Respecting diversity is key to world peace: Muslim World League chief

Speakers at a conference of religious and cultural leaders in Vienna on Monday called for respecting diversity to ensure peace and harmony in the world. (AN photo)
Updated 27 February 2018

Respecting diversity is key to world peace: Muslim World League chief

JEDDAH: Intolerance toward others and the wrong thinking which does not believe in diversity or freedom of choice is responsible for global conflicts, a conference of religious and cultural leaders in Vienna heard on Monday.
The event was organized by the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.
Speaking at the opening session of the conference, the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, stressed the importance of respecting cultural and religious diversity to ensure peace in the world. The MWL chief said: “The religious and cultural conflict is due to a wrong thinking which does not believe, to start with, in the Creator’s way of diversity or the right of choice.
“The values of justice and ethics are not subject to certain theories or contexts and they have many factors in common. In the context of our present diversity, we call for preserving the values of our common humanity, which do not reflect any specific religious, intellectual or cultural characteristic.”
The MWL official said: “The origin of religions has nothing to do with unjust wars and persecutions practiced in their name which have hindered the march of knowledge and enlightenment in the East and West.”
He said: “Islam (and we are speaking here on behalf of the Muslim peoples belonging to the MWL) preserved the dignity of human beings, guaranteed their freedom of choice, and guided them to morality.”
He also noted: “We don’t assume that all people should follow one religion, ideology or philosophy. Islam teaches us that it is impossible, and logic confirms this.
“We call for the preservation of our common human values which do not just articulate a religious, intellectual or cultural property; rather, it expresses our humanity.”
Al-Issa concluded his speech by saying that “only 10 percent of our common principles are sufficient to bring peace and harmony to our world.”
The MWL chief later told reporters: “We have found in this conference ­— which includes high-level followers of various religions and cultures and a number of prominent intellectuals, politicians and media — international praise for the King Salman Center for Global Peace. Participants noted its importance in establishing peace criteria through moderation.”
Other participants included Sheikh Dr. Saleh bin Abdullah bin Humaid, imam of the Grand Mosque.


Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

Updated 26 October 2020

Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

  • One civilian injured by shrapnel after Saudi-led coalition intercepts four flying bombs launched from Yemen

JEDDAH: Houthi militias and their Iranian backers were condemned on Sunday after the Saudi-led coalition intercepted four explosive-laden drones in two attacks launched from Yemen targeting the south of the Kingdom.

Three of the drones were destroyed early on Saturday and a fourth on Sunday. Shrapnel that fell in Sarat Abidah governorate injured a civilian, and damaged five homes and three vehicles, said civil defense spokesman Capt. Mohammed Abdu Al-Sayed.

Iran was increasing its support to the Houthis to undermine efforts for peace, Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, the political analyst and international relations scholar, told Arab News.

“They want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.”

Iranians want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, political analyst and international relations scholar

Al-Shehri said the situation in Yemen would remain the same unless the legitimate government was returned to Yemen, Security Council Resolution 2216 was put into practice and the Houthi militia were removed.

“Without these things, the Yemen crisis will not end and the whole region will remain in tension.”

The Houthis did not differentiate between military sites and civilian locations, he said.

“Their objective is to damage all places they can reach in Saudi Arabia, and their latest attempts to attack a populated area are nothing new.

“They have also targeted airports and some Aramco oil facilities. If the Aramco attack had not been contained, the damage would have affected the whole Eastern region. They have also attempted to target Makkah, where pilgrims and worshippers were performing their rituals.

“They don’t care. If you look back at what the Revolutionary Guards did at the Grand Mosque, you will realize it is not strange that the Houthis are trying to destroy everything in Saudi Arabia. The strange thing is the silence of the world toward what is happening.”