Muslim World League chief: Dialogue key to tackling Islamophobia

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Sheikh Mohammed Al-Issa said we must clarify the true picture of Islam and Muslims. (AN photo/Basheer Saleh)
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MWL chief talked of the importance of dialogue in tackling Islamophobia. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
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MWL chief talked of the importance of dialogue in tackling Islamophobia. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
Updated 03 December 2019

Muslim World League chief: Dialogue key to tackling Islamophobia

  • Some far-right people are against Islam “because of what they’ve heard or seen”

RIYADH: On the first day of the Saudi Media Forum in Riyadh, the secretary-general of the Muslim World League on Monday stressed the importance of dialogue in tackling Islamophobia.

“There are many different far rights. Many of them have it implanted that they just hate Muslims without a reason. It may be difficult, but discussion is key and has fruitful outcomes,” said Sheikh Mohammed Al-Issa.

“As Muslims and Islamic organizations, we must clarify the true picture of Islam and Muslims.”

He said negative campaigns against Islam are being led by the far right. “We had sessions with people who hated Islam, but now we call them good friends after our transparency and discussions with them. Therefore, discussion is pertinent,” Al-Issa said.

Some far-right people are against Islam “because of what they’ve heard or seen,” he added. “These people are much easier to have a discussion with (than those who do not have a reason for their prejudice). They’re found in a lot of European countries.”

Other far-right people “respect Muslims and live with them, but worry about the outcomes” of immigration and demographic changes, Al-Issa said.

One issue that has led to difficulties in terms of coexistence is that some Islamic laws are not applicable in non-Muslim countries, he added.

“We urge everyone who lives in a country to respect its laws, culture and constitution,” said Al-Issa, adding that “the media plays an important role” in promoting Islamophobia, as do movies. He said the answer is to raise awareness.


Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari, Saudi ambassador to Lebanon

Updated 09 August 2020

Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari, Saudi ambassador to Lebanon

Saudi Arabia has stepped up its relief efforts in Lebanon following the deadly explosions in Beirut.

Saudi Ambassador Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari said the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center began organizing emergency aid immediately after the incident.

Bukhari has been the Saudi envoy to Lebanon since December 2018. He previously served as charge d’affaires at the embassy from March 2018 until his current appointment.

Bukhari obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science with distinction at the King Abdul Aziz University in 1995.

He obtained a higher diploma in diplomatic studies at the Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Riyadh in 2000, and a master’s in international politics from California State University, Fullerton.

He joined the Saudi diplomatic corps in 1996. In 1999, he was appointed deputy head of the mission of the Kingdom’s embassy in Niger.

Bukhari served as the consul general in Los Angeles from 2002 to 2006. In 2007, he was appointed to the office of the undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He became director of total quality management in 2009.

In 2013, he was assigned a role at the Saudi Embassy in Berlin. He was appointed assistant director general of planning and development at the ministry in 2016. He also served as the director general of diplomatic affairs and protocol and deputy undersecretary for protocol affairs in 2017.