Saudi Arabia and UN’s fight against terrorism lauded at launch of ‘virtual expo’

08/07/20

Abdallah Al-Mouallim is chairman of the advisory board to the UNCCT. (UN Photo)

  • The UNCCT was set up in 2011 to promote international counter-terrorism cooperation

LONDON: Saudi Arabia has been a crucial partner alongside the United Nations in countering terrorism, the Kingdom’s UN ambassador said.

Abdallah Al-Mouallimi made the comments as the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) launched on Tuesday a “virtual expo” into its work.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been a crucial partner alongside the United Nations in countering terrorism and extremism,” Al-Mouallimi, who is chairman of the center’s advisory board, said.

“It is my intention to underscore the continued Saudi support for the UNCCT as the Centre of Excellence in countering terrorism,” he added.

The UNCCT was set up in 2011 to promote international counter-terrorism cooperation and support member states implement the global counter-terrorism strategy. Saudi Arabia funded the project with $110 million.

Al-Mouallimi hosted the launch of the virtual expo on Tuesday.

The expo “showcases the Centre as a global leader in preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism through capacity‑building efforts around the world,” the UNCCT said.

The virtual expo will run for four weeks online.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Tolerance for Judaism and Christianity at the heart of Islam, MWL chief says

23/05/20

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL d)uring his visit to the Church of Notre Dame in Paris. (Supplied)
  • Sheikh Mohammed Al-Issa, MWL secretary-general, discusses Islam’s relationship with other faiths
  • Al-Issa says Islam respects other religions and guarantees the rights of all people to religious choice

NEW YORK CITY: “The Qur’an instructed Muslims to be righteous and benevolent to non-Muslims as long as they are peaceful and do not attack you or fight you. Muslims treated well the Jews who refused to enter Islam, starting with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, until our time,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), a leading religious Muslim nongovernmental organization based in Makkah.

Sheikh Al-Issa has been leading by example since taking up that position in 2016, tirelessly traveling the world, forging relationships — with governments, religious institutions (including the Vatican) and NGOs (including the American Sephardi Federation and the American Jewish Committee) — and announcing historic initiatives to counter extremism, guarantee religious freedom and improve human welfare.

Most recently, Al-Issa called on members of different religions to unite against the COVID-19 pandemic, stating: “We want Muslims and all other citizens to be aiding one another in this time of common challenge, without discrimination for religion or race, for gender or ethnicity.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL). (AN Photo/Ziyad Alarfaj)

MWL today is drastically different than the organization it was even five years ago, when it was still an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Despite Al-Issa’s exemplary humanitarian, educational and outreach efforts all over the world, including with Jewish communities, some remain skeptical about MWL’s agenda and Islam’s doctrinal teachings concerning other religions.

They variously claim that the essence of the religion eschews equal treatment for non-converts and that any attempts to disassociate from controversial interpretations is merely whitewashing, and they have tried to tie MWL’s actions to regional politics. Such criticisms are sorely mistaken.

In an exclusive interview, Al-Issa addressed these issues and other controversial topics forthrightly.

The question of how a religion that proselytizes can be respectful of other religions and their members who do not convert is nothing new. Christian missionaries used to convert Jews under duress.

Today, non-violent groups such as “Jews for Jesus” use persuasion, not torture, but concerns linger about the targeting and manipulation of vulnerable individuals who lack Jewish education.

Does Islam have some unique issues that Christianity does not? Concerns are understandably compounded by the images of Islamist and terrorist organizations indoctrinating their followers and converts through deception or force.

Al-Issa responded that most religions except Judaism practice proselytization. That fact does not inherently signify a lack of respect, nor mean that practitioners of various religions should be locked in an illogical and endless struggle.

“We, as Muslims, respect, love, understand, cooperate, coexist and tolerate everyone. Our historically documented and verified actions demonstrate this, and in the Muslim World League we have played a major role in this aspect, pursuant to our Islamic values,” said Al-Issa.

Dr. Al-Issa during his European tour. (Supplied)

“With our Jewish brothers, we concluded agreements and mutual cooperation, and we love them and respect them greatly, far from the problems of politics, as our principle is not to interfere in politics.”

Al-Issa emphasized that it is permissible to engage in normal business and friendly relations with members of other faiths, including Jews, as was the case in the Prophet Muhammad’s time.

Political disagreements are separate from religious precepts. Moreover, he added, Islam considers Jews and Christians to be Peoples of the Book who are accorded privileges in jurisprudential proceedings.

At the same time, Islam respects other religions and guarantees the rights of all people to religious choice.

But what about the Qu’ranic quotes, as well as hadiths and alleged accounts, that point to a conflict between Islam’s prophet and the Jews of Arabia?

Most modern-day discussions feature claims of enmity, persecution and even a massacre resulting from the Jews’ refusal to convert to Islam.

Dr. Al-Issa among with numbers of students in Indonesia. (Supplied)

Nothing could be farther from the truth, according to Al-Issa.

The Qu’ranic references criticizing Jews that some have taken to mean a generalized attack on all Jews actually admonish specific followers of Judaism who went “off the derech” – strayed from the faithful commitment to the letter and spirit of their own Abrahamic tradition, he said.

To illustrate his point, he presented two seemingly paradoxical quotations: The Qur’an differentiates between the types of people, as the Almighty says: “They are not [all] the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating [in prayer].”

The Almighty also said: “And among the People of the Scripture is he who, if you entrust him with a great amount [of wealth], he will return it to you. And among them is he who, if you entrust him with a [single] silver coin, he will not return it to you unless you are constantly standing over him [demanding it].”

God says: “Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.”

The Qur’an instructed Muslims to be righteous and benevolent to non-Muslims as long as they are peaceful and do not attack you or fight you.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL)

The Qu’ran speaks to different categories of people, but due to historical misinterpretations, mistranslations and, at times deliberate distortions, there is an appearance of a contradiction.

Those who focus on the allegedly anti-Jews passages ignore how Muslims engaged in wrongdoing are castigated in a similar vein. Additionally, even when critical of specific Jews, the Qu’ran speaks positively of the legacy of Jacob and calls on the Jewish community not to depart from their historic mission.

Al-Issa said: “The Qur’an admonished a group of Jews, not all Jews, and reminded them of the honor of affiliating with the Prophet Jacob, peace be upon him: ‘O Children of Israel! Remember My favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I favored you over all nations.’”

But what to make of the alleged massacres of the Jews that have become so closely associated with the extremist outcries of “Khybar, khybar ya yahood?”

They, too, should be viewed in their proper context. Al-Issa pointed out that there was no mass extermination of Jews qua Jews. On the contrary, the issues that led to tribal violence were purely political, not religious.

Indeed, he continued, affiliation with a religion does not preclude criticism for errors.

Contemporary audiences should look to the example of the prophet himself, Al-Issa said.

“The prophet, peace be upon him, stood out of respect to a passing Jewish funeral, lived next to a Jew, and married Safiya, the daughter of Hayy bin Akhtab from Bani Al-Nadir. He told her: ‘You are the daughter of a prophet, your uncle is a prophet, and you are the wife of a prophet.’” Muhammad was referring to the fact that his wife was descended from Aaron and  Moses, peace be upon them.

From this quote it follows that Muhammad not only respected Safiya’s Jewish heritage, but encouraged her to take pride and inspiration in her lineage.

Al-Issa also emphasized Muhammad’s signature achievement, the Madinah Charter, as an example of Islam’s position on religious existence put into practice: “The Prophet, peace be upon him, has signed the most important Islamic constitutional document, which is the Madinah Charter, which preserved religious and civil rights, as well as provided for Jews and others to live within Madinah in dignity as part of the ummah (community).”

What about the idea that Muhammad and his followers slaughtered the Jews who refused to convert?

Due to misinterpretations and politicized stories by later clergy, many now believe there is inherent enmity towards Jews who do not become Muslims, and all outreach efforts by Muslims is, therefore, “fake news.”

Dr. Al-Issa During his visit to Mauritania. (Supplied)

Al-Issa firmly rejected this criticism: “Islam gives freedom to everyone in accepting or rejecting Islam, and there is an explicit verse considered one of the most important constitutional texts in Islam that says: ‘There shall be no compulsion in religion.’ And the position of Islam on the Jews who refuse to enter Islam, according to the Qur’an, is respecting their choice while preserving their dignity and their religious and civil rights, and living with them in peace.”

The conflicts that followed in subsequent generations, he affirmed, were entirely political, even though both the contemporaneous parties and future scholars frequently attribute clashes and persecutions to religion.

Religion is an expedient cover for power grabs and there is also “often confusion in terms and translations, or by the misunderstanding of Islamic religious texts. When the Qur’an discusses a topic related to a specific situation or religious group, some people will mistakenly interpret that as an attack on everyone or as a position against the existence of that religion.”

Islam’s original intent concerning the relations between Muslims and Jews is clear from the treatment of non-converts.

As Al-Issa puts it: “Muslims treated the Jews who refused to enter Islam well, starting with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, until our time.

“The neighbor of the prophet was a Jew, whom he visited and accepted his hospitality, and considered all the food of the Jews permissible for Muslims, permitted marriage to them, and built a family from a Jewish mother, and the Jewish community lived with Muslims in Madinah in peace.

Surveying thousands of years of Jewish life in the lands of Islam, it is easy and nevertheless wrong to present a single narrative.

There were periods of incredible coexistence, when Muslims and Jews worked together to make great advances in trade, science, philosophy, and other fields.

At different times, there are instances of conflicts and persecutions. Al-Issa rejects any basis for bigotry in Islam, instead asserting that such instances were caused by motives divorced from religion.

Al-Issa went on to explain how Muslims have been prime targets of Islamist extremists throughout time. “What happened in the past is still being done by some extremists (that are present in all religions) who, by their misunderstanding of the teachings of Islam, do not represent the majority of Muslims or Islam at all. They only represent themselves, and with their extremist ideas they offend us as moderate Muslims and Islam more than they offend other religions.

“Muslims have suffered more violence and terror from extremists than non-Muslims have.”

Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – will have their reward with their Lord.

Dr. Al-Issa

The source of much falsehood is attributable to the Ottomans, who were behind mistranslations and misapplications of the Qu’ran.

Distribution of questionable hadiths by clerics of different backgrounds likewise led to confusion and divisive views.

Later, political movements, using theology as a cudgel, deliberately came to distribute inaccurate information. And, in non-Arab Muslim communities, understanding was severely skewed by the lack of access to original source material.

Poorly educated or ignorant self-proclaimed imams would use populist rhetoric and sensationalist sounding quotations out of context to fire up the public.

The Muslim Brotherhood came to rely on these combinations of factors to push an intolerant and violent interpretation of Islam that was mainstreamed with the help of media, governments, political organizations, and other allies and fellow travelers.

Al-Issa compared the Muslim Brotherhood to Al-Qaeda and Daesh in a recently launched Ramadan program on Saudi Arabia’s best-known channel, MBC.

Dr. Al-Issa supervises the work of a charity hospital of the Association in Africa. (Supplied)

The Muslim Brotherhood ideology, which incorporated the religious rhetoric of some Ottoman Sufi sects, and of Bolshevik, Nazi, Jacobin, and later extremist Salafi teachings, has managed to become a source of discord among Muslim communities.

The inflammatory pulpit imams and Brotherhood ideology are the gateway drug leading students to join Al-Qaeda, Daesh, Hamas and other terrorist organizations, who hunt down and punish Muslims deemed insufficiently subservient.

Within the Brotherhood camp, there is remarkable flexibility in making alliances with seemingly divergent schools of thought, such as with the Iranian Khomeinists.

The Brotherhood conveniently claimed to no longer engage in violent direct action but, as the appreciation for Islamism is dying out in the Arab world, thanks in part to reforms instituted by Arab governments, it now appears to acknowledge direct involvement in terrorist activity.

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READ MORE: Responsible leadership key to ‘justice, harmony’, Muslim World League chief tells conference at UN

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So what effect, if any, has MWL’s activity had on the discourse in the Muslim world? To start with, Al-Issa practices what he preaches in Arabic and uses the substantial soft power of the MWL to advance his campaign to assert the true, inclusive and benevolent nature of Islam.

Anyone in doubt can refer to the Charter of Makkah, a historic statement drafted by Al-Issa, who then convened a meeting of 1,200 pre-eminent Islamic scholars near Islam’s holiest site, the Kaaba, to debate and sign the document.

The Charter of Makkah answers those, who deny or distort the truth, both within Islam and without.

In one episode of his MBC program, Al-Issa discusses how all religious places of worship should be protected — in other words, the attacks on Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and other places of worship by terrorists have no basis in religious teachings or practices, but are the result of politics and distortions.

In another episode, he discusses the empowerment of Muslim women throughout history, which is contrasted with the limited public role and the presumable marital subjugation accorded to them in various communities and contexts based on cultural, rather than religious, traditions or erroneous (perhaps deliberately so) readings of texts.

Al-Issa is working to undo decades of denial about women’s influence in Arab and Muslim societies.

Dr. Al-Issa in a visit to an orphanage of Haurishima. (Supplied)

There is no question that this shift in the intellectual discourse is having an effect as more Middle Eastern countries are opening their media to portraying positive roles for the Jewish communities that once lived in their countries.

One Saudi columnist, impressed by MWL’s position and Al-Issa’s visit to Auschwitz, calls for wider recognition of the “Jewish tragedy” (the Holocaust) in the process of bridge-building.

Another example is the MBC Ramadan drama “Um Haroun.” Based loosely on true stories of the Bahraini Jewish community, the series, which had a Kuwaiti director and star, aired in Saudi Arabia.

There is a desire to undo the damage of decades of politicization of Jewish life that led to attacks, expulsions and fear.

Egypt, too, in addition to its recent restoration of synagogues, has just as importantly opened up to a more sympathetic portrayal of Jews in a Ramadan series.

The acceptance of this portrayal by the public is just as much of a breakthrough and an example of “positive soft power” of religious institutions as the political determination that made such moves permissible to the media.

At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. Religions are a combination of doctrinal teachings and practices.

Al-Issa’s hard work is leading the way in showing that a combination of correct beliefs and righteous actions can withstand even centuries of obscurantism and political hijackings.

It is up to each generation to return to its roots and to use history and knowledge as an inspiration for the building of tolerant, humane, respectful, and intellectually open societies.

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Irina Tsukerman is a New York-based human-rights lawyer and national security analyst  @irinatsukerman

This article was first published in Arab News

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MBC’s religious program discusses Islamic topics openly

15/05/20

Host of the program, Abdulwahab Al-Shehri, said that throughout its episodes during Ramadan, the program was talking to Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the MWL. (Screenshot from the program)
  • Al-Shehri said that Al-Issa was keen to talk about his personal experiences and the situations that he had experienced around the world
  • During Ramadan, the program will feature Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the MWL

MAKKAH: The MBC Channel’s “Billati Hiya Ahsan” is currently among the most watched religious programs on satellite channels in the Arab world, discussing a range of topics that are not usually talked about openly and transparently.
Host of the program, Abdulwahab Al-Shehri, said that throughout its episodes during Ramadan, the program was talking to Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League and president of the Association of Muslim Scholars.
Al-Shehri said that Al-Issa was keen to talk about his personal experiences and the situations that he had experienced around the world. The aim was to engage the Muslim community in discussion and create a more realistic debate that is closer to the daily life of Muslims, highlighting a true image of moderate Islam and revealing the beauty of Islamic civilization.
The program discussed a number of controversial topics in the Islamic world, and shed light on current phenomena, practices and events happening globally.
One of the most notable topics related to Islam in the program was the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. Al-Issa said that it was a “struggle between extremists and sectarians from both sides, not a struggle between moderate Sunnis and Shiites who represent the majority.”
The moderate speech was broadly embraced by the Islamic world’s leadership from all doctrines and sects, and Shiite leaderships, in particular, praised it and said that the Islamic world was in need of such moderate voices to stand up to the abnormal voices of struggle.
The program also devoted an episode to uncovering the corrupt practices of political Islam and ethics of its groups, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood, and said that those organizations gave up on their belief and Islamic behavior to achieve their agendas.
The program also discussed the prohibition on attacking places of worship, and said that Islam stressed the need to respect the presence of other places of worship, imposed on Muslims a need for their protection, and incriminated their attacks, regardless of the reasons.
Dedicating two episodes to women in Islam, the program corrected misconceptions around their perceived mistreatment.
During both episodes, Al-Issa was keen to promote the idea of women’s empowerment in Islamic law. This emphasized giving women their rights and allowing them to play their role and have influence as scientists, thinkers, experts and professionals in different tasks and national service.

This article was first published in Arab News

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No tolerance for extremism, says Saudi education minister

12/05/20

Education Minister Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh

Al-Asheikh: “We reiterate our stand that we will not allow our educational institutions to be used to promote deviant ideas”
JEDDAH: There is no tolerance in Saudi schools and universities for extremist thought, literature or teaching, Education Minister Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh said on Monday.

The minister said he would not permit educational institutions to be exploited for the promotion of extremist views, or policies that contradicted those of the state.

Offenders would be dealt with firmly and without leniency, he told a virtual university forum.

“We reiterate our stand that we will not allow our educational institutions to be used to promote deviant ideas,” Al-Asheikh said.

“We stress firmness in dealing with deviant thought. Universities should play a major role in enforcing nationalism as well as enhancing loyalty to the country, and enhancing self-immunity of all their employees.”

He insisted that libraries in educational institutes, curriculum descriptions, postgraduate theses and research for publication should include no deviant thoughts, or references to books related to terrorist movements and groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and others.

The minister said the high level of community awareness in the Kingdom was evident from the response by both students and staff to the need to close universities because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“They proved their sense of responsibility through continuing to remotely give regular lectures and take exams,” he said.

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Young Saudis take part in contest to promote tolerance

Time: 21 April, 2020

Photo: KACND/Twitter
  • The results of the competition will be announced on Wednesday through the KACND website

RIYADH: Ninety-six young men and women from throughout the Kingdom participated remotely in the “Hawer” competition to promote the values of dialogue, coexistence, tolerance and national cohesion.

The competition, organized by the Dialogue Academy for Training of the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND), aims to enable youth to master dialogue and analogy skills using scientific methods and to help them objectively evaluate and criticize ideas. It encouraged them to master research and investigation skills to gather information.

The center will distribute cash awards worth SR48,000 ($12,792) among the winners. The first winner in the boys’ team will receive SR12,000, the second runner-up will be awarded SR8,000, and the third runner-up will receive SR4,000. The same applied to winners in the girls’ team.

The competition’s management team met remotely on April 18 to discuss the mechanisms for the conduct of the competition.

On Monday, a remote training course was held on dialogue and analogy skills for all participants. Instructions on the competition were given to the teams and they were provided with a competition guide and specific topics for each team.

The competition included the following topics: Investing time in self-development, adherence to national regulations and decisions, volunteering and its motivations, and home quarantine and its role in self-development.

The competition took place via videoconferencing. The results of the competition will be announced on Wednesday through the KACND website.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi UN envoy calls for wider terror sanctions

Time: 11 March, 2020

Terrorism should not be linked to religion, nationality or race, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, told a meeting of ambassadors of OIC member states. (SPA)
  • Al-Mouallimi focused on issues agreed by OIC states after consultations led by Saudi Arabia
  • The meeting was chaired by the UAE at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday

JEDDAH: Terrorism should not be linked to religion, nationality or race, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, told a meeting of ambassadors of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states.
In his address as chairman of the Islamic group to combat terrorism on behalf of the OIC, Al-Mouallimi said that the use of terms linking terror to religion, such as Islamic State, should be avoided.
There should be no discrimination between terrorist groups from all religions and sects, and calls for extremism and terrorism should be condemned regardless of their source, he added.
The meeting was chaired by the UAE at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
Al-Mouallimi focused on issues agreed by OIC states after consultations led by Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi envoy’s address summarized OIC member states’ major role in combating terrorism, and their call for the comprehensive implementation of the anti-terrorism strategy, as well as their emphasis on full respect for sovereignty and equality in accordance with the UN charter.
Al Mouallimi called for an extension of Security Council sanctions related to Daesh and Al-Qaeda in order to include all terrorist groups that have targeted Muslims.
He also urged countries to develop comprehensive strategies to protect critical infrastructure from terror attacks.

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Saudi Arabia condemns attack on church in Burkina Faso

20/02/20

A soldier guards refugees who had fled from attacks in northern Burkina Faso. (Getty Images/AFP file photo)
  • Gunmen killed 24 people, including a church pastor, and kidnapped three others in the attack in Dori
  • More than 1,300 civilians were killed in attacks last year in Burkina Faso, more than seven times the previous year

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has condemned a terror attack on a church in northeast Burkina Faso in which 24 people were killed and three kidnapped.

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom’s condolences to families of the victims, and the government and people of Burkina Faso, and reiterated its rejection of violence, terrorism and extremism.

On Sunday, gunmen killed 24 people, including a church pastor, and kidnapped three others in Burkina Faso. It was the latest attack against a religious leader in the increasingly unstable West African nation. Sihanri Osangola Brigadie, mayor of Boundore commune, said the attack occurred in the town of Pansi in Yagha province.

About 20 attackers separated men from women outside a Protestant church. At least 18 people were injured.

“It hurt me when I saw the people,” Brigadie said after visiting some victims in a hospital in Dori town, 180 km from the attack.

Both Christians and Muslims were killed before the church was set on fire, a government security official said. Attacks have targeted religious leaders in the area in the past.

Last week a retired pastor was killed and another abducted by gunmen, according to an internal security report for aid workers.

More than 1,300 civilians were killed in attacks last year in Burkina Faso, more than seven times the previous year, according to Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, which collects and analyzes conflict information.

The insecurity has created a humanitarian crisis. More than 760,000 people have been forced from their homes in the country, according to the government.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi human-rights chief meets delegation from France

Time: 19 February, 2020

Awwad Al-Awwad, the president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission with Christophe Farno, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Middle East and North Africa department director. (SPA)
  • Al-Awwad stressed the strength of the relationship between the Kingdom and France

RIYADH: Awwad Al-Awwad, the president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, on Tuesday met a delegation from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led by Christophe Farno, director of the ministry’s Middle East and North Africa department.

They discussed opportunities for cooperation and how they might work together to enhance human rights.

Al-Awwad stressed the strength of the relationship between the Kingdom and France in all fields. He also gave an overview of recent developments in human rights that have taken place in Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King Salman and the pioneering national reforms led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He said that there have been 60 human-rights reforms so far, 22 of which were designed to empower women and guarantee their rights. He noted these significant changes are in keeping with the aims of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development to ensure a great future for the Kingdom and its people.

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US delegation lauds Muslim World League’s peace initiatives

17/02/20

MWL chief Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meets US delegation. (Supplied)
  • Al-Issa stressed “MWL’s commitment to fruitful communications with the US in the name of the Islamic Ummah’s scholars and intellectuals in order to achieve common goals”

RIYADH: Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa met with a delegation of the US Congress on Monday.
The delegates appreciated MWL’s global efforts to fight extremism, violence and terrorism and the initiatives the organization has taken to promote dialogue between people of different cultures and to ensure intercultural harmony for the benefit of all mankind.
They also commended MWL’s efforts to promote interreligious and intercultural civilized communication.
Welcoming the delegation, Al-Issa stressed “MWL’s commitment to fruitful communications with the US in the name of the Islamic Ummah’s scholars and intellectuals in order to achieve common goals.”
“Everybody is counting on the relevant religious, intellectual and civil society institutions to contribute to a positive rapprochement between different religions and cultures” to help build an environment of love, cooperation, mutual respect and that rejects rejects all forms of religious and cultural conflicts.
The meeting also discussed issues of common interest in details.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Arabia, Denmark discuss cooperation promoting human rights

17/02/20

Saudi Human Rights Commission President Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad meets Danish Ambassador to the Kingdom Ole Moesby in Riyadh. (SPA)
  • Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan aims to achieve sustainable and comprehensive development for a better future for the country

RIYADH: The president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC), Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, received the Danish Ambassador to the Kingdom Ole Moesby in Riyadh on Sunday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
They discussed cooperation between the two countries, especially in promoting human rights. Al-Awwad reviewed developments and reforms taking place in Saudi Arabia to support human rights.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to achieve sustainable and comprehensive development for a better future for the country, he added.
Also on Sunday, Al-Awwad received a delegation of advisers and assistants of members of the US Congress.
He discussed with the US delegation cooperation between the two countries in the field of human rights.
Al-Awwad affirmed the depth of relations binding the two countries in various fields, and highlighted developments in the Kingdom.
He also highlighted the reforms and efforts carried out by the Kingdom in the field of human rights, including 22 decisions to empower women.

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