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Islam is not a source of terrorism

While attending a key security conference in Munich, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Islam is not a source of terrorism, and cooperating with predominantly Muslim states in the fight against it is vital. At the same event, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen warned against turning the fight against Daesh into a battle against all Muslims. These important messages are constructive, and will let the Islamic world feel safe.

Relating terrorism to Islam and Muslims, especially in the media, has left non-Muslims confused about Islam. Terrorism is indeed a big problem, but overcoming it is possible with joint and clear efforts. Stopping conflicts is the first step, otherwise terrorism will thrive in conflict areas and spread beyond them as recruitment becomes easier.

We must understand the origins of terrorism, who is behind conflicts, who benefits from them, how we deal with conflict areas, and use internationally recognized legal means. The international community is more involved today in overcoming these problems by evaluating the situation and pressuring countries that sponsor terror, especially a certain country well known for establishing and financing militias.

Saudi Arabia has established a coalition of 41 Islamic countries to counter terrorism, and they are ready to begin coordinating internationally to put an end to it. 

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri

This country, known as the biggest sponsor of terrorism, violates international norms and rules by storming embassies, and undermines other countries’ stability by sowing sectarian strife and harboring terrorist leaders. We have to act against it quickly, and look regionally for reliable allies that have experience in fighting terrorism and have suffered from it.

One of the most important countries in the region that can play a key role is Saudi Arabia, because it is countering terrorism from many angles, it is protecting Islam, and it has been targeted many times.

One of the most dangerous terrorist attacks was against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, deputy prime minister and interior minister, who survived an assassination attempt by Al-Qaeda, which tried to drive a wedge between the Kingdom and the US. He received a medal from the CIA for his intelligence-related counter-terrorism work, and for his contributions to ensuring international peace and security.

Saudi Arabia has established a coalition of 41 Islamic countries to counter terrorism, and they are ready to begin coordinating internationally to put an end to it. We know where the disease is, we know how to cure it, and the Kingdom will spare no effort to do so.

• Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is a political analyst and international relations scholar.