MWL: Extremism has little foothold in Muslim world

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Mohammed Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, addresses a conference in New York on Saturday.
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Updated 17 September 2017
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MWL: Extremism has little foothold in Muslim world

NEW YORK: The vast majority of Muslims are interested in cultural communication with the non-Muslim world and extremism is an abnormal and isolated occurrence, Mohammed Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, (MWL) told a conference in New York on Saturday.
“Cultural communication generates understanding among nations … and this leads to the alliance of civilizations,” Al-Issa said.
Extremism “has little foothold in the Muslim world,” he said, and according to the latest estimates, the term could be applied to only one in 200,000 people. “The impact of intellectual and military terrorism and extremism is shrinking, in a clear and tangible way.”
Al-Issa said extremism was a general and comprehensive concept, and to attribute it only to Islam was false since it also had intellectual, political and racial aspects.
He was speaking on the opening day of the International Muslim World League Conference, attended by more than 450 representatives of Islamic institutions and scientific, intellectual and political organizations from around the world.
The two-day conference will discuss issues including cultural contributions from the US and the Islamic world, the Islamic contribution to the promotion of world peace, Muslims in the US, integration and citizenship, and the relationship between the US and the Islamic world.
Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, told delegates at the conference that cultural communication enhanced linkage between cultures and helped to close the cultural gap. “We look forward to living in dignity and security and protecting our families and Muslims,” he said.
Al-Othaimeen said more than 1.8 billion Muslims around the world lived in peace and reflected moderate Muslim ideologies.
Abdul Rahman ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Sudais, general president for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, said cultural communication between nations was important, especially between the US and the Muslim world, and essential to Islamic civilization. Confronting terrorism was one of the main objectives of cultural communication, he said.


First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019
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First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.