WASHINGTON [March 7, 2005] – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been carrying out a national public awareness and education campaign as part of its strategy to combat extremism. This program, initiated with the Counter-Terrorism International Conference held in Riyadh from February 5-8, 2005, features advertisements on television, radio and billboards, as well as programs on television, in schools and mosques, and at sporting events. Its objective is to educate Saudi citizens about the true values of the Islamic faith and the importance of tolerance and moderation.
“The campaign will help educate our public, especially our young people, about the dangers of extremism and terrorism,” said Adel Al-Jubeir, Foreign Affairs Advisor to Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
The campaign, conducted over several weeks, has as one of its centerpieces a series of public service advertisements that have been airing up to 25 times a day on a number of Arabic satellite networks including Al-Arabiya, MBC and Future Television, as well as on Saudi TV channels.
The size and scope of this campaign is unprecedented. Six government ministries are coordinating the development and execution of the programs. The Ministry of Education, for example, is sponsoring lectures at public schools that promote moderation, tolerance and peace and point out the dangers of extremism.
“The bottom line is that no Saudi citizen will be able to escape the clear message that intolerance, violence and extremism are not part of our Islamic faith or Saudi culture or traditions,” remarked Al-Jubeir. “We are using different forms of communication to send a clear and powerful message, and we are taking serious actions to undermine the strength of those that try to misguide our young people.”