Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has called for measures to combat deviant ideas by carrying out cultural and educational programs that explain the true teachings of Islam and drive home the merits of moderation and tolerance. "This country”, he declared, “which is honored to serve the Two Holy Mosques, cannot tolerate any aberration of the fundamentals of Islam".
Crown Prince Abdullah made these comments yesterday while addressing the board meeting of the King Abdulaziz Public Library in Riyadh. He spoke of the library's role in spreading knowledge and eradicating ignorance.
The total number of visitors to the library last year is estimated at about two million, including over 220,000 researchers, women as well as men. There are some 1.2 million titles in the library.
The board meeting discussed the progress of the Saudi Arabian Encyclopedia project, which will serve as an authentic reference work on the Kingdom, containing information on each province of the Kingdom, its historical sites, natural resources, ancient history, and cultural traditions as well as its achievements in health, education, industry and communications. The first volume covering Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province is complete, and will be published this year. It will be translated into English and other foreign languages. Also under discussion were the unified Arab directory project, which aims at consolidating data and facilitating information exchange between libraries; a project to collect on rare books, coins, documents, pictures and maps; and the plan set up an electronic databank of rare documents on Saudi and Islamic history, giving researchers all over the world access to them through its website.