Etidal, the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCCEI), received a delegation from the Vatican on Tuesday at its headquarters in Riyadh.
The delegation was headed by the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who discussed current issues with the Etidal Secretary-General Dr. Nasir Al-Biqami.
The GCCEI was established in May, 2017 and inaugurated by King Salman during President Donald Trump’s first official visit to the Kingdom. It is the product of a collective effort by more than 55 countries to expose, combat and refute extremist ideology.
The center is run by a board of directors appointed every five years and entrusted to draw up policies and develop its plans and budget. It aims to serve as a global reference in promoting moderation and battling extremist ideologies.
Etidal seeks to refute extremist rhetoric and counteract the activities and impacts of extremists. It also promotes international cooperation in combating extremist ideology, moderation, tolerance and coexistence.
Dr. Nasir Al-Biqami was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. He received his bachelor’s in administrative sciences from Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah, a master’s degree in information systems from Loughborough University and Ph.D. in information systems from Nottingham University in 2001.
Al-Biqami taught at Umm Al-Qura University as an assistant professor from 2001 to 2013. He was also head of information and communication in the technology department.
The secretary-general served as an adviser to the minister of education in 2015.
He was also appointed as general supervisor of the strategic studies department at the Ministry of Education.
Earlier, Al-Biqami said that the center was “the fruit of collaboration between Muslim countries that believe in the importance of combating terrorism.”