All people, religious followers equal before Shariah, says Saudi justice minister

Saudi Justice Minister Waleed Al-Samaani (right) meeting with John Moore, head of the delegation of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, in Riyadh on Thursday. (SPA)
Updated 28 September 2018
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All people, religious followers equal before Shariah, says Saudi justice minister

  • Justice Minister Waleed Al-Samaani briefs US delegation on the Kingdom’s Shariah law
  • The delegation showed interest in the reforms in empowering women and young people

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Justice Minister Waleed Al-Samaani met the delegation of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom in Riyadh on Thursday. 
The delegation, led by John Moore, is currently visiting Saudi Arabia to discuss cultural cooperation and joint interests that serve the Kingdom’s message on interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
The delegation praised the Kingdom’s interaction with international organizations in the field of religious freedoms. 
Al-Samaani briefed the delegation on the approach in the Kingdom’s judicial hierarchy, derived from Saudi legislation and regulation, founded on Islamic Shariah values that treat all people, social classes and religious followers equally, without discrimination or prejudice.
Al-Saamani talked about the procedural application of these principles, ascertaining that the general, criminal, commercial and labor courts deal with the proofs, acts and arguments of all parties equally, regardless of their religion. 
He said that the legislature guarantees personal freedoms to all religious followers in choosing any culture and religion, and the Kingdom has welcomed workers of different religious and denominational backgrounds without imposing any criteria related to religion.
In the context of the positive transformation the Kingdom has witnessed since adopting Vision 2030, the justice minister clarified to the American delegation the developments on rights in the Kingdom. 
The delegation showed interest in the reforms in empowering women and young people, and granting women the opportunity to occupy prominent positions in the justice ministry as lawyers, counselors or employees, along with granting them “verification” licenses allowing them to carry out some of the services of notaries for the first time.
Al-Samaani said: “The interreligious dialogue aims to bring a better understanding of how religious differences should not lead to disagreement. Dialogue should not be a means to condemn others and try to change them ... it is very important and vital to establish the culture of respect for the other and acceptance of diversity and plurality. People are different and trying to change that will not lead to peace, the only thing that will is accepting the differences through dialogue.”
Al-Samaani said that the Kingdom has always made sure to preserve peace and security and create healthy relations among peoples. It has also made sure to respect human rights and freedoms according to the principles in the Islamic Shariah and international covenants and instruments ratified by the Kingdom, thus enabling the institutional work to protect human rights and freedoms in the country.
The delegation’s visit comes in the context of the special cultural and political relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the US, and coordination among organizations working in the two countries.


Saudi Arabia's King Salman holds talks with Iraq President Barham Salih

Updated 17 min 2 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman holds talks with Iraq President Barham Salih

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman holds talks with Iraq President Barham Salih.

An official reception ceremony was held for the Iraqi president, where both countries' national anthems were played.

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