Islamic scholar urges support for king’s call against terrorism

Updated 14 October 2014

Islamic scholar urges support for king’s call against terrorism

A renowned Islamic scholar has extended his full support to the call of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to crush terrorism using every means possible.
“Neither Islam nor any other religion supports killing or disrupting peace and stability among nations,” said Sheikh Abubakar Ahmed, general-secretary of the All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama, during a recent press conference in Makkah.
Abubakar also urged world leaders, Islamic scholars and community members all over the world to unanimously back King Abdullah’s strong commitment in uprooting divisive plots.
Abubakar was speaking with Indian Haj volunteers in Makkah upon the conclusion of Haj rituals.
“The word ‘Islam’ itself means peace. This is why not a single member of our community supports extremism,” he said.
The recent statement made by the scholar condemning notorious Islamic State (IS) atrocities in Iraq and Syria was welcomed humanitarian groups and conveyed by world media.
“Indian Muslims do not need the help of external powers for their safety,” he said.
“The Indian constitution and judiciary gives them security irrespective of the ruling government. I was the first person to speak against Al-Qaeda’s plans to enter India and won full support for my calls.”
“Youth should use their time and wealth to care for the needy instead of indulging in crime and terrorism,” he said.
Abubakar also alluded to his organization’s initiatives and financial aid to help flood-hit victims in Kashmir.
“A medical team, including doctors, will leave for Kashmir very soon,” he added.
The reconstruction of the flood hit-houses, mosques and educational institutions will be undertaken during the subsequent phase.
He also added that Jamia Markaz will celebrate its 37th anniversary on Dec. 18, 19, 20 and 21 at its headquarters in Calicut.
Many dignitaries from India and abroad are slated to attend the conference.
Markaz Director Abdul Hakeem Azhari, Jeddah Islamic Cultural Foundation (ICF) General-Secretary Ahmad Malahiri, Secretary Mujeeb A.R. Nagar and Markaz Jeddah Committee Secretary Bava Koomanna were also present in the press meeting.

Middle East's love affair with the moon and space

Updated 18 min 28 sec ago

Middle East's love affair with the moon and space

  • The UAE and Saudi Arabia are inaugurating a new era of Arab space exploration
  • Saudi Prince Sultan entered the history books when he journeyed into space on Discovery in 1985

RIYADH: It was a sleepy afternoon in Saudi Arabia, just days before schools were due to start after summer vacation. 

Fifty years ago today, Saudis joined the world in gathering around TV sets to watch a live broadcast of what was once thought impossible: American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took man’s first steps on the moon. 

Armstrong famously said: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” True to his words, advancement in space has skyrocketed since the Apollo 11 mission, opening up doors for space scientists to reach for the stars.

It was only 16 years later that Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman became the first Arab, Muslim — and royal — astronaut to travel into space. Before traveling to Houston for the Apollo mission anniversary, he sat down with Arab News in an exclusive interview to talk about his NASA mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in June 1985.

Prince Sultan, recently appointed chairman of the Saudi Space Commission, was only 13 when he watched the historic moon landing on TV. The picture quality might have been poor and the sound garbled, but footage of the landing captured his imagination.

“Humans made airplanes and made advances in industry, but for humans to leave their own planet, that’s really something else,” Prince Sultan told Arab News. 

Most Saudis and residents living in the Kingdom watched it on Saudi channels 1 and 3, owned by Saudi Aramco.

Hessah Al-Sobaie, a housewife from Al-Dawadmi, recalled watching the moon landing from her grandparents’ backyard as an 11-year-old. “It felt weird watching a human walk on the moon,” she told Arab News. “I remember the endless questions I asked as a child.”

It has been more than 30 years since space last had an Arab visitor (Syria’s Muhammed Faris became the second Arab in space on board USSR’s Soyuz spacecraft in 1987). But this September, the first Emirati will become the latest Arab visitor when he joins a team of astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS).

Hazza Al-Mansoori will travel to space on board a Soyuz-MS 15 spacecraft that is due to take off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sept. 25.