OIC praises Cambodia for commitment to tolerance

1 / 4
The OIC delegation visited a neighborhoods inhabited by Muslims in Cambodia and also a number of mosques and schools for Muslim students. (OIC photo)
2 / 4
The OIC delegation visited a neighborhoods inhabited by Muslims in Cambodia and also a number of mosques and schools for Muslim students. (OIC photo)
3 / 4
The OIC delegation visited a neighborhoods inhabited by Muslims in Cambodia and also a number of mosques and schools for Muslim students. (OIC photo)
4 / 4
The OIC delegation visited a neighborhoods inhabited by Muslims in Cambodia and also a number of mosques and schools for Muslim students. (OIC photo)
Updated 10 May 2019
0

OIC praises Cambodia for commitment to tolerance

  • About 800,000 Muslims live in Cambodia, which has a population of 16 million people
  • An OIC delegation took part in an annual Ramadan celebration hosted by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen  in Phnom Penh onn May 7

RIYADH: The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, praised Cambodia for its tolerance and respect for diversity. It came as an OIC delegation took part in an annual Ramadan celebration hosted by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at Koh Pich Exhibition Center in the capital, Phnom Penh.
“This annual iftar celebration is a symbol of Cambodia’s long-standing respect for diversity, multiculturalism and tolerance, and the respect of the government for the Islamic community,” said Al-Othaimeen.
In a speech delivered by the OIC’s Nouriah Al-Hamami on his behalf, he said that the Cambodian government’s encouragement of peaceful coexistence and harmony in various segments of society is a factor that distinguishes the country.
He also highlighted the OIC’s desire to continue “the close and friendly relations with the Kingdom of Cambodia and strengthen relations in the future.”
He added that the organization will continue to work with Cambodia’s government to achieve this and thanked the country’s leadership, and the prime minister in particular, for hosting the annual Ramadan celebration.
In his speech to the crowd of about 4,500 people present, Hun Sen said: “Race and religion differences do not constitute obstacles to cooperation and development.” This, he added, is a principle the Cambodian People’s Party has been proud to follow for 40 years, and he called on everyone to make every effort to promote and protect national unity and harmony among all races and religions.
He also praised the level of cooperation with the OIC and expressed appreciation for its participation in the annual iftar, at which the organization represented the Islamic world.
The OIC delegation distributed copies of the Qur’an and dates for those who are fasting, then visited a number of mosques and schools for Muslims. They also toured a number of Muslim neighborhoods in the Cambodian capital.
About 800,000 Muslims live in Cambodia, which has a population of 16 million people.

 

 


Umrah pilgrims now free to move around Saudi Arabia

Updated 30 min ago
0

Umrah pilgrims now free to move around Saudi Arabia

  • Previously, Umrah pilgrims were restricted to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah and the port city of Jeddah
  • Nearly 8 million Muslims are likely to perform Umrah this year

JEDDAH: Millions of Umrah pilgrims are to be granted the freedom to visit anywhere in the Kingdom during their stay, the Saudi Cabinet decided on Tuesday.

Muslims making the holy pilgrimage will be allowed to tour anywhere in the country as part of Saudi Arabia’s plans to boost tourism and the economy.

“The Cabinet has decided to exclude people coming to perform Umrah and to visit the Prophet’s Mosque (in Madinah), of the prohibition of movement outside Makkah, Madinah, and Jeddah. A royal decree has been prepared to this effect,” the acting media minister, Issam bin Saeed, said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Previously, Umrah pilgrims were restricted to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah and the port city of Jeddah.

FASTFACT

 

Vision 2030 aims to increase the country’s capacity to welcome Umrah visitors from 8 million to 30 million every year.

Nearly 8 million Muslims will perform Umrah in the Kingdom this year, and the Cabinet’s move will enable them to enjoy a broader experience of Saudi Arabia by visiting key landmarks, historic sites, tourist attractions and shopping centers.

“We are looking to enrich the experience of pilgrims and facilitate their arrival,” Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, told Arab News. “Traveling around the Kingdom is an opportunity for pilgrims to visit cultural and tourist sites.

“At the same time, they will be allowed to arrive at any port in the country which will facilitate their arrival and expand the capacity to receive more pilgrims.”

Ministers hope their decision will help toward reaching Saudi Arabia’s goal of receiving 30 million Umrah pilgrims by 2030.

In the past, pilgrims were allowed to convert their visas into a tourist visa on the condition that they were registered with a tourism program. “This is no longer a requirement,” said Al-Maddah.

He added that they would now be free to plan visits to other Saudi cities, tourist destinations, festivals and events, within the period of their visa validity.

Al-Maddah said: “We want to make it available to everyone in order to enrich the experience of the pilgrims, which is one of the goals of Vision 2030.”

He noted that the authority responsible for implementing the Cabinet’s decision would be the Interior Ministry.