Islamophobia continues to increase: OIC report

Turkey's Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu (2ndL), Burkina Faso's Foreign Minister, Alpha Barry (3rdL), other Foreign Ministers and delegates attend the opening of the 44th meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on July 10, 2017 in Abidjan. (AFP / ISSOUF SANOGO)
Updated 12 July 2017
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Islamophobia continues to increase: OIC report

RIYADH: The Islamophobia Observatory Report of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) described the growing fear against Islam and Muslims in certain parts of the world.
Presenting the report on Monday at the 44th Council of Foreign Ministers Conference in Abidjan, OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen said: “The growing trend of Islamophobia has not subsided in any tangible way. Muslims have been terrorized and discriminated against. Islamic sacred symbols have been insulted. People with Islamic attire were targeted with hatred. Women with hijabs were abused on streets and in public spaces. Certain governments outlawed Islamic attire or restricted Muslims from having prayer facilities. Right-wing politicians and media spread evil images of Islam.”
“Acts of radical and extreme groups in the name of Islam have provided xenophobes with excuses to further their agendas. Their statements and acts have not only been irresponsible, but also conducive to the radical narratives of violent groups and terrorists,” he added.
Al-Othaimeen stressed that the OIC has been active in combating Islamophobia at the political, diplomatic and operational levels in order to raise awareness among the international community of the threats that Islamophobia poses to global peace and security.
He noted that OIC member states, together with the international community, need to take more serious actions to address the current challenges of Islamophobia, including enforcing laws which prohibit discrimination, hostility or violence against any religion.


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.