Saudi global peace center in Malaysia reflects true tolerance of Islam, says KACND chief

Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muammar. (SPA)
Updated 06 March 2017

Saudi global peace center in Malaysia reflects true tolerance of Islam, says KACND chief

RIYADH: The establishment of a global peace center under the King Salman Center for Global Peace in Malaysia is another of the Kingdom’s contributions to spread the message of Islam and peace, said Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muammar, secretary general of the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND).
During King Salman’s visit to Malaysia, both countries agreed to establish the center in coordination with the Saudi Ministry of Defense, the Center for Security and Defense at the Malaysian Ministry of Defense, the Malaysian University of Islamic Sciences and the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL).
The KACND chief said the center is considered a practical translation of the tolerance of Islam and its permanent call for the spread of peace and coexistence.
King Salman Center for Global Peace will contribute to unifying Islamic and global efforts to spread stability in the region, which has suffered much from wars and terrorism, he said.
The Kingdom, led by King Salman, and resting on its religious, political and economic positions in the hearts of Muslims, has never spared any efforts in undertaking its historic role and realizing cooperation and fraternity between Islamic countries, and preserving their security and stability, he said.
The Islamic world needs to unify their ranks, renounce extremism and terrorism, and clarify the true image of Islam. Muslims are advocates of peace, love and coexistence, he pointed out.
In a related development, a group of scholars in Egypt expressed appreciation for King Salman’s call for dialogue between religions and cultures during his recent visit to Indonesia.
Mohammed Abu Al-Sheikh, a professor of Islamic Shariah and member of the Cairo-based Higher Islamic Council, said King Salman’s call shows that the Kingdom comes at the forefront of countries advocating peace and co-existence.
Mohammed Mahmoud Hamouda, director of Holy Qur’an Affairs at Al-Azhar University, said King Salman’s call stresses the Kingdom’s leading role in spreading the culture of tolerance through dialogue.
Abdulrahman Abbas, on the teaching staff at Al-Azhar University (Asyut branch), said King Salman’s call originates in the teachings of Islam, which stress that relations between Muslims and non-Muslims are based on humanitarian fraternity, adding that Islam is a religion of tolerance and peace, and fights all aggressive tendencies in human hearts.

UN commends Saudi Arabia’s promotion of disability rights

Updated 13 min 46 sec ago

UN commends Saudi Arabia’s promotion of disability rights

  • Kingdom has made ‘remarkable progress’ in welfare for disabled people

JEDDAH: The president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, Dr. Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, said on Wednesday that the Kingdom is committed to promoting the rights of people with disabilities.

Al-Aiban was speaking at the opening of the “Rights of People with Disabilities” symposium in Riyadh, organized by the commission in cooperation with the local office of the UN. The symposium focused on currently available services — and plans for their development — in Saudi Arabia for disabled people, and discussed the challenges facing this segment of Saudi society.

UN Resident Coordinator in Saudi Arabia Nathalie Fustier said the UN appreciates the Kingdom's efforts, citing the Kingdom's ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol in 2008 as an example of Saudi’s support for the cause.

Mayssam Tamim, the assistant resident representative of the UN Development Program, described the Kingdom’s progress in ensuring the rights of people with special needs as “remarkable,” highlighting the increase in the number of associations and centers dedicated to their rehabilitation; the improvement in health care services; the drive to monitor the health of children likely to develop disabilities; and the creation of support offices in health facilities to provide logistical assistance. 

Tamim also discussed the progress in education — pointing out that students with disabilities are being integrated into public schools, where they are provided with social service support and with special equipment including books printed in Braille, audio books, sign language courses, and support services — and in labor and social welfare, highlighting the establishment of the “Tawafuq” employment program in 2014. Tawafuq, which is the Arabic word for success, ensures equal employment opportunities within the private sector for Saudis with disabilities, she explained. 

The symposium featured several papers submitted by Saudi ministries. Dr. Walid bin Khalifa Al-Shumaimeri submitted a paper on behalf of the Ministry of Health, reviewing the services offered to disabled people around the Kingdom.

Al-Shumaimeri presented a number of challenges faced by the ministry, pointing out that some health facilities cannot be adapted to better serve disabled people due to a lack of space or inadequate infrastructure. 

“The statistical survey for people with disabilities may not be accurate enough, thus adversely affecting the geographical distribution of services,” he said. 

Al-Shumaimeri also bemoaned the lack of a unified training program on the rights of disabled people, and how best to handle them, for healthcare workers. At the moment, he explained, “each entity implements its own training programs.”