(WASHINGTON, DC) – In an interview published on September 23 in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh, stressed the responsibility of all groups and institutions of society to condemn and confront terrorist organizations and extremist ideologies.
“This ideology is being treated in a variety of ways [in Saudi Arabia]. It must be treated by the education curriculum, either by way of written materials or at least by lectures, to clarify this evil ideology to people and warn them against it…what is important is that in education there is something to wake people up from their indifference [to the dangers of this ideology], and help them understand what is happening in reality, and warn them against it,” said Sheikh Al-Sheikh. “Our news media should also treat this issue realistically, not with words and culture, but with a realistic and uncomplicated treatment [of the issue] to clarify to the public what these organizations are, what their goals are, and what harm they cause, and so the media must also be cooperative. Imams should also play a role in this.”
Saudi government officials and religious scholars have long been vocal in condemning the mindset that supports terrorism and anyone who resorts to violence and extremism in the name of religion.
During an address at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue last year, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz stated, “Terrorism and criminality are the enemies of every religion and every civilization. They would not have appeared except for the absence of the principle of tolerance.”
To review additional public statements condemning extremism and promoting moderation, please visit the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia’s website.