JEDDAH: The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa inaugurated the MWL’s pavilion at an exhibition held on the sidelines of 40th edition of the Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples in Rimini, Italy. The MWL is the first Islamic organization to take part in the international fair, which registered more than 1 million visitors. The pavilion featured pictures and movies about the league’s projects and its relief and health care world association, in addition to a number of documentaries telling the stories of people who the league saved from poverty, illness and illiteracy.
The pavilion stressed the attention that the MWL accords to the humanitarian values of Islam in helping those in need regardless of their religion, ethnicity or culture.
On display was also a model for the MWL’s emergency room that monitors disasters worldwide and ensures a rapid response, while determining the degree of risks and the level of intervention required, through harnessing state-of-the-art technologies to save lives and property.
The pavilion received a large number of diplomatic and academic delegations and political leaders, most notably the head of the European Parliament, the head of the Italian Parliament, as well as a large number of young Europeans, especially Italians. The visitors were introduced to the MWL’s vision, mission, objectives, and to a number of its initiatives and programs around the world.
In a speech, Al-Issa underlined the dangers of political Islam, noting that some movements try to achieve their political objectives through exploiting the Muslim religion and playing on emotion, so as to deceive and encourage people, especially younger people, to commit harm.
The secretary-general highlighted ways of combating terrorism and violence, stressing the importance of eradicating extremism by confronting terrorism advocates through strong arguments that would undermine their discourse based on manipulating text interpretations and confusing some young people who lack adequate knowledge. “Political Islam concepts have harmed Islam. Besides being a religion, Islam is a way of life and cannot be reduced to political goals as some violent and terrorist groups do,” said Al-Issa.
He also pointed out that ethnic, religious, intellectual and political extremism, terrorism and violence are not peculiar to a certain category, evidenced by events in Christchurch, Colombo, Pennsylvania and California.
The secretary-general also underscored the need to pay attention to the discussions taking place in the virtual world, because extremists are resorting to online platforms to recruit young people.
Toward the end of his address, Al-Issa stressed that nations and peoples must understand the concept of difference and diversity required to build bridges of brotherhood, love, cooperation and coexistence.