Revenge not the answer to Islamophobia, says Pakistan minister

Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry during the interview with Arab News. (AN photo by Yazeed Alsamrani)
Updated 29 March 2019

Revenge not the answer to Islamophobia, says Pakistan minister

  • Deadly New Zealand mosque attacks were ‘unfortunate’
  • ‘Huge mistake’ linking Muslims with terrorism

RIYADH: Revenge is not the answer to Islamophobia, Pakistan’s information minister told Arab News in an interview.

Fawad Chaudhry was in Riyadh at the invitation of Saudi Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, and spoke about Islamophobia and terrorism weeks after an attack on two mosques killed 50 Muslims in New Zealand.

“What happened in New Zealand was obviously very unfortunate, and this Islamophobia that Europe is going through, what answer can we have for that? Should we think in terms of revenge? The answer is no,” he told Arab News. 

“The Muslim population in the world is 1.3 billion. If such a big population thinks of revenge, this means bloodshed for the whole world. So how do you answer to this phenomenon? The answer is through culture.”

He praised Saudi Arabia’s efforts to promote its culture and combating Islamophobia through culture.

“Cultural integration is the best option, through which you can make people understand you,” the minister said. 

“Unfortunately the continuous use of the term Islamic terrorism has created this phenomenon of Islamophobia. Terrorism could not be related to any religion, but Europe did (make) a huge mistake by affiliating terrorism with Muslims.”

Cultural exchange

The minister said he and Prince Badr discussed the importance of cultural exchange. He added that Pakistan was ready to help the Kingdom following the Ministry of Culture’s bid to further help the arts. The initiatives include prizes, scholarship programs and a fund.

“Saudi Arabia needs academies. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share the same family values, the same culture as well as modern values and the same religious ethos. We can help Saudi Arabia in a big way, if Saudi Arabia would like to make an academy of performing arts in Riyadh, we will be more than happy to do that. Saudi Arabia’s leadership thinking doesn’t only affect Saudi Arabia, it affects the whole of the Muslim ummah (community). Such progressive thinking and modernization is important for the ummah,” Chaudhry said.

He said Pakistani society was getting back on track after years of domestic instability. 

The Taliban had targeted artists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province but there were efforts to revive their culture and promote it, he added.


Saudi Arabia announces reinstatement of coronavirus restrictions in Jeddah for 15 days

Updated 05 June 2020

Saudi Arabia announces reinstatement of coronavirus restrictions in Jeddah for 15 days

  • Restrictions will come into effect from Saturday, are a response to an evaluation of the health situation
  • The curfew in Jeddah will be between 3 p.m. and 6 a.m. and mosques will close once again

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior has announced a series of restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Jeddah that will last for 15 days.
The restrictions will come into effect from Saturday and are a response to an evaluation of the health situation in the city by the relevant authorities.
The curfew in Jeddah will be between 3 p.m. and 6 a.m. as of Saturday and mosques will close once again.
Employees of ministries, government agencies and private sector companies in the city will not work from the office.
Restaurants and cafes will no longer serve food and drink on their premises and gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.
Domestic flights and train journeys will continue to operate and people can enter and exit the city outside of the curfew.
Those people who were exempted from previous restrictions continue to be exempted from the current restrictions provided that they comply with the relevant procedures.
The interior ministry added the number of critical cases in Riyadh is being monitored and appropriate action will be taken should the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise as has been the case recently.

Meanwhile, the health ministry announced 2,591 new cases of COVID-19, 31 deaths from the disease and 1,651 new recoveries from it on Friday.