Saudi Arabia calls for united effort to defeat terror

Three sessions were held during the symposium at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah on Thursday. (SPA)
Updated 09 November 2018
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Saudi Arabia calls for united effort to defeat terror

  • Seventy percent of the content of the institute depends on the consolidation of moderation in religion, while not forgetting the other areas of life
  • Scientists and scholars have to unite because extremist groups and terrorists use religion as a leading platform

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held its second symposium on efforts by member states to combat extremism and terrorism. Three sessions were presented during the symposium, held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah on Thursday, showing Saudi Arabia’s efforts to combat extremism and terrorism.
These included efforts by the Riyadh-based Global Center for Combating Extremism Ideology (Etidal), work by the Prince Khaled Al-Faisal Center for Moderation, and efforts by the Ideological Warfare Center.
OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahamad Al-Othaimeen said: “The security situation experienced by some OIC member states, and in light of the continuing terrorist threats, calls for concerted efforts to confront this phenomenon.’’
He pointed out the importance of member states exchanging knowledge and experience.
The main objective of the seminars is to develop knowledge to combat terrorism and extremism by reviewing Saudi Arabia’s efforts in this regard, since the Kingdom hosts and supervises the military alliance against terrorism.
Sultan Al-Khuzam, director of global collaboration at Etidal, said during the symposium: “Here in Etidal, we know that there is a lot of violence, killing and madness, and combating this is essential. The core problem is the extremist ideology that leads terrorists to commit violence and such activities, so the first way to combat terrorism is to look at these extremist groups in social media and the tools they are using to build certain propaganda.”
He said Etidal’s transparency and diversity were important pillars for its success. “If we want to combat these extremist groups, we have to work together as nations, countries and societies.”
Bayan Al-Mutawa, director of intensive data at Etidal, said: “The center is studying and analyzing terrorist groups in order to improve its performance in coping with the changes in these groups.”
The OIC and Etidal at King Abdulaziz University signed a memorandum of understanding on Nov. 7 to coordinate efforts to confront extremism and spread the values of moderation.
Al-Hassan Al-Manakhara, executive director of Prince Khaled Al-Faisal Center for Moderation, said: “The institute is the only academic institution that awards degrees in the subject of moderation. Seventy percent of the content of the institute depends on the consolidation of moderation in religion, while not forgetting the other areas of life.”
He said that “terrorism and extremism have no religion,” and pointed out that Saudi Arabia represents the religion of moderation, saying that the Kingdom is proud to have been the first to establish this concept.
Col. Abdullah bin Hadi Al-Hajjri said the Ideological Warfare Center was working to strengthen the “intellectual immunity of the target parties by raising awareness and immunizing young people against extremist ideologies.”

 

A representative from Afghanistan highlighted the efforts of member states efforts in countering terrorism and extremism.
 “Scientists and scholars have to unite because extremist groups and terrorists use religion as a leading platform. Islamic countries must show friendship to remove ideas of terrorism and violence. All Arab countries should use new tools to push this phenomenon away and protect the future of their youth,” he said.

Decoder

What is Etidal?

The Global Center for Combating Extremism Ideology aims to actively and pro-actively combat, expose, and refute extremist ideology, in cooperation with governments and organizations.


Saudi university leads way with new music academy

Updated 29 min 45 sec ago
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Saudi university leads way with new music academy

  • Taif University (TU) has hired some of the Kingdom's top professional music instructors
  • The music courses will include singing training, involving tuition in vocal keynotes, pitch and sight-reading exercises, and the singing of Arabic poetry

JEDDAH: A Saudi university is hitting the high notes after becoming the first in the Kingdom to offer music courses to students.

Some of the country’s top professional instructors have been hired by Taif University (TU) to run training sessions in singing, poetry and the playing of musical instruments. 

Although the courses are not part of the city university’s curriculum, education chiefs hope the program will lead the way in developing young musical talent in the Kingdom.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal inspired the initiative a year ago, and students are already lining up to join the new music academy on the university’s main campus.

The music courses will include singing training, involving tuition in vocal keynotes, pitch and sight-reading exercises, and the singing of Arabic poetry. Starting next month, experts will also be on hand to teach students how to play the lute, dulcimer and piano.

TU spokesman, Saleh Al-Thubaiti, told Arab News: “TU has turned an idea into reality. The academy offers several projects, the most important of which is the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal International Prize for Arabic Poetry.”

He said that the poetry club at the TU Arab Poetry Academy had attracted more than 850 applications from students wishing to take part in poetry writing, recitation, and music, and they would be performing in concerts this semester.

Al-Thubaiti said: “The poetry-writing course will focus on teaching students aspects of Arabic prosody (the patterns of rhythm and sound used in poetry) in an innovative manner.”

Trainees will be given the opportunity to present their poems at special student soirees and publish their poetry in an online magazine for young people.

The academy also plans to launch an annual on-campus summer gathering for young poets.

Those taking part in the poetry-recitation course will learn how to recite poetry and make audio books for general listeners and people with special needs.

The TU Arab Poetry Academy recently held its first matinee event when faculty members and students recited several poems.

“The university campus is not all about work and textbooks,” Al-Thubaiti said. 

“Students are interested in other activities that can help them develop their talents and skills. We believe the university is providing an environment where students can develop themselves on various personal and academic levels.”

In December last year, the poetry academy held its first concert which was attended by the university’s governor, president, academics and students. It included poetry readings and a performance of national and traditional songs by the university band.

Director of the poetry academy, Dr. Mansour Al-Harthi, told Arab News that 500 students had enrolled on the music course, adding that the city of Taif had long been renowned for its musical activities.