Saudi-based interfaith center calls for concerted efforts to check intolerance

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Time: March 19, 2019

Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muammar.(SPA)
  • Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muammar said this phenomenon will only disappear through the concerted efforts of individuals and organizations to promote dialogue and tolerance

RIYADH: The world is headed for more extreme forms of terrorism, in the wake of the attacks against Muslim worshippers in New Zealand, and against Jews in Pittsburgh in the US, said the secretary-general of the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID).
This type of terrorism is supported by some elected figures from hard-line political parties who support and market extremism through their official channels, taking advantage of the freedoms that govern Western countries, said Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muammar.
KAICIID presents religion as part of the solution, not the source of the problem, he added. In the West, separation of religion and state, and rejection of religion as part of the solution, have “resulted in failed treatments no less dangerous than the failure of military attempts to combat terrorism,” he said.


“Throughout these attempts and initiatives, which have been accompanied by an escalation of media and political extremist campaigns against Islam and Muslims, as well as other religious and ethnic minorities, Western societies have witnessed growth in populist movements and a rise in the popularity of extreme right-wing parties, which found in the hatred of Islam, Muslims and immigrants fertile ground to gain popular support and realize political interests.”
What happened in New Zealand reflects the emergence of a wider phenomenon that KAICIID has long warned against, bin Muammar said.
He said this phenomenon will only disappear through the concerted efforts of individuals and organizations to promote dialogue and tolerance. In addition to that, he added, there is a need enact laws to criminalize actions against Muslims and followers of other religions similar to the laws formed to check anti-Semitism.

 

This article was first published in Arab News

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