Condemning Extremism and Combating Terrorism
(WASHINGTON, DC) - The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. issued the following fact sheet today:
Fact Sheet: Condemning Extremism and Combating Terrorism
Public Statements by Senior Saudi Officials and Religious Scholars
As the birthplace of Islam and the home of the Two Holy Mosques, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejects extremists and terrorists who aim to subvert the Islamic faith. Saudi officials and religious scholars have long been vocal in condemning terrorism and extremism.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, August 29, 2014
“The evils of terrorism must be fought with force, reason and speed.”
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, August 1, 2014
“I call on leaders and scholars of the Islamic nation to carry out their duty towards God Almighty, and to stand in the face of those trying to hijack Islam and present it to the world as a religion of extremism, hatred, and terrorism, and to speak the word of truth, and not fear anybody. Our nation today is passing through a critical, historic stage, and history will be witness against those who have been the tool exploited by the enemies to disperse and tear the nation and tarnish the pure image of Islam.”
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, July 27, 2014
“These groups have become an easy tool for the enemies of Islam who use them to terrorize and kill innocent people through the distortion of the holy text and interpretation of Islamic law to serve their ends and personal interests.”
Council of Senior Ulema (religious scholars), September 17, 2014
“Terrorism is a heinous crime, injustice and aggression rejected by Shariah (Islamic law). The Council called on religious scholars “to do their duty and intensify the guidance of people in this serious matter to clarify the truth."
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, who is also Chairman of the Council of Senior Ulema (religious scholars) and the General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta, August 19, 2014
"The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism do not belong to Islam in any way, but are the first enemy of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims, as seen in the crimes of the so-called Daash (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda and their affiliated groups.”
Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, August 20, 2014
"There is no religion or faith that condones the killing of the innocent. According to Islam, the killing of an innocent soul is tantamount to the killing of all of humanity. We cannot stand silent while this immoral collection of terrorists and deviants commit reprehensible acts of violence and murder against the innocent anywhere.”
Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, August 13, 2014
“Terrorism has no faith, no nationality, no ethnicity and no humanity. It is incumbent on the international community to work closely together to rid our world of this scourge.”
Initiatives and Efforts to Combat Terrorism and Terror Financing
International terrorism threatens the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its allies and the global community. Defeating the terrorist enemy requires sound policies, concerted government efforts and international cooperation.
Combating Terrorism: The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz called for the establishment of an international center to combat terrorism more than 10 years ago out of his firm belief that terrorism can be most effectively fought when nations work closely together in all areas, including the sharing of information.
In 2005, Saudi Arabia hosted the historic Counter-Terrorism International Conference in Riyadh where more than 55 countries participated and during which the proposal for the establishment of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) was unanimously adopted. In 2008, King Abdullah pledged $10 million to the United Nations to establish the Centre and, in 2011, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the U.N. to launch the UNCCT. In August 2014, King Abdullah provided the Centre with a donation of $100 million to enhance its capabilities and effectiveness in helping countries combat terrorism. In February 2014, King Abdullah issued a royal decree on counterterrorism. The decree reinforced that acts of terrorism, including membership in terrorist organizations, and participation in hostilities outside the Kingdom, will not be tolerated.
Saudi Arabia continues to undertake effective initiatives in support of countries combating terrorism around the world. Examples include:
- Lebanon – Saudi Arabia donated $1 billion to Lebanese security services to combat terrorism. This aid is separate from the $3 billion Saudi Arabia pledged to Lebanon in December 2013 to strengthen the capabilities of the nation’s armed forces.
- Yemen – Saudi Arabia is the largest donor of aid to Yemen. Its aid has helped the country enhance counterterrorism training and expanded Yemen’s expertise and intelligence collection in order to combat the spread of terrorism.
- Iraq – Saudi Arabia contributed $500 million to the Iraqi people, regardless of religion or ethnicity, in order to help the Iraqi people overcome the hardships they have endured and to help thwart the spread of extremism.
- Saudi Arabia has also provided financial support to other countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Mauritania to help enhance counter-terrorism capabilities.
Combating Terror Financing: Terror networks thrive on illicit funding, often hiding behind charitable organizations. To counter this threat, Saudi Arabia has put in place one of the world’s strictest financial control systems to prevent funds going to support terrorism.
- All Saudi financial institutions have implemented the 40 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of the G-8 regarding money laundering and the eight recommendations regarding terror financing.
- Saudi charities are prohibited from transferring money abroad. The collection of cash contributions in mosques and public places is prohibited.
- The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) offers programs and has implemented a technical program to train judges and investigators on legal matters involving terrorism financing and money laundering methods, international requirements for financial secrecy, and methods exercised by criminals to exchange information.
- Saudi Arabia works closely with the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Australia and other allies to combat terror financing on a global scale.
Overcoming Extremism: As home of the Two Holy Mosques of Islam, Saudi Arabia will not tolerate extremists who have misused religion to advance perverted agendas. To combat this threat, Saudi officials and religious scholars have publicly and unequivocally condemned terrorist acts, and have aggressively sought to discredit deviant terrorist ideologies.
- Saudi Arabia has launched a nationwide effort through the Kingdom’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs to ensure mosques have not been used as sources of extremism.
- The Senior Council of Ulema (religious scholars) has issued a fatwa (religious edict) prohibiting terrorism and terrorist financing, and declaring any support for terrorism is a violation of Islamic law.
- To combat the spread and appeal of extremist ideologies among the population, the Kingdom has initiated a Counter-Radicalization Program. This effort educates at-risk groups about the dangers of violent extremism and provides positive, alternative outlets.
- In 2007, King Abdullah launched an international effort to promote interfaith dialogue. In 2011, The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) was founded in Vienna to promote mutual understanding among followers of different religions and cultures around the world.