November 3, 2002

Humanitarian Resource Institute Interfaith Study Center
Internet: http://www.humanitarian.net/interfaith/studycenter
Email: istudycenter@humanitarian.net


Excerpts: Reuters, Sat Nov 2, 1:27 PM ET:

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah on Saturday threw his weight behind moderate Islam and urged Muslim youth around the world to shun extremism.

"There is no extremism or forcing in religion," the de facto ruler of the oil-rich kingdom said during a meeting at his palace with members of the World Assembly of Muslim Youths.

"It is our responsibility to tell the truth," an official at meeting quoted the prince as saying.

He told Reuters by telephone that Crown Prince Abdullah told the youth from across the Muslim world "ours is a tolerant and temperate faith and we must conduct ourselves accordingly. There is no room for extremism, in fact it violates the tenants of our faith and traditions of our Prophet."

Saudi Arabia has been facing what it sees as an unjust media campaign in the United States against its brand of Islam and alleged lack of action against extremists since last year's September 11 attacks on U.S. cities, in which 15 of the 19 suicide hijackers were Saudis.

But in the region and even at home, the Saudi government has come under some attack for appearing to promote a more moderate view in a wider debate on the meaning of Islam.

"Some extremist elements have been critical at home of such statements," said one Saudi analyst. "Also in the West, they accuse Saudi Arabia of turning a blind eye to sermons in mosques which promote incitement.

"But Prince Abdullah has been calling for sermons which educate people not incite them" over the past year and has been backed by some senior clergymen in Saudi Arabia, he added.

On Saturday, the prince told the youths "we must express ourselves with reason which should guide our statements and actions and not be swayed by emotions," the official said.

Some in the Muslim and Arab world accused the West of launching a war against their faith and not terrorism since the September attacks in the United States which were blamed on Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) and his al Qaeda group.

Related Information:

  • Interfaith & Peace Groups Urged to Embrace Solution Oriented Initiatives  Marc Gopin, Visiting Associate Professor of International Diplomacy and Senior Researcher at The Fletcher School, Tufts University, and Visiting Scholar at the Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, summarized the new War Against Terrorism in the following excerpt from the paper "This War is About Religion, and Cannot be Won Without it."
  • Islam for Today: Muslims Against Extremism and Fundamentalism
  • Articles Include:
    ·  MUSLIMS AGAINST TERRORISM: Quotations, statements and articles by Muslims against terrorism and Osama bin Laden's misguided call for jihad against America.
    ·  BIN LADEN'S VOICE IS HERESY AGAINST ISLAM:   "Mainstream theologians have come out unanimously against the terrorists. What we must now ask them is to campaign more strongly against the aberrant doctrines that underpin them", writes British Muslim convert scholar, Abdal-Hakim Murad.
    ·  THE TRUE, PEACEFUL FACE OF ISLAM:   "The vast majority of Muslims, who are horrified by the atrocity of Sept. 11, must reclaim their faith from those who have so violently hijacked it." Karen Armstrong, Time Magazine, October 1, 2001
    ·  ON THE HIJACKING OF ISLAM:  "If the terrorists that struck the USA last week were indeed Muslims, they have not only committed murder, which carries the death penalty, but have also committed a physical attack upon Islam by the damage they have done to its image." By Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood.
    ·  A TIME FOR INTROSPECTION:   "The worst enemies of Islam are from within", writes American convert scholar of Islam, Hamza Yusuf.
    · RELIGION OF THE JAHILYA - JIHADISM IS KUFR, NOT ISLAM:   A completely new religion seems to be catching the imagination of many people in Pakistan.  Its followers don't, of course, consider it a new religion. Indeed this religion insists that it is Islam, in fact it calls itself true Islam or real Islam. But it can at best be described as Jihadism as its central belief system is based on a wilful misinterpretation of the Islamic concept of Jihad. By Sultan Shaheen.
    · THE THREAT OF ISLAM OR THE THREAT TO ISLAM:   "Violent, extremist Islamists invoke on their own head the true jihad. Challenging all the peoples of the Earth, and first of all traditional Islam, professed by the overwhelming majority of the Islamic world, these forces put themselves in opposition to Islam. And reacting against them is a religious, moral, social and political duty of each Muslim." A speech by Sheikh-ul-Islam, Talghat Tajuddin, Supreme Mufti, Representative of the Central Spiritual Board of Muslims for Russia and the East-European countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Moscow, June 28, 2001
    Url: http://www.islamfortoday.com/fundamnetalism.htm

Back to Humanitarian Resource Institute Interfaith Study Center

Copyright © 1994-2003 Humanitarian Resource Institute.  All rights reserved