Muslim World League chief denounces extremists in response to Macron’s ‘Islamist separatism’ speech

Muslim World League chief denounces extremists in response to Macron’s ‘Islamist separatism’ speech
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, the MWL secretary-general, said extremists had harmed Islam’s reputation. (File)
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Updated 12 October 2020

Muslim World League chief denounces extremists in response to Macron’s ‘Islamist separatism’ speech

Muslim World League chief denounces extremists in response to Macron’s ‘Islamist separatism’ speech
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, the MWL secretary-general, says extremists had harmed Islam’s reputation

RIYADH: The head of the Muslim World League has responded to plans in France for tougher laws to tackle “Islamist separatism.”

In a speech earlier this month, President Emmanuel Macron announced new laws that he said would tackle “a counter-society.” He said they would defend France's secular values against Islamist radicalism.

Macron also said Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world.

Asked about Macron’s comments, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, the MWL secretary-general, said extremists had harmed Islam’s reputation. 

“There are people who are falsely considered Muslims,” Al-Issa said in an interview on MBC television. “These have harmed Islam’s reputation with their radicalism and extremism – and sometimes, their violence, including their terrorism.

“These do not represent Islam at all, and if we defend them – whether directly or indirectly, (that would mean) we are exactly like them.”

When asked about Macron’s references to separatism and isolationism, Al-Issa said extremists and terrorists “were the first to isolate themselves from Islamic society.”

He said the 2019 Makkah Declaration, which was signed by thousands of clerics and Islamic scholars from around the world, emphasized the need to respect the constitutions, laws, and cultures of countries.

The declaration called for anti-extremism, religious and cultural diversity, and legislation against hate and violence.

Al-Issa has previously said it is his “mission” to wipe out extremist ideology and he has spearheaded efforts to tackle radicalisation.

In his speech, Macron said France would seek to “liberate” Islam in France from foreign influences.

He previously hit out at “political Islam” in February and singled out the Muslim Brotherhood.


Saudi TV says missile or drone intercepted over Riyadh

Saudi TV says missile or drone intercepted over Riyadh
Updated 23 January 2021

Saudi TV says missile or drone intercepted over Riyadh

Saudi TV says missile or drone intercepted over Riyadh
  • Social media users posted video of what appeared to be an explosion in the air over Riyadh
  • The Houthis did not immediately acknowledge launching a missile or a drone toward Riyadh

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia said Saturday it intercepted an apparent missile or drone attack over its capital, Riyadh, amid the kingdom’s yearslong war against neighboring Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
Social media users posted video of what appeared to be an explosion in the air over Riyadh. Saudi state TV quoted authorities in the kingdom acknowledging the interception.
The Houthis did not immediately acknowledge launching a missile or a drone toward Riyadh.
The Houthis have held Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, since September 2014. Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a war against them in March 2015 in support of Yemen’s internationally recognized government.
The war has been mired in a stalemate for years. Riyadh has been targeted in sporadic missile attacks in that time, while the Houthis also have launched missile and drone strikes.
Western experts, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. say Iran has supplied arms, including ballistic missiles to the Houthis. Iran denies that, though devices in the weapons link back to Tehran.