Defeat twisted ideologies: Muslim World League chief

Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), speaks on the theme “Tackling Violence Committed in the Name of Religion” at a conference organized by the British Foreign Office in Rome.
Updated 04 February 2018
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Defeat twisted ideologies: Muslim World League chief

JEDDAH: Violence committed in the name of religion is not only the responsibility of those who adopt twisted ideologies, Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa told world leaders recently in the Italian capital of Rome.
Religious institutions that fail to combat extremism and the educational systems that fail to focus on cross-cultural communication skills must also take the blame, he said.
Al-Issa was speaking on the theme “Tackling Violence Committed in the Name of Religion” at a conference organized by the British Foreign Office and attended by religious and political leaders from around the world.
In his speech, Al-Issa pointed out that “the world today suffers from the continuation of violence committed in the name of religion and the poor presence of influential religious and intellectual leaders.”
He added: “Denunciation, condemnation, and declaring having nothing to do with extremism, violence, and terrorism are not enough for dealing with violence committed in the name of religion.
“What matters is what we have done to rid the world of these epidemics, which are now using deceptive methods of which we must be aware.”
Speaking of the shared responsibility for extremism, Al-Issa stressed that “every time violence in the name of religion was found, it was a result of the neglect of religious minds. Religious programs must focus more on instilling moral and behavioral values, promoting respect for diversity and differences, and strengthening the values of peace, love, and cooperation.”
He continued: “Throughout history, religious wars have been waged for political ambitions and as a result of sectarian cleansing and cultural hegemony, which is hostile to other religions, cultures, and civilizations, while many sensible religious, intellectual, and political leaders have been either not playing any role at all or playing a weak role.
“If these episodes of violence in the name of religion were not combated using a greater force, which is religious and intellectual activities, they will grow, multiply, and spread.
“Most of this violence is based on an exclusionary, hate-filled ideology that does not wish to coexist with those who do not believe in the same ideas, and this mental imbalance stems from unhealthy social, educational, intellectual, and political roots.”
Al-Issa believes it is courageous of religious leaders to hold themselves accountable for any ideological disorder that hides behind religion.
“Only sensible people are capable of accepting differences and diversity, as well as understanding the values of religions,” he added, “The more honest, determined, and capable we are, the more likely we are to defeat extremism and help peace and harmony prevail in this world.”
He continued: “We realize that the use of hard power in the face of ideologies and cultures often results in financial and moral losses, in addition to further deepening the conflict and its complexity. Wise people believe in soft power because ideologies can only be faced with ideologies, and this kind of power can uproot the corrupt plant as a whole. History has taught us an unforgettable lesson in this.”
Al-Issa pointed out that violence in the name of religion expanded only in areas where extremist thoughts were not taken seriously — no matter the pretext: “Extremist ideologies sometimes lead to violence, and violence may lead to terrorism in ever-expanding episodes,” he added.
Al-Issa explained that the MWL, a global Islamic institution headquartered in Makkah, acts as a reference for all Muslims. It has played an important role in countering extremist ideologies by developing many programs and initiatives as well as partnering with many religious bodies around the world — most recently, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.
The MWL secretary-general stressed that, throughout history, political agendas have formed alliances with those who exploit religion in their favor because it is easy and most powerful to use religion as a tool for influencing the masses.
He believes fighting extremism nowadays is tougher than ever owing to the creation of social media platforms, which made sending messages to the masses around the world and brainwashing them easy.
Al-Issa concluded by urging everyone to realize the magnitude of the dangers facing the world. “We must work together to spread the cultures of civilized communication, love, respect, diversity, tolerance and coexistence,” he said, “Hate speech must be combated with great determination.”


Saudi crown prince signs raft of cooperation agreements with China

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signs an agreement between the Kingdom and China in Beijing on Friday. (SPA)
Updated 23 February 2019
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Saudi crown prince signs raft of cooperation agreements with China

  • the crown prince headed the Saudi delegation at the third session of the China-Saudi Arabia High-Level Joint Committee

BEIJING: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday met with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng to discuss ways of further developing relations between the Kingdom and China.

The meeting took place in the grand surroundings of the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital Beijing. After their talks, the crown prince headed the Saudi delegation at the third session of the China-Saudi Arabia High-Level Joint Committee which he co-chaired with Zheng.

Delegates at the meeting discussed moves to strengthen cooperation between the two countries on trade, investment, energy, culture and technology, as well as the coordination of political and security matters. The committee also reviewed plans for greater integration between China’s Belt and Road development strategy and the Saudi Vision 2030 reform program.

After agreeing on the minutes of the meeting, the Saudi royal and Zheng took part in the signing of a range of agreements, memorandums of understanding (MoU), investment projects and bilateral cooperation accords between the Kingdom and China:

The cooperation agreement in maritime transport between the Chinese and Saudi governments, signed by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi and Chinese Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng.

MoU between the Kingdom’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and the National Development and Reform Commission in China, signed by Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih and Ning Jizhe, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

MoU between the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment to form a working group to facilitate trade, signed by Abdul Rahman Al-Harbi, the Kingdom’s deputy minister of commerce and investment, and Qian Keming, Chinese vice minister of commerce.

Loan agreement between the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and the Chinese Ministry of Finance to build and equip three hospitals in Yanbian city in Jilin Province, signed by Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir and the Chinese deputy finance minister.

Rehabilitation

Loan agreement between the SFD and Chinese Ministry of Finance to reconstruct and rehabilitate areas affected by earthquakes in Sichuan Province, signed by Al-Jubeir and the Chinese deputy finance minister.

Agreement between the Saudi Ministry of Interior and the Chinese Ministry of Public Security to cooperate in fighting cybercrime, signed Nasser Al-Dawood, undersecretary of the Saudi Ministry of Interior, and China’s deputy minister for public security.

MoU between the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia and China’s National Committee for energy to invest in renewable energy, signed by PIF head Yasir Al-Rumayyan, and the committee’s vice chairman.

Minutes of the meeting about cooperating in combating terrorism between the Saudi Presidency of State Security and Chinese Ministry of Public Security, signed by Lt. Gen. Abdullah Al-Qarni, deputy director-general of General Investigation for the Kingdom, and the Chinese minister.

MoU between the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property and the Chinese National Committee for Intellectual Property Rights, signed by Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Swailem, the authority’s executive chairman, and committee chairman Xin Xiangyu.

MoU to participate in investing in renewable energy projects, signed by the chairman of ACWA Power, Mohammed Abunayyan, and president of the Silk Road Fund, Wang Yanzhi.

Cooperation agreement for Saudi Aramco to acquire 9 percent of Chinese project Zhejiang Petrochemical, signed by Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser and Xung Wi, mayor of Zhushan.

Agreement between Saudi Aramco with NORINCO Group and Panjin Sincen to develop a fully integrated refining and petrochemical complex, located in the city of Panjin in China’s Liaoning province, signed by Nasser and Tang Yijun, governor of Liaoning province and chairman of NORINCO.