Stigma horror: 7 with HIV ‘sacked unfairly’

Updated 10 June 2015
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Stigma horror: 7 with HIV ‘sacked unfairly’

RIYADH: Seven people who have tested positive for HIV have been fired unfairly from their jobs at private companies, a local charity announced on Tuesday.
Abdullah Al-Huqail, deputy board chairman of the Charitable Society for the Care of AIDS Patients (Mana’a) in Riyadh and head of the infectious diseases department at King Faisal Specialist Hospital, said that he had assured them they could get their jobs back, but they refused to return because of the stigma attached to having the virus, the report in a local daily stated.
Al-Huqail said that the charity had recently assisted a primary school student who had AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The child had contracted the virus from his mother at birth. The charity’s officials had then gone to the school to explain his predicament, and asked the administration to keep his condition a secret until he could complete his education. Al-Huqail said that while cases worldwide had dropped by
23 percent, there was a 13 percent rise in the Kingdom. Briefing volunteers seeking to helping people with AIDS, he said that those living with the virus can live productive lives with proper treatment and support.
Al-Huqail said that people must distinguish between those afflicted with HIV and others with full-blown AIDS.
Those living with HIV can take drugs that would control the virus, while those at an advanced stage of AIDS often do not respond to treatment, he said.


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman says Kingdom is committed to serving Muslims

Updated 9 min 54 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman says Kingdom is committed to serving Muslims

  • Prince Khaled Al-Faisal gave a speech during the opening on the World Conference on Islamic Unity
  • Prince Khaled welcomed the participants at the conference and has delivered to them the greeting of the king

MAKKAH: Rejecting all forms of hatred and extremism, Muslim scholars from 127 countries have proposed to initiate an intercultural partnership to effectively fight Islamophobia.

More than 1,299 religious scholars and intellectuals took part in a conference titled “International Conference on Islamic unity — the perils of labeling and exclusion” held in Makkah on Wednesday.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal inaugurated the event organized by the Muslim World League (MWL). 

The participants of the conference called for a comprehensive plan to address sectarianism and extremism.

They also stressed the need for creating effective channels of communication between followers of different Islamic schools of thought to remove misunderstandings and increase cooperation.

They unanimously rejected sectarian views and extremist ideas and urged scholars and preachers to play their role in uniting Muslims.

The Makkah governor delivered a speech on behalf of King Salman underlining the need to remove misconceptions about Islam and Muslims through dialogue. He also urged Muslims to set aside their petty differences and to work together to achieve a great and prosperous future.

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, who is also head of the MWL Supreme Council, highlighted the teachings of Islam that categorically reject all forms of discrimination. 

The grand mufti urged the Muslims to forge unity among their ranks and do away with rivalries, petty differences and say no to divisions and factionalism. 

Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah, president of the Emirates Fatwa Council, stressed that unity is a great Islamic concept that includes all spheres of human existence and covers all individual, collective and international relations. Islam is a religion of unity, he added

Sheikh Bayyah said the difference of opinion should not be construed as enmity. 

He deplored the spirit of exclusion and rejecting and mistrusting others. He said a moderate approach is necessary to counter extremism and hatred. 

MWL Secretary-General Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa said the problems we are witnessing in today’s world emanate from a lack of open dialogue and futile rivalries between sects and denominations.

The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, hailed Saudi Arabia’s successful experience against extremism, violence and terrorism. He said the steps Saudi Arabia has taken to counter this negative trend have transformed it into a reliable reference for everything related to Islam. 

He praised the efforts, bold steps and resolute policies carried out by the Kingdom to eradicate extremist ideas from society.