YEAR IN REVIEW 2017: Islamic coalition vows to ‘wipe terrorists from face of the earth’

Updated 31 December 2017

YEAR IN REVIEW 2017: Islamic coalition vows to ‘wipe terrorists from face of the earth’

JEDDAH: Leaders of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) hope their alliance will be the best global terror-fighting organization.
During their first meeting in Riyadh, they revealed that they had institutional plans and strategies aimed at drying up the sources of terrorism and cutting off its financing.
The IMCTC also pledged to correct perceptions and discredit radical narratives as terrorist organizations had falsified the meaning of jihad in Islam.
In November, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated a high-profile meeting in the Saudi capital where top defense officials from the IMCTC agreed to boost its military capabilities to dismantle terrorist organizations.
In his keynote speech, the crown prince vowed to “pursue terrorists until they are wiped from the face of the earth.”
He also said that the greatest danger terrorism and extremism have achieved was not the killing of innocents or the spread of hatred (but) the distorting of the Islamic faith.
The prince added: “Today we began to pursue terrorism, and today we see defeats in many countries around the world, especially in Islamic countries, and we shall be those who assure its disappearance from the face of the earth.”
Two days later, King Salman, chairing a Cabinet session, supported the crown prince’s statement about the need to track down terrorism and eradicate it in all its forms and manifestations. The Cabinet also praised the final declaration of the IMCTC meeting.
Under the slogan “Allied against terrorism,” the Riyadh conference also agreed to step up cooperation to cut off financial support to terror groups, and stressed the importance of empowering the media and investing in digital platforms to combat deviant ideology and propaganda.
The final declaration stressed the important role of the military in combating terrorism, enhancing security and peace in the coalition member countries, and contributing to regional and international security and peace.
It also underscored that terrorism had become deadlier than ever, especially in the Islamic world, which is suffering from heavy losses of lives and property to terrorism which has shattered the dreams of broad sectors of societies trying to live in peace and tranquility.
The ministers, who reaffirmed their determination to work with every possible means to confront extremism and terrorism, emphasized the importance of draining the sources of terrorist financing. They also called for more actions to improve compliance with international standards.
IMCTC military commander Gen. Raheel Sharif said the greatest challenge to peace and stability in the 21st century, especially in the Islamic world, is to address the most serious phenomenon in the world “terrorism.”
He added that terrorist organizations have falsified the concept of jihad in Islam in order to achieve their destructive goals.
He said that they would develop, produce and publish factual media content for dialogue to correct perceptions and discredit radical narratives.
Sharif said that IMCTC would endeavor to dry up all types of financial support to terrorist organizations.
The defense ministers of the 41-member coalition expressed their deep appreciation for the Kingdom’s efforts in forming the coalition, and for hosting the inaugural meeting.
They also expressed their gratitude to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for presiding over the meeting.
It is noteworthy to mention that Saudi Arabia announced the 41-state IMCTC in December 2015. In March 2016, chiefs of staff from Muslim countries met in Riyadh and affirmed their insistence to unite efforts in fighting terrorism through joint work.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”