Religious, cultural diversity must be respected by all, says Muslim World League chief

Mohammed Abdul Karim Al-Issa. (REUTERS)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Religious, cultural diversity must be respected by all, says Muslim World League chief

JEDDAH: We live in a world that lacks awareness, neutrality, initiative and cooperation, the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, said when he met with US counter-extremism officials in Washington on Monday.
The answer, he said, lies in the true values of Islam, which call for coexistence, tolerance and peace.
Douglas Padgett, senior policy adviser for countering violent extremism at the US State Department, and other advisers attended the meeting.
They discussed many issues related to combating extremism, violence and hatred committed in the name of religion, as well as the phenomenon of Islamophobia.
Al-Issa explained that the MWL is concerned with shedding light on the true values of Islam, which have nothing to do with terrorism or extremism.
“The MWL is also on a mission to raise awareness about diversity and differences, promote love and happiness for all, and explain the truth of suspicions surrounding some concepts, whether these were caused by people inside or outside the Islamic world,” he said.
He stressed that “Islam has guaranteed legitimate freedoms, which should at the same time respect and abide by constitutions and laws. Otherwise, they would be infringing the freedoms of nations.
“Religious, intellectual, and cultural diversity and differences are universal facts that must be accepted by all,” he added. “By doing so, we reflect a high level of awareness and respect for everyone’s rights and freedoms.”
The MWL chief also pointed out that passion should be directed toward religious, intellectual, and cultural convictions that form identities and civilizations, especially when guided by the wisdom and awareness of influencers and religious leaders.


Trump: Saudi arrests in Khashoggi death ‘a good first step’

Updated 4 min 42 sec ago
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Trump: Saudi arrests in Khashoggi death ‘a good first step’

  • Trump said that Saudi Arabia has been a great ally
  • The president said he wanted to talk to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on what to do next

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona: US President Donald Trump on Friday called Saudi Arabia's announcement that suspects are in custody in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a "good first step" and said he would work with Congress on a US response.

The president spoke to the media at a defense roundtable in Arizona hours after Saudi Arabia claimed that Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor last seen on Oct. 2, was killed in a "fistfight" at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The kingdom also said that 18 suspects were in custody and that intelligence officials had been fired.

Asked by a reporter whether he thought Saudi Arabia's explanation for Khashoggi's death was credible, Trump said, "I do. I do." But he said before he decided what to do next, he wanted to talk to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable," Trump said. Regarding the Saudi arrests, he said, "It's a big first step. It's only a first step, but it's a big first step."