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.


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019
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Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.