العربية Français English
Eminence, Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh
President, MWL’s Supreme Council, and Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti
Excellency, Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdelmohsin Al-Turki Secretary General of the Muslim World League, and member of the Supreme Council of Ulama
I welcome you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the secure city, Makkah al-Mukarramah. It is an auspicious occasion gathering notable eminences, scholars, researchers and opinion leaders, to discuss the main critical topic of the hour. It is one of the most pressing issues of the day. This bane that has afflicted many of our homelands in recent years has been called terrorism. Our nations have become battlegrounds for its barbaric actions. Assassinations, kidnapping and sabotage have become the modus operandi of its destructive operations. The tentacles of this strange bane have reached far beyond the boundaries of Muslim countries.
This-as you may well know-is one of the reasons Islam’s image has been tarnished along with our religion, its message and mission. Muslim countries, organizations and people faced embarrassment and confusion vis-à-vis other nations bound to our countries with cooperation treaties. Alas, these terrorist events have perturbed those relations, and dealt them a heavy blow. They have also sparked a wave of apprehension and prejudice towards Muslims. They have been called offensive names, germane to those terrorists. The latter have known only subversion and destruction. They have no inkling on how to initiate development programs or urbanization plans.
Today, Muslims are paying a heavy toll as a result to this irresponsible extremism. Countries’ unity and security suffered serious losses that should have been spent on improvement and homeland's building. National potential was needlessly wasted due to this foolishness. Thus, these events required redoubling efforts to respond to these hostile actions targeting the Umma, its religion and its finest men. Following the terrorist acts, a bleak picture has been imprinted on the minds of a lot of non-Muslims about Islam and our nation. These have also been overstated by those campaigns. They have used it in biased ways aimed at creating public opinion that will demonize Muslims and shun their company. They are considered culprits before they have been found innocent. A sense of fear and anxiety took hold of people -and in plain words- Islamophobia has sprung to life.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has fought terrorism in thought and practice with resolve and with all means. This battle has been firmly waged by the security, cultural or media, and all levels.
The anti-terrorism security forces have relentlessly confronted the terrorists; these brave men have kept them in check. They have dismantled their networks and cells and nipped them in the bud.
Our media institutions and their men have mobilized audiovisual and print means to expose terrorism. They have focused their spotlights on its crimes, organizations and people. Our multimedia provided citizens with ample information about their behavior and their objectives. They have exposed their tricks and methods to lure and attract the gullible.
Our esteemed scholars have had their saying in this matter as well. They have strongly rebuffed the terrorists’ claims of possession of assumed religious texts as evidence to trick people. Scholars have expressed Islam’s warnings against violence, and extremism in religion. They cautioned against factionalism under the guise of faith, and rebelling against their leaders. Moderation and tolerance are the true features and attitudes of our religion. Whoever deviates from this path is not fit to serve the Ummah; he will only be an element of misery, division and hatred.
Researchers at our and other universities have contributed to this effort with thoughtful research and studies on the phenomenon of terrorism and terrorist groups. They have highlighted the serious dangers on communities on the long run. Their link to hostile schemes against the Umma has been revealed, and how they have been ill-used to implement those plans. These plotters have been carried away, either intentionally, through calculated purposes or through carelessness and sheer idiocy.
Although great results have been achieved by these efforts, terrorism still spawns and breeds here and there in Arab and Muslim countries. These have gone through turmoil and troubles. Therefore, it is incumbent on the nation’s leadership, responsible men, scholars, preachers, men of letters, media personnel, and officials of various cultural and security institutions to intensify their efforts to carry out a successful fight against it. This must be done by countering it in perception and behavior; terrorists must be cornered wherever they are. And as long as their objective is bloodshed and destruction, no help or support should be extended to them, not even to show them empathy. Allah says in Sura Al-Ma’ida, verse 2 the following: “(but help ye not one another in sin and rancor)” Furthermore, Allah also says in Sura Al-Qasas, verse 17: “("O my Lord! For that Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace on me, never shall I be a help to those who sin")”
As we thank the Muslim World League for its contribution to fight terrorism, we praise this conference, and wish you great success. We are looking forward to practical results that will boost the collective efforts exerted to neutralize this alien phenomenon. The latter is unknown to both our Arab and Muslim worlds. Our united stance will forestall those who would like to use this destructive tool to serve their ignoble purposes and shameless ends. Their vile schemes will have dire consequences on our Umma’s interest. They will harm the security of our people, the stability of our countries, and the prosperity of our homelands.
Our hope, after Allah’s support, will be pinned on yours to guide the Umma. Cooperative programs and projects must be initiated and implemented. Both official and public bodies must contribute therein to raise the Umma’s awareness to the dangers of terrorism and its mischief. Failure to respond firmly to terrorism by take a neutral stance will engender dire results. Procrastination will prolong its existence, and will weigh down those who are fighting it.
We extend our thanks to the MWL led by His Eminence Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, President of its Supreme Council, and Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdelmohsin Al-Turki, its Secretary General. Their work in addressing the current issues of the Umma, including terrorism along with the promotion of moderation and dialogues are very much appreciated.