KSA: Don’t misuse freedom of expression to attack divine religions

Updated 29 May 2014
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KSA: Don’t misuse freedom of expression to attack divine religions

Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah on Wednesday called for tough action by governments against those who misuse freedom of expression to attack divine religions and Prophets.
Addressing the 17th Non-Aligned Movement Conference in Algiers, he said such provocative actions were threatening global peace and stability.
“Saudi Arabia emphasizes its commitment to the movement's principles to face the rapidly changing regional and international situations,” the prince told the gathering.
He added: “The international law is violated and the principles of human rights and freedom of expression are exploited to insult religions and their symbols for political purposes.”
The Kingdom cautions that the escalation of this grave and massive violations threatens world peace. Therefore, the Kingdom calls on assessing and reviewing the role and effectiveness of the movement in protecting and promoting security and stability in the world.
“Based on the principles of the movement, we are looking forward to a more active and positive role to support the Palestinian people and their national authority to obtain their legitimate rights including an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital,” the deputy minister said.
He said Saudi Arabia strongly condemns all acts carried out by the Israeli occupation authority in Jerusalem to change the historical and religious identity and legal status of the holy places in the city.
Saudi Arabia is a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and is totally committed to its provisions, Prince Abdul Aziz said. Thus, the Kingdom is committed to make the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, he added.
Saudi Arabia rejects and condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, he said, adding that the Kingdom cooperates with the international community to eliminate this universal evil.


Saudi heritage body applauds citizen who returned rare artifact

Ali Saad Al-Shahrani returns rare artifacts to an SCTH official in Bishah. (AN photo)
Updated 20 min 38 sec ago
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Saudi heritage body applauds citizen who returned rare artifact

  • Aman named Ali Saad Al-Shahrani handed the rare pieces over to the SCTH office in the governorate of Bishah in Asir province.
  • A spokesman of the SCTH urged others to follow the fine example of Al-Shahrani and support the National Antiquities Recovery Campaign.

RIYADH: Six rare artifacts — some dating back to pre-Islamic times — have been handed over to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) by a Saudi citizen.

Majed Alshadeed, SCTH spokesman, told Arab News on Sunday that a man named Ali Saad Al-Shahrani handed the rare pieces over to the SCTH office in the Governorate of Bishah in Asir region.

One of the objects is a stone piece which includes verses from the Holy Qur’an, written in the bas relief style.

He praised Al-Shahrani’s gesture of support for the National Antiquities Recovery Campaign and urged others to follow his example.

However, he added that the gesture was not uncommon as people on many occasions have returned artifacts, showing keenness in supporting the commission in preserving the beautiful heritage and the antiquities of the Kingdom. Not only citizens, but expatriates too, have returned artifacts in the past, he added.

Notably, the SCTH honored the then Portugal Ambassador Manuel Carvalho last December for returning a finely crafted Saudi artifact of the Neolithic era to the commission.

Acknowledging the great gesture, Abdul Rahman Al-Jassas, the Executive Director of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Initiative, delivered a certificate of appreciation from SCTH President Prince Sultan bin Salman to the outgoing ambassador.

Praising the move Mohammed Al-Omrah, director general, SCTH branch for Asir region, thanked the citizen for supporting the national initiative, calling for those who have artifacts to hand them in to the SCTH or its branches in the various regions and governates.

Al-Omrah added that the National Antiquities Recovery Campaign was launched by SCTH President Prince Sultan bin Salman.

The SCTH runs a campaign fostering awareness of the importance of returning heritage artifacts and has honored citizens and foreigners who have returned archaeological objects to the commission.

The SCTH held an exhibition for the recovered antiquities and holds a register of the people who give back relics and artifacts. Some of them were honored during the opening ceremony of the first Saudi Archaeology Convention in Riyadh last year.