topic.
Saudi Arabia has made great efforts in the fight against terrorism, and dealt with it with the utmost firmness. Its plans have been characterized by comprehensive and harmony in various means. The plans have focused on regional and international cooperation. Terrorist groups use transnational and sometimes transcontinental networks in recruiting, financing and arming activities.
In its comprehensive fight against the phenomenon of terrorism, the Kingdom has been active on several fronts:
This includes the judicial aspect. The law has adopted severe punishment for the practice of terrorism and belonging to a group. Furthermore, appropriate penalties have been implemented to words or actions praising or supporting, or abetting it. This is according to how serious the level of the infraction is.
This aspect involves religious awareness. It promotes the moderation that characterizes Islam. It also corrects mistakes of some people in regard to Islamic concepts related to Muslim groups, their leadership, and their relationship with others. In addition, it sounds the alarm against religious extremism and evil sectarian intolerance. Hence, programs to deal with intellectual and rational deviation must be set up.
Education methods must be a sound guide to the youth to immunize them from ideological deviation. The mass media and culture should pay attention to the family to take care of their loved ones and watch their ideas and behavior. Society must be made aware of the obvious and hidden dangers of terrorism. Cooperation to face this alien phenomenon to Arab and Islamic societies is a requisite.
On the security level, the competent authorities in the Kingdom made great efforts. They dismantled terrorist cells and prosecution their members. They cut off their communication and support links. They protected individuals, public and private property from their likely of their attacks.
In its fight against this serious phenomenon, the Kingdom has contributed invaluable efforts on the international, regional Arab cooperation levels. They have also criminalized any related supportive or similar crimes, such as arms and drug trafficking.
The efforts have placed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a privileged position in the fight against the phenomenon of terrorism. The sources of which have been the directives of its wise leadership led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
The rulers in the Kingdom seize every private and public event to direct officials in the education, media, security fields, and associated bodies, to give priority to the issue of terrorism and related matters. They urged influential and knowledgeable personalities to assume responsibility in correcting mistaken religious concepts. They requested them to educate people and raise their correct levels of awareness. The dissemination of moderation, tolerance, dialogue must be advocated. Care and attention must be provided to youth before being snatched by terrorist groups and lured deviant trends.
These efforts are based on the Kingdom’s establishment in agreement with the Quran and Sunnah, and the implementation of the provisions of religion; the harmonious relationship of the people with their leadership. They are eager to achieve the Muslims’ unity, security and stability in their homelands. All these combined elements have made Saudi Arabia a good example for other Muslim communities to follow. It has reformed its status and united its stance on the true creed.
Aware of the gravity of terrorism, the Muslim World League has accorded it great importance. It has closely followed its incidents and proceedings within the Islamic world and beyond. The Rabita has focused its attention on the intellectual premises upon which it is based as well. It has also cooperated with various countries, organizations and personalities concerned with it.
On several occasions, the Rabita has clarified its position on this foreign nuisance on the nation. It’s an extraneous blight on the Umma’s religion, and its social and cultural order. It invited to respond firmly and wisely; and in a cooperative manner that will ensure where governments and organizations, officials and public bodies; the media and various education efforts would be coordinated.
The Muslim World League has issued statements on various occasions, warning of extremism, violence and terrorism and their perpetrators. It has condemned its acts, and called to address its intellectual roots and to cooperate in fighting it. It has also confirmed its position of rejecting all forms of violence and extremism in their different shapes. The Rabita has conducted this through its councils, conferences and publications. Furthermore, it has coordinated its efforts with official and public institutions in the Islamic nation; and through interviews conducted by its delegations to various countries around the world.
The Muslim World League has intensified its efforts calling for moderation in thought, behavior and dealings. It is Islam’s way to reject extremism. The Rabita urged the media and the cultural and educational authorities in Muslim countries to develop practical programs to counteract violence. It has asked to dress a list of behaviors violating the sanctity and the human rights of men.
The Rabita believes that the proper and complete way of tackling this subject must deal with all its aspects comprehensively. Its intellectual, psychological and social dimensions must be analyzed. Once its causes have been known, and its various effects have been monitored, treatment course can then be prescribed.
The Rabita is concentrating its efforts on formulating a separate culture to confront terrorism. Comprehensive discourse must be taken into account in regard to the subject matter. We must create a protective awareness shield to avoid falling in its snares. Hence, this discourse must be diversified to reach the relevant target. The message addressed must be carefully selected to suit every social group or cultural category, for, each of these commensurate with its nature, level and ideas.
Dealing with extremism and terrorism is in need of increased. Effective coordination between official and public agencies, institutions of the fatwa and the media in Muslim nations must be established. Strong immunization for youth to protect them from extremist ideas- that have become easily transmitted via diverse social media scattered everywhere- must be found.
The Muslim World League, its bodies, its boards, its institutions, and its valued guests at this conference, would like to express sincere thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Masjids, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. Grateful thanks have been also expressed to HRH the Crown Prince Migren Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and to the Deputy Crown Prince H RH Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. Their continued interest in applying the Sharia of Allah has been lauded. Their service to Islam and its defense have been highly valued. Their position by the Muslims in their various ordeals, issues and affairs, have been appraised. The Muslim World League is extremely appreciative of the encouragement it has been receiving for its diverse activities and events.
I thank His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of Makkah region, for his efforts, and support for the Rabita and its work. His gracing the opening of the conference on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has warmed our hearts.
To His Eminence Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of the Kingdom, and the president of the Supreme Council of the Rabita, we express our thanks for his efforts and his commitment to the achievement of its objectives.
Sincere thanks to their Excellencies, Eminence and all gentlemen participating in this conference for cooperation with the Rabita.
To the brothers, colleagues, media and institutions, we express our thanks for their productive cooperation.
We raise our hands and supplicate Allah to bestow His mercy on the late Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al- Saud, and give him abundant rewards for the services he rendered to his religion, his nation and his homeland.
We pray Allah to support his successor Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and support His religion. May he get help and support his brothers, the Crown Prince, his deputy and his brothers, his sons and his aides.