2003 Speech

Crown Prince Abdullah's statement in Malaysia at 10th OIC Summit
Address by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to the Tenth Summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, October 17, 2003

In the Name Of God the Merciful the Compassionate, Praise be to God Almighty, and peace be upon Muhammad the final Prophet.
My brother Dr. Mahathir Muhammad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Summit Chairman; my brothers the leaders of the Islamic World; Your Excellency the Secretary-General of the OIC:
May peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you.

I wish to convey to you the greetings of my brother the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, and those of the Saudi people. I would like also to extend my thanks to the King, Government and people of brotherly Malaysia for their hospitality, warm welcome, and excellent preparation for this Summit.

Dear Brothers:
In my view the crisis facing our Islamic Nation has intellectual, economic and political aspects that require dealing with them through boldness wisdom and a cognizance of God's saying: "God does not change the conditions of people until they change themselves". Permit me to allow myself to offer my views on the needed solutions to the problems based on the saying of our Prophet that "religion is advice".

The intellectual aspect of our crisis emanates from the progression of overzealousness, leading to extremism, which turns them to terrorism. Islam is innocent of violence, hatred, and terrorism. It is a religion of kindness, mercy and tolerance. We should not allow a minority of deviant terrorists to inflict on Islam and tarnish its image: the bullets that kill women and children, terrorize those secured in their safety, and destroy innocent communities do not come from rifles but from deviant thoughts and misguided interpretations of our great religion and its noble message. Words can only be fought by words, and thoughts can only be confronted by thoughts. I therefore suggest that the conference give the necessary institutions the means to confront extremism, correct the wrong conceptions and clarify the true path to Muslim youths. This requires an expansion of the responsibilities of the Islamic Fiqh Academy that was established by a historic decision of the Conference. The Saudi Arabian delegation has offered a specific proposal for the required restructuring that I hope would gain your support.

Dear Brothers:
The economic component of our crisis derives from the inability of our states to adjust to the fast pace of the economic realities transforming the world, and in our failure to liberalize our economies to achieve fast growth and provide new employment opportunities for the millions of young Muslims entering the job market every year. While it is not the function of the Conference to lay down economic plans for its members, it can certainly help the process of development by expanding the commercial exchange among Islamic countries and lifting it from its present limited levels.

In this context I propose that we enhance the financial resources of the Islamic Bank to finance, and act as guarantor of, exports among members states. I am also pleased to announce that Saudi Arabia shall be the first to contribute a financial support to encourage commercial trade among member states, and shall take the initiative to discuss the details of this support with the Bank's Board Governors.

Dear Brothers:
As to the political crisis it can be seen in two basic failures. The first concerns our failure in solving political issues among our Islamic states or between us and other non-OIC states. The second failure concerns the lack of proper foundations for dealing with others that leads to misconceptions. Although we are a nation that believes in peace rather than violence, in cooperation rather than confrontation and in friendship rather than animosity, yet we find that the image that others have of us could not be further from the truth.

I propose that our Conference establishes a small committee, whose members do not exceed five of the heads of delegations, to be named 'The Islamic Peace Committee', and to be mandated to discuss all remaining issues among Muslims themselves and between Muslims and others.

Dear Brothers:
Before I end my statements I have to highlight two essential issues: the issue of our brothers in Palestine, and the issue of our brothers in Iraq. The Palestinians are still suffering from the worst kind of occupation accompanied by the oppression and violence, even though they are committed to peace as their only and irreversible option, and to the Road Map that was patronized by the international community. I have no doubt that our conference shall extend its support to the Palestinian people to attain their legitimate rights including the establishment of an independence Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. We call upon the international community to stand firmly by the two brotherly peoples of Syria and Lebanon in confronting any aggression inflicted upon them by Israel.

Our Iraqi brothers are witnessing a painful transition from a regime that had fallen and is finished, to a regime that has as yet to be established. Our duty requires that we extend a helping hand to our Iraqi brothers, within a collective international effort aimed at enabling Iraq to overcome its crisis and become once again an independent free Arab Muslim state that guarantees a peaceful life to all its citizens and lives in harmony and cooperation with its neighbors.

Dear Brothers:
I thank you and wish the Conference every success in reaching the required decisions, with the help and blessing of God Almighty.

May peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you.