Prince Saud Bin Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz, on behalf of Prince Badr Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Commander of the National Guard and Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of the National Festival of Heritage and Culture, today attended the race of Sudanese camels at Jenadriyah. Six hundred camels took part in the 20-kilometer race, which was won by ‘Al-Bahr’, owned by Prince Saud Bin Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz, with ‘Al-Anood’, ‘Sheilan’, and ‘Al-Sahra’ coming second, third and fourth.
In addition, there is for the first time at the Jenadriyah Festival a folklore group from Qatar. The Qatari pavilion, presenting a number of exhibits including handicrafts and photographs, has been widely praised by visitors.
Meanwhile, the symposium entitled: “The Image of Islam in the West, and the Image of the West in the Islamic World”, was held last night in conjunction with the festival’s events. German Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Helmut Schano stated that Europe and Islam have a common history of knowledge, and pointed out that there is an erroneous belief, circulated by its enemies, that the Islamic religion is a threat to the western world. He said that in Germany, where more than two million Muslims enjoy privacy in their worship, the image of Islam is positive and the Muslim community is part of the society. Islamic worship takes place freely at the King Fahd Academy in Bonn and at a number of other mosques and Islamic Centers. Referring to disputes that are evident between certain countries, he called for greater contact among civilized nations and between religions in the cause of reaching harmony and peaceful co-existence.
Former U.S. Congressman Paul Fendli said that the starting point in the process of building trust between religions is to focus on similarities and facts rather than differences and thoughts, citing the greatest stumbling blocks to understanding and cooperation as ignorance and blind fanaticism. Remarking that although Muslims are the second largest religious group in the United States, they are not influential in public life but merely defend their beliefs, he announced that he is conducting a study that might help to undermine the false image of Islam in the United States.
For his part, Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Sweyel stated that information, education and cultural thought are the main factors portraying the image of any civilization, and called for an exploration of the traditions of western society in order to reach an understanding of them, and proposed the formation of a joint Islamic-Western team to help achieve such a rapprochement.