Muslim World League chief urges media outlets to stick to impartiality

MWL Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meets Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Saturday. (SPA)
Updated 17 November 2019

Muslim World League chief urges media outlets to stick to impartiality

  • MWL chief meets government, religious leaders in Utah

UTAH: The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, has arrived in Utah, US, where he was received by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. Al-Issa and Herbert met to discuss cooperation and issues of common interest to achieve shared objectives.
Al-Issa also visited the Mormon church in Utah, where he met the leader of the group and discussed ways to promote harmony among followers of different religions and cultures.
The Mormon leader and his assistants hosted a dinner for Al-Issa, in the presence of Utah government members and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Muslim diaspora.  
Elder David Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles extended his thanks to Al-Issa. “On behalf of our church and the state of Utah, I would like to thank you for your inspiring words calling to promote rapprochement among followers of different religions and cultures and combat hate speech and violent extremism,” he said.
Al-Issa took part in a Deseret News editorial board meeting in Utah, during which he reiterated the need to support rapprochement between nations and peoples and break the barriers built by distance, lack of dialogue and understanding, and false information spread by unreliable sources.
He also spoke about the need to promote moral values such as justice, tolerance and humanitarian work and support the efforts to achieve peace and harmony, especially in multi-religious, cultural and ethnic countries as well as promoting awareness about tolerance and acceptance of diversity and differences.
Al-Issa reviewed the Makkah Document that has achieved, for the first time in Islamic history, consensus among 27 sects and confessions, represented by more than 1,200 Muftis and Muslim scholars. The board praised the document and its importance.
He said that Islam was a tolerant religion that promotes justice, love and respect of diversity, stressing the importance of the media’s role in creating content and influencing public opinion.
Al-Issa urged media outlets to stick to the truth and impartiality to avoid losing credibility and compromising their mission.  
On another note, Al-Issa shed light on the Mormons’ experience in humanitarian work, citing the factories and facilities that have been established to provide food, clothes and furniture for the needy in the US.
Al-Issa was invited to visit the University of Utah, where he met its President Kevin Worthen and gave a lecture in the presence of hundreds of students and professors.
Al-Issa said that MWL’s message focused on building bridges and breaking down barriers caused by a lack of dialogue and false information, noting that all followers of religion, cultures and civilizations shared the same moral values that promote justice and harmony.


New projects aim to share Saudi human-rights successes with the world

Updated 16 July 2020

New projects aim to share Saudi human-rights successes with the world

  • Initiatives aim to highlight historic reforms and promote more accurate international view of Kingdom’s efforts to improve human rights
  • Human Rights Commission also aims to enhance cooperation with organizations working in the field in other countries

RIYADH: The Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) has launched three international initiatives to highlight the success of recent reforms implemented by the Kingdom, and enhance its cooperation with other organizations working in the field.

“(Saudi Arabia) has witnessed historic transformations and qualitative moves in human rights, as more than 70 reform decisions in the field were issued under the directives of King Salman and under the direct leadership and tireless follow-up of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” said Awwad Al-Awwad, the president of the HRC.

He described the reforms as a success story, and said the commission will work to highlight the achievements around the world.

At the forefront of this effort is the launch of the HRC’s International Communication Program, as part of which representatives of civil-society institutions will be invited to participate in commission meetings and international human-rights events. In addition, young national leaders will be trained to enhance the representation of the Kingdom in human-rights organizations worldwide.

The HRC considers that the program presents an important opportunity to educate and inform international partners and the public about the unprecedented steps Saudi Arabia is taking to meet international standards of human rights and its achievements to that end. It also provides a mechanism that will enable the country to develop its relationship with the international community and highlight developments and reforms.

Al-Awwad also announced the launch of the HRC International Platform, which will focus on sharing English-language information and data reflecting the progress made in safeguarding human rights in the Kingdom. This will include direct interaction with the public on social media.

The third new initiative is a monthly, English-language newsletter featuring information about the latest human-rights reforms and developments in Saudi Arabia, including efforts being made to promote and protect them. A mailing list has also been created that includes more than 500 prominent human-rights campaigners around the world. The newsletter and other HRC publications will be sent to them to enhance communication and interaction, and keep them informed of human-rights initiatives in the Kingdom.

Al-Awwad said that the new initiatives are designed to reveal the true state of human rights in the Kingdom, which has undergone unprecedented development at all levels in the past few years. They will also improve communication and encourage positive relationships with human-rights campaigners and organizations in other countries, he added, in an effort to correct misconceptions that have formed for many reasons, not least the absence until now of accurate information.

The HRC has already produced the first issue of its newsletter, which highlighted the Kingdom’s improved ranking in the latest edition of the US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which was published in June. It praised the efforts being made by Saudi authorities to crack down on human trafficking through a series of reforms, the most recent of which was the launch of the national referral mechanism. This was strengthened by a Saudi-international training partnership, organized through the International Organization for Migration and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and a Saudi-US partnership to combat human trafficking.

The newsletter also reported on the Kingdom’s efforts to tackle terrorism, which undermines and threatens human rights. In addition, it included information about penal reforms, and the Supreme Court’s decision to abolish flogging as a punishment in ta’zir cases — in which, under Sharia, punishment is at the discretion of the judge or ruler — and replace it with imprisonment and/or a fine.