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Speech of Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulmohsin Alturki in Opening Session of 15th Makkah Conference

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

Your Royal Highness Prince Mish’al bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Governor of Makkah Region,

Your Eminence Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of the Kingdom, and the head of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League,

Dear Brothers:

Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you.

I welcome you, asking Allah to help the pilgrims to His sacred house. We hope they will perform their rituals in the manner. He loves and pleases him. We hope their one in a life time desire will be fulfilled in comfort and contentment. Pray! Almighty Allah accepts from them their Hajj.  We implore Allah to reward the Custodian of the two holy mosques, his Crown Prince, and the deputy Crown Prince, and His Highness the Governor of Makkah region. The effort they exert in the service of the Two Holy Mosques, and their visitors is worthy of all praise.

The Muslim World League has decided to make the subject of Islamic culture between tradition and modernity, the title of the Makkah conference this year. I hope that the participants will succeed in shedding the light on this important subject in its various aspects. We would like you to provide a clear vision of its basic elements and themes. Your success in tackling the topics of this conference will benefit the Umma and enlighten it toward reform. It will help it finding a decent and appropriate place for its culture; in the light of openness and competition witnessed by our contemporary world.

The Muslim Umma enjoys a distinct position among other nations. It has been entrusted with the final global message in applying it as a system and disseminating it to the world.

It is, therefore, a nation that derives its value from its adherence to this message. The “Risala” serves as a shining beacon in its March.  It serves as an inspiration to seek the pinnacle of a superior human civilization.

Never in its history, has this Umma been more vulnerable to the challenges threatening its cultural identity and affiliation than in this day and age.

It requires that its faithful sons to face the challenges with ways and means to protect the nation's culture from this menace.

At the same time, it requires us working on another track. That is to change that negative image of Muslims embossed in the minds of others. This awful image has been the result of the poor conditions in which the Muslims live in. Add to this, the biased and dishonest smear campaigns of intolerance against Islam.  Therefore, a necessary step must be taken to correct the image of Muslims with others. Muslims must contribute in addressing different humanitarian issues. Their culture must be an influential tool in their dealings with international and human regulations.

The most prominent internal challenges faced by the Islamic culture today, is the misconception that took hold of some Muslims’ minds. Some of Islam’s tenets have been misunderstood. This happened by confusing its basics or its branches. They have also misunderstood its objectives and the significance of its message. They didn’t know how to introduce it or how to apply it in real life.

This imbalance is one of the leading causes of the disorder suffered by the Arab and Muslim world. It has led to the emergence of this repulsive sectarianism and this narrow and disruptive partisanship.  This sort of extremism has led to apostasy and terrorism.

The sectarianism is threatening the unity and stability of Muslims today and draining their energies. It is sabotaging their homelands and exposing them to tendentious foreign interventions. It is working relentlessly to achieve its objectives by all means.  This scourge has understood Islam in a perverted way, originating from taking a negative and suspicious attitude of the nation's predecessors.  Those, have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and have fared well in his presence and after his death. It is thanks to their efforts that Islam spread far and wide. They have received the message from the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) with honestly and faith. Then, sincerely, they have transmitted it to those who came after them. Those were men of high lineage and character; they were role models to others in their honesty. For these and other reasons, the Message has reached us in its purest state well preserved from all evil.

The party that promotes the claims of empowering Islam and making it a system of governance has brought a terrible evil on Muslims. Their actions plunged the Umma into an overwhelming devastating sedition. Their actions have caused a threat to political stability and social unity. The spread of their narrow-minded thoughts, have misled them into thinking that they alone have the responsibility of protecting Islam in the society. Furthermore, they think that all those who do not adopt or embrace their idea are ignorant of Islam and negligent in serving the faith. And anyone who criticizes or opposes the trend and positions, is outside the fold of Islam, and allied with its enemies.

Terrorism is even worse and more vicious, as its advocates do not stop at these extremist opinions and views. They see that any argument about it in the best manner is a futile exercise. They don’t see dialogue as a remedy to the anger seething in their hearts. This anger has been formed as a result of misleading others and accusing them of heresy. However, except to carry weapons on people and threaten their lives their money; and attract highly uneducated people who can easily be deceived tricked. Thus, they will be recruited and formed into gangs rushing to commit their criminal objectives. These sots imagined erroneously that they are seeking the virtuous rewards of jihad. They were thinking all along that they are following the footsteps of Islam’s early heroes. Alas! They have been oblivious of the most important condition of realizing the goal of pleasing Allah Almighty. First, the work intended to be done must be right; second on must be able to distinguish truth from falsehood.  To succeed in making such distinction requires receiving knowledge from reliable scholars and not from deviant novices.

There is a meaningful lesson in the news of the Kharijites, and for each person who underestimates achieving the proper condition required to please Allah for His sake. It is no secret what the historians have transcribed of their news, and their acts of worship. However, such rectitude didn't intercede for them. They made the blood of Muslims permissible to shed as a result of suspicion and sinister mindset. They should rather have taken a different course of action; that is to ask eminent scholars about right and wrong.

However, sensing the seriousness of this heinous behavior, the Prophet (peace be upon him) described the Kharijites in exhaustive hadiths. He warned people against being duped by their deceptive appearance. He even expressed his desire to oppose them and free the Muslims of their evil.

This terrible trio that has hit the nation, is the most serious facing the Islamic culture today. Hence, combined efforts of scholars, intellectuals, media and educators are urgently needed. Every person yielding cultural and social influence will be called to cooperate with officials to fight this bane. People must be educated and warned about the deviation implied by the approaches and objectives of their advocates. Dangers resulting from its propagation and its stranglehold must be highlighted.  People must be shown methods and ways they must use to address them.  Nevertheless, the most important step to be taken remains: correcting misconceptions that led to its emergence.

Facts indicate that the extent and recurrent mischief caused by extremism and terrorism make them the most serious of crimes. Government, governmental and popular organizations as well as fatwa and media institutions must intensify their efforts and coordination to fight them off. Our teen and youth need a powerful dose of immunization against these extremist ideas. In addition, various means of mass communication scattered everywhere, has provided this destructive propaganda with an easy access to a world stage.

The efforts of Saudi Arabia in the fight against extremism and terrorism, is a pioneer and unique experience. They have applied a great deal of experience and reaped smashing success. This know-how is worthy of all praise; it should be used in research and studies dealing with this crucial topic.

Doubtless, behind these efforts, lies a wise leadership. Led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, he takes every opportunity to launch strong directives and far-reaching goals. He urges the Umma’s relevant officials and personalities to address terrorism’s related issues. He exhorts them to carry out the responsibility to correct misconception, educate people and disseminate the culture of moderation. He tells them to take care of the Umma’s youth, and establish solidarity among its countries and peoples and their organizations. He also advises them that the only way to deal with others who differ in religion and civilization is to initiate avenues of dialogue and to support these efforts. Humanity must be aware of the need of such a potent tool to remove mutual misconceptions. Furthermore, such dialogue will certainly create an atmosphere of cooperation on common grounds.

Institutions and collaborators of the Muslim World League thank the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince HRH Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and his deputy Crown Prince His Royal Highness Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. The Rabita appreciates the encouragement and care it receives for its various activities and events.

Thanks are also due to His Royal Highness Prince Mish’al bin Abdullah Al-Saud, Governor of Makkah Region, for his efforts and support for the MWL and its work. We thank him also for inaugurating of the conference on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

We extend our thanks as well to His Eminence Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh Mufti of the Kingdom, and the head of the Supreme Council of the Rabita for his efforts and his commitment to the achievement of the Rabita’s objectives.

We thank their Excellencies and Eminences for their participants in this conference, and for their participation and cooperation with the Rabita.

We express gratitude and thanks to our colleagues, organizers, and the media’s   institutions for their cooperation.

Peace and blessing and Allah’s mercy be upon you.

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Al-Rabita Arabic Magazine - Issue  571