Saudi interfaith center allocates $1.7 million for initiatives to counter hate speech

KAICIID Secretary-General Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muaammar speaks during the press conference in Vienna. (SPA)
Updated 02 November 2019

Saudi interfaith center allocates $1.7 million for initiatives to counter hate speech

RIYADH: The secretary-general of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muaammar, announced that the center will allocate approximately €1.5 million ($1.7 million) for initiatives aimed at combating hate speech through the center’s global programs in 2020, in partnership with UN and global organizations and through its five platforms in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Arab world.

This came during the joint press conference accompanying the international meeting, organized by KAICIID under the title “The role of religion, media and policies in combating hate speech” in the presence of the members of the board of directors of the center and the assistant secretary-general of the UN and the acting adviser on the file of combating hate, Adama Dieng.

“The center aims to enhance the positive role of religious leaders and their institutions in countering hate speech and contributing to social cohesion at local and regional levels. To this end, I can announce that KAICIID is investing nearly €1.5 million in 2020 toward the implementation of the recommendations and action plan agreed by this conference,” Bin Muaammar said.

The initiatives will include social media campaigns against hate speech and training for vulnerable groups such as women and people seeking refuge to counter the phenomenon, support for existing efforts and help in launching new national initiatives to counter hate speech and a tailored training program for media experts, journalists and social media influencers on the responsible use of their channels.

The center will be investing a significant amount into gathering and presenting polling data to help inform and shape its programs while at the same time improving its contribution to discussions at policy-making levels.

King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

Updated 21 November 2019

King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

  • Saudi Arabia has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies, king says
  • Kingdom also welcomed US decision to return Iran's Fordow nuclear facility to its sanctions list

RIYADH: Iran should abandon its expansionist ideology that has only “harmed” its own people, Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Wednesday, following violent street protests in the Islamic republic.

A wave of demonstrations erupted in the sanctions-hit country on Friday after an announcement that petrol prices would be raised by as much as 200 percent with immediate effect.

“We hope the Iranian regime chooses the side of wisdom and realizes there is no way to overcome the international position that rejects its practices, without abandoning its expansionist and destructive thinking that has harmed its own people,” the king told the consultative Shoura Council.

“The kingdom has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies,” King Salman said, quoted by the foreign ministry, reiterating that Riyadh does not seek war but is “ready to defend its people.”

A satellite image from Sept. 15, 2017, of the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

Saudi Arabia has welcomed Washington's decision to return the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran to the sanctions list. 

Washington said on Monday that it will no longer waive sanctions related to Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site. 

“The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero ... There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters earlier this week.