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.


Saudi reforms encourage investment in Kingdom: Davos panel

Updated 24 January 2019
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Saudi reforms encourage investment in Kingdom: Davos panel

  • Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman welcomed the social reforms, calling them essential progress to provide the backbone for the economic reforms
  • Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri said to attract investors into Saudi Arabia needed to improve its infrastructure

The recent reforms in the Kingdom have been the drive behind foreign investment in the country, a panel debate on the “Next Steps for Saudi Arabia” at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos said Thursday.

Chairperson of the board of directors of the Saudi Stock Exchange, Sarah Al-Suhaimi said WEF reports reflected the positive changes in Saudi Arabia that had improved the country’s ranking in terms of investment.

“We have worked on developing the financial system of the capital market,” Al-Suhaimi told the panel, adding that in 2018 Saudi Arabia joined the FTSE Emerging Index which provides investors with a comprehensive means of measuring the performance

Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri said to attract investors into Saudi Arabia needed to improve its infrastructure, which he says the Kingdom had been working on. This includes the 68 initiatives that were introduced last year to help the private sector.

Al-Tuwaijri also said unemployment rates had been kept steady over the past two years, while more women had entered the workforce, which he said played an important role in diversifying Saudi Arabia’s economy.

Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that since the “significant economic and social reform,” the GDP of Saudi Arabia grew 2.3 percent in 2018.

In 2019 Saudi Arabia announced a $295 billion budget, which Al-Jadaan says with help the growth of the economy and create more jobs.

“We are determined to reduce the deficit from 19 percent to 5 percent,” he said.

Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman welcomed the social reforms, calling them essential progress to provide the backbone for the economic reforms.

Meanwhile, French oil major Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said that Total was investing heavily in Saudi Arabia and that a petrol network in be established soon in the Kingdom.

When pressed by journalists on the Jamal Khashoggi case – the journalist who was killed in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul last year – Al-Jadaan said that Saudi Arabia was taking serious measures to hold those involved accountable.

Prosecutors in Saudi Arabia have said they will seek the death penalty for five defendants accused the murder of the journalist Khashoggi.

“We are absolutely sad about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. Everyone in Saudi Arabia is sad. It goes against our beliefs and morals,” Al-Jadaan said, adding that the government has restructured the intelligence service as a result of the incident.