Freedom of expression ‘not a pretext for promoting hatred,’ says Muslim World League chief

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa. (Supplied)
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Updated 27 October 2020

Freedom of expression ‘not a pretext for promoting hatred,’ says Muslim World League chief

  • Muslim World League chief cites human rights court ruling, but cautions against overreaction to provocation

JEDDAH: Freedom of expression must not be used as a pretext for promoting hatred, the head of the Muslim World League warned on Monday.
Those who developed such constitutional rights had never intended for them to be used in this way, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa said.
“Freedoms should never be a bridge for conflict and a clash between civilizations,” he said. “They are not understood in this light.”
Al-Issa spoke amid renewed controversy over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad first published five years ago in a Danish newspaper and a French satirical magazine.

A teacher in Paris who used the cartoons as a classroom aid was murdered this month by an Islamist militant. The murder has reignited debate over freedom of speech and offending religious sensibilities.

Freedoms should never be a bridge for conflict and a clash between civilizations. They are not understood in this light.

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa

“The European Court of Human Rights … ruled that insulting our Prophet Muhammad is not covered by freedom of expression,” Al-Issa said.
He was referring to a judgment in 2018, in which the court ruled that an Austrian woman who made particularly offensive statements about the prophet was told she could not use her right to free expression to overturn her conviction for disturbing religious peace.
However, Al-Issa cautioned Muslims against overreacting to provocation. “No doubt these cartoons offend Muslims and we condemn them in the strongest terms,” he said.
“But overreacting, which is negative and goes beyond what is acceptable, is harmful. In fact, it is beneficial to haters.”


Aramco partners with global STEM education contest F1 in Schools

Updated 25 November 2020

Aramco partners with global STEM education contest F1 in Schools

  • The F1 in School World Finals will instead take place from March 12 to 19
  • The competition challenges students to design and manufacture a miniature car

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Aramco has announced a long-term partnership with global education challenge F1 in Schools, which will be held in Melbourne next year.
The global science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) competition challenges students to design and manufacture a miniature car.
Originally set to happen in September this year, The F1 in School World Finals will instead take place from March 12 to 19, coinciding with the F1 Australian Grand Prix.
The partnership, according to an Aramco official, reflects the company’s belief in investing in young people who are into STEM.
“This partnership is another example of Aramco’s engagement to developing young people for STEM careers. From building technology-based classrooms to conducting STEM summer camps, we’re focused on accelerating human potential through the next generation of young talent – equipping them with the tools they need to turn their ideas into reality,” Aramco Vice President of Corporate Affairs Nabil Nuaim said.
Founder and Chairman of F1 in Schools Andre Denford lauded Aramco’s decision to sponsor the event, participated in by “future F1 engineers.”
“Introducing our students to a leader in the fuel and energy sector, with ambitions that fit well with our Challenge, will offer huge learning and career opportunities. We look forward to introducing Aramco to our F1 in Schools global community at our World Finals in Melbourne,” he said.