Freedom of speech ‘no defense for racism’, KSA says

Migrants rally outside the EU offices in Athens, Greece during an anti racism and anti-fascism demonstration on March 16, 2019 to mark the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. (AFP / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI)
Updated 17 March 2019
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Freedom of speech ‘no defense for racism’, KSA says

  • Fahad Al-Mutairi spoke during a discussion panel at the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva
  • Saudi Arabia has warned repeatedly of the dangers of racist rhetoricSaudi sociologist cites need for many countries worldwide to curtail media propaganda that encourage hate speeches and crimes

GENEVA: Saudi Arabia has urged governments throughout the world to reject racism and intolerance, and to employ balanced rhetoric and policies that contribute to the integration of Muslims into their societies.

The Kingdom has warned repeatedly of the dangers of racist rhetoric, said Dr. Fahd Al-Mutairi, head of the human rights section at the permanent Saudi mission to the UN office in Geneva.

Speaking during a discussion panel on the mitigation and countering of rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies at the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Al-Mutairi expressed his deepest condolences to the victims of the terrorist attack in New Zealand. He expressed concern about some racist speeches and policies in certain countries, including Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Britain, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

He called on these countries to pass laws that limit discrimination and hate against Muslims.

Al-Mutairi expressed the Kingdom’s deep concern about the leniency and favoritism shown to some of those who support the rhetoric of extremism, hatred and violence.

“There are those who welcome these despicable speeches in some parliaments of these countries, while welcoming the pretext of freedom of opinion and expression,” he said. “We call on these countries to pass laws that limit racism against Muslims.”

Saudi sociologist Amani Al-Ajlan believes that many countries around the world need to change their policies towards the Muslim countries and their media's propaganda in order to eliminate such speeches and crimes.

"Since September 11, the western media has been openly inciting hate speech by linking terrorism to Islam and vice versa, without taking into account the fact that one-day a violent person will come from these communities to commit violent attacks as a result of the movements they have taken against Muslims," Al-Ajlan told Arab News.

She said that humans today are acting naturally within their own human nature, not according to human rights laws. Human behavior is instinctively prone to violence and extremism when they feel threatened by their livelihood, money, and identity.

If the media portrays “Muslims and their religion” as being “behind all the evils in the world, then … one day someone will practice violence against Muslims,” she said.

"These societies are paying the price of their countries' policies over many years that intervene in the affairs of Muslim countries and get involved in wars, military interventions as well as the media propaganda they created. This problem is historical, it is not new."

Moreover, she said that sometimes the right to expression has become a guarantee of the right to broadcast hate speech from all parties in those societies. 
 

(With SPA)

 


Three historical mosques in Hail to be restored under Saudi crown prince project

Updated 5 min 15 sec ago
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Three historical mosques in Hail to be restored under Saudi crown prince project

  • The first phase of the Hail mosques started with Al-Jarad Mosque, Qafar Mosque and Al-Jal’ud Mosque
  • The project is supervised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage

RIYADH: Three mosques in the region of Hail have joined the first phase of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Project for Developing Historical Mosques in the Kingdom, joining 30 historic mosques in 10 regions at a total cost of the first phase of more than SAR50 million ($13.3 million).
The project is supervised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) represented by “Restoration of Historic Mosques” in partnership with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
The first phase of the Hail mosques started with Al-Jarad Mosque, Qafar Mosque and Al-Jal’ud Mosque at a total cost of SAR6,211,000.
Al-Jarad Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in the historic town of Maghaydah and dates back to 1862 and was restored in 1962.
Prayer services continued in the mosque until 1991.
Prominent imams of the mosque include Abdul Aziz Rashid Al-Jamil, Salem Nasser Al-Jamil and Abdullah Hilal Al-Jamil.
Al-Jarad Mosque is built with mud and stone with a wooden roof. It covers 450 square meters and can accommodate 192 worshipers. It consists of the prayer area which is located in the central part of the mosque with an area of 90 square meters.
Al-Khalwah is an underground prayer area located in the southern part of the mosque with an area of 90 square meters. Al-Sarhah is the open area that lies north of the mosque with an area of 212 square meters, in addition to two entrances located in the northern and southern façades.
Qafar Mosque is located in the village of Qafar, which dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century.
The mosque was founded by Ruqayyah Bint Abdullah after the death of her husband. The mosque was renovated in 1965, where Friday prayers were held and people would come from nearby villages to pray in it.
Qafar Mosque is also built with mud and stone with a wooden roof. The total area of the mosque is 638 square meters and can accommodate 500 worshipers. The prayer area is located in the south of the mosque with an area of 175 square meters. Al-Sarha, which is the open courtyard, is located on the north side of the mosque. It is located on the north side of the mosque with an area of 300 square meters and a modern prayer area with an area of 178 square meters.
The mosque has a rectangular 8-meter-minaret as well as two depots southeast of the mosque.
A modern prayer area was built inside Al-Sarha in 1991, where prayer is held at the present time. Prominent imams of the mosque include Rashid Al-Salami, Sulaiman Rashid Al-Salami, Mohammad Iss+a Al-Khurais and Abdullah Nasser Al-Ghaithi. The present imam is Abdulmuhsin Al-Khwair.
Al-Jal’ud Mosque is located in the province of Samira, south-east of Hail. It dates back to the year eighteenth century and is a station on the pilgrimage route.
Al-Jal’ud Mosque is also built with mud and stone with a wooden roof with a total area of 227 square meters and accommodates up to 120 worshipers. The prayer area is in the middle of the mosque and is about 80 square meters. The mosque was rebuilt in 1928.
Ahmed bin Rajaa Al-Shammari, of SCTH, stressed that the directives approved the implementation of the first phase of the project on time and that the implementation should be of the highest quality.