Comprehensive plan urged to address issues facing Muslim world

The conference in Makkah was attended by more than 1,000 religious scholars from 128 countries. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018
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Comprehensive plan urged to address issues facing Muslim world

  • The conference stressed the idea of nation state is an extension of the concept of the Ummah, which converges and integrates with other Muslim countries under the umbrella of the MWL
  • The participants of the conference called for a comprehensive plan to address sectarianism and extremism

JEDDAH: Describing Saudi Arabia as the center of Islam, religious scholars and intellectuals said media attacks against the Kingdom offend more than 1.8 billion Muslims across the world.
The scholars expressed their solidarity with Saudi Arabia on Sunday — the final day of a conference titled “International Conference on Islamic unity — the perils of labeling and exclusion” organized by the Muslim World League (MWL) in Makkah.
They said the Kingdom and its leadership command great respect due to their services to Islam and Muslims.
The conference, organized under the patronage of King Salman, was attended by more than 1,000 religious scholars and intellectuals from 128 countries.
The participants of the conference called for a comprehensive plan to address sectarianism and extremism.
They also stressed the need for creating effective channels of communication between followers of different Islamic schools of thought to remove misunderstandings and increase cooperation.
They unanimously rejected sectarian views and extremist ideas and urged scholars and preachers to play their role in uniting Muslims.
The scholars recommended the establishment of an all-inclusive committee to draft a comprehensive Islamic charter that lay down rules to resolve disputes between Muslim and to help forge unity among different schools of thought.
They entrusted the MWL with the implementation of the decision through a comprehensive document titled “Makkah document.”
The conference stressed the idea of nation state is an extension of the concept of the Ummah, which converges and integrates with other Muslim countries under the umbrella of the MWL. Its international political framework comes under the umbrella of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its international economic framework under the umbrella of the Islamic Development Bank. In addition to other Islamic institutions, especially the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition.
The closing statement urged the MWL to establish an international forum to promote common values among followers of different religions and cultures and, another forum to promote the values of tolerance and coexistence. It also stressed the importance of improving relations between Muslim sects.
It highlighted the importance of rejecting futile debates between different sects or schools of thought and called on the media and other social institutions to help strengthen the values of moderation and unity.
The participating scholars described themselves only as “Muslims” without referring to their respective sects or schools of thought.
They decried religious edicts (fatwas) that incite hatred. They also stressed the need for finding a single scientific reference for each country and respecting the religious leaders of the minorities.
The MWL secretary-general, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, said his organization is making efforts to forge unity among Muslims and to promote love and reconciliation.
At the inauguration of the conference, Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal delivered a speech on behalf of King Salman underlining the need to remove misconceptions about Islam and Muslims through dialogue. He also urged Muslims to set aside their petty differences and to work together to achieve a great and prosperous future.


The Color Run debuts in KSA’s Eastern Province

Updated 18 March 2019
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The Color Run debuts in KSA’s Eastern Province

  • ‘The Happiest 5k on the Planet’ combines ‘fun, exercise and charitable giving’ during the Sharqiah Season
  • The Sharqiah project aims to deliver an extensive entertainment experience for both Saudis and visitors to the Kingdom

JEDDAH: For the first time in Saudi Arabia, The Color Run is coming to Sharqiah Season, which features more than 80 events in Eastern Province cities, and is the first of 11 scheduled festivals planned throughout the Kingdom in 2019. 

Sharqiah Season is a collaborative effort by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), the General Culture Authority and the General Sports Authority.

The countdown is on for The Color Run, which takes place at the South Alkhobar Corniche on Saturday.

In this untimed 5-km event, runners — who start in white — are doused with various colors at every 1-km checkpoint.

Since its inception in 2012, The Color Run has seen more than 7 million participants in 40 countries, while donating more than $5 million to charities. 

Organized in line with the GEA’s efforts to attract top entertainment offerings to Saudi Arabia, “The Happiest 5k on the Planet” will make its mark on the Kingdom as part of this year’s worldwide “Color Run Hero Tour,” with 15,000 participants expected in each city.

The non-competitive run is not only an opportunity to create picture-perfect memories, but serves as a celebration of health, happiness and individuality. 

The GEA is supporting the event as part of its continued efforts to enrich the lifestyle of residents and citizens in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan and the Quality of Life Program 2020.

The Color Run was hosted in the UAE twice in 2018, with massive crowds attending and cheering the runners. 

This year, the main theme is celebrating the hero in you, where nothing is impossible. Once the run is over, the fun will continue at the Finish Festival, a larger-than-life celebration with music, photo ops, activity booths, vendors, and more massive color throws.

“We are thrilled to be bringing The Color Run to Saudi Arabia. Its vibrancy matches the aims of the GEA and the Quality of Life Program 2020 objective to support and create new options that boost participation across cultural, entertainment and sports activities,” said the GEA’s Chief Operating Officer Sultan Al-Faqir.

“The Color Run, being held in our three biggest cities, will provide an exciting opportunity for thousands of families to engage in a healthy activity that combines fun, exercise and charitable giving.”

The Sharqiah project aims to deliver an extensive entertainment experience for both Saudis and visitors to the Kingdom.

The festival features events in Eastern Province cities, including Dammam, Dhahran, Alkhobar, Al-Ahsa and Jubail. Future seasons will focus on different areas of Saudi Arabia, with different entertainment options for each city. Upcoming seasons will focus on different areas, and also different parts of the year, such as Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.

"The Happiest 5k on the Planet" will make its mark on the Kingdom as part of this year’s worldwide ‘Color Run Hero Tour,’ with 15,000 participants expected in each city. (Photo Supplied)

Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, said in a statement that  the organization’s participation in the festival aligns with its goal of improving the quality of life in the Kingdom, and discovering local talent in various entertainment industries.  He also highlighted the importance of the entertainment sector and its contribution to the economy and the creation of jobs for locals, all important aspects of Vision 2030.

The opening night of Sharqiah Season on Thursday drew crowds of Saudis to the Alkhobar Corniche, despite strong winds and sprinklings of rain earlier in the day. Groups of friends stopping to take selfies and families with young children in tow wandered through the Entertainment Boulevard, lined with food stalls selling karak and koshari.

Earlier in the day, the mega event began with the opening of an exhibit featuring the work of Leonardo da Vinci at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra). 

The exhibit showcased some of Da Vinci’s original sketches, with several screens showing videos detailing how his designs have continued to inspire scientists and inventors in the modern era.

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Sharqiah Season continues until March 30, with upcoming weekends featuring sports events such as the Red Bull Air Race and the Formula 1 H20 boat race, as well as concerts in Dammam featuring Akon, Deadmau5, Pitbull and French Montana.