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Latest News
  • 12/10/2018

    In Brussels, the European Commission hosted a high-level conference to address discrimination, hate speech and intolerance that affects Muslims in the European Union, with the participation of national authorities, international organizations, representatives of civil society and religious communities.
    “Recent surveys have confirmed that intolerance towards Muslims is growing in the European Union and that the protection of their fundamental rights is being curtailed,” said First Vice-President of the Commission, Francis Timmermans. “There must be no place to discriminate against any minority.
    “Discrimination, acts of intolerance or racism against the 25 million Muslims living in the European Union violate basic rights and feed marginalization and isolation,” said Commissioner Vera Jurava, a justice official.
    “The EU needs to fight this discrimination against Muslims because it makes society more vulnerable and fragile,” Jurava said.
    On the sidelines of the conference, the European Commission for Basic Rights presented a new database providing an overview of hate crimes and the hate speech and discrimination against Muslims in the European Union from 2012 to 2017.

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  • 12/05/2018

    The Knowledge Exchange Program organized the Forum about Tolerance in Islam for scholarship students at Umm Al Qura University in cooperation with the Cooperative Office for Propagation and Guidance in Makkah. The seminar was attended by Dr. Abdullah bin Fahd Al-Lhaidan and attended by Mr. Saad Al-Qarni and directed by Dr. Sabah Al-Din Salmani. And coordinated by Bakr and Tara from Umm al-Qura University and Ali al-Shehri from the exchange program. Al-Lhaidan explained that the Prophet peace be upon him came for peace and mercy for mankind and to save it and bring it out of darkness to light until all people reach the highest levels of human morality in all their dealings in life. The Almighty said about the message of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)W have sent you as mercy for the worlds) . Islam is a universal religion whose mission is to all humanity, a message that calls for justice and ends injustice, and calls for positive coexistence among all human beings in an atmosphere of brotherhood and tolerance among all people regardless of their race, color and beliefs. Everyone is descended from “one soul,” as stated in the Holy Quran: “O people, fear your Lord who created you from one soul” (Women: 1)
    Al-Lhaidan explained that Islam, which was brought by the Messenger of humanity Muhammad peace be upon him carried with it several important laws have been published around the world. One of the most important of these laws is the law of tolerance and coexistence, which was confirmed by the blessed verses, as well as the honorable hadiths. In the Quran there is more than one verse calling for softness and peace and renouncing violence and oppression such as:
    ) Call to the path of your Lord with wisdom and good exhortation and argue with them which is the best ((bees: 125)
    ) And if the ignorant addressed them say peace ((Criterion: 63).
    Islam has been keen to emphasize this tolerance among religions by making it a fundamental element of the Muslim faith.
    This definition of tolerance means, above all, a positive attitude in which the right of others to enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms is recognized. The practice of tolerance does not conflict with respect for human rights, nor does it mean abandoning one’s rights, beliefs or complacency. This tolerance called for by Islam leads to coexistence and then achieves peace, which is the hope of all humanity.
    Peace is a cultural necessity that Islam has proposed for many centuries as a necessity for all aspects of human life, from the individual to the whole world, where society is founded and developed.
    Al-Lhaidan then touched upon the evidence and manifestations of tolerance in Islam:
    -The right to life for all
    -human dignity
    -equality
    -Freedom of belief
    -Tolerance
    -Peace
    -Dialogue
    The Forum also included the theme of religions between tolerance and confrontation and the march of Islamic thought in contemporary history and then was a presentation of the program of knowledge exchange: the beginning, goals and achievements. The forum lasted from 10 am to 3 pm and was attended by more than sixty students from the scholarship students at Umm Al Qura University and was followed by a luncheon for the participants.

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  • 11/28/2018

    The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has initiated a joint event of Permanent Observer Delegations to the United Nations in Geneva to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 26 November 2018 at the Palais des Nations.
    The aim of this interactive panel discussion, in which the Director General of the UN Office in Geneva and the High Commissioner for Human Rights will be the guests of honor, is to share vision and policy approach to promote and defend the values and principles of Human Rights such as equality, non-discrimination, social justice, tolerance, and freedom.
    The Observer delegations, which include the OIC Permanent Observer Mission to the UN in Geneva, will reflect on how through selected articles of the UDHR, they are promoting the virtues of respect, tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness among their constituencies.

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  • 11/14/2018

    The Knowledge Exchange Program in the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in cooperation with the Arabic Language Institute at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, organize an intensive course of the Arabic language, which has been launched for students from the Islamic academic centers in the Russian Federation. The program lasts for six weeks, with visits to the two holy sites and the most important tourist attractions in Jeddah, and cultural, sports and social programs in cooperation between the program and the Institute and the Deanship of Student Affairs at the University. Dr. Abdullah Al-Lhaidan, supervisor of the Knowledge Exchange Program, said that the course was part of a series of intensive Arabic language courses organized by the program in cooperation with the Arabic Language Institute at King Abdul Aziz University, where two courses were previously held for students from Britain and Japan.
    Al-Lhaidan explained that this session comes as a result of the directives of the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Dr. Abdul Latif Al-Sheikh to intensify the courses and work to strengthen links with universities and Islamic centers abroad to clarify the true image of the moderate Islamic approach of Saudi Arabia and cooperation with universities and academic centers to spread the true and moderate Islam and fight extremism and hatred, and call for tolerance and coexistence.

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  • 11/05/2018

    The sons of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi have said they have faith in Saudi Arabia’s King Salman’s promise that those responsible will be brought to justice.
    Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Salah Khashoggi said: “The King has stressed that everybody will be brought to justice. And I have faith in that.”
    The Washington Post columnist disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, it was later revealed that he had been murdered and 18 Saudi officials were arrested.
    “I really hope that whatever happened wasn’t painful for him, or it was quick. Or he had a peaceful death,” Salah’s brother, Abdullah told the US network during the interview in Washington.
    “All what we want right now is to bury him in Al-Baqi in Medina with the rest of his family,” Salah added.
    “I talked about that with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it happens soon.”
    There has been widespread speculation about the events leading to the death of Khashoggi, most of which has since been retracted.
    “I see a lot of people coming out right now and trying to claim his legacy and unfortunately some of them are using that in a political way that we totally don’t agree with,” Salah told CNN. “My fear is that it’s being over politicized.”
    “Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy, that it is the thing that is keeping the country together.”
    The brothers said they trying to piece together an understanding of their father’s death.
    “There’s a lot of ups and downs…. We’re trying to get the story – bits and pieces of the story to complete the whole picture,” Abdullah said. “It’s confusing and difficult.”
    “It’s not a normal situation and not a normal death.”

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  • 10/28/2018

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled against defamation of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and said such activities exceed the permissible limits of freedom of expression,
    Upholding a lower court’s decision, the ECHR said that defaming Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) “goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate” and “could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace”.
    The court’s decision comes after an Austrian national named Mrs S. held two seminars in 2009, in which she defamed the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
    According to the ECHR, the Vienna Regional Criminal Court (VRCC) found that the statements made in the seminar titled “Basic Information on Islam” were defamatory and in February 2011 convicted Mrs S. for disparaging religious doctrines.
    She was also fined €480 (approximately $547) and the costs of the proceedings.
    “Mrs S appealed but the Vienna Court of Appeal upheld the decision in December 2011, confirming, in essence, the lower court’s findings. A request for the renewal of the proceedings was dismissed by the Supreme Court on 11 December 2013,” the ECHR said in a statement released on Thursday.
    “Relying on Article 10 (freedom of expression), Mrs S complained that the domestic courts failed to address the substance of the impugned statements in the light of her right to freedom of expression.”
    During the ruling, the ECHR said it “found in particular that the domestic courts comprehensively assessed the wider context of the applicant’s statements and carefully balanced her right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria.”
    The court held “that by considering the impugned statements as going beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate and classifying them as an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam [PBUH], which could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace, the domestic courts put forward relevant and sufficient reasons.”
    The ECHR statement also affirmed that the decision taken by the domestic court did not violate Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, covering freedom of expression.

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  • 10/28/2018

    The Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, called for the drafting of additional legally binding instruments to deal with the new appearance of racism. While a legal response involving positive punitive measures was of fundamental importance, the “multilevel approach”, which promoted human rights and tolerance, promoted dialogue and understanding and built the capacity of national authorities, security and public information officials to prevent acts of incitement of hatred, Is of vital importance. ”
    Al-Othaimeen stressed the need for the international community to adopt a unified stance in the face of intolerance and discrimination based on religion in order to isolate extreme actions and extremist rhetoric from the Islamic world and the Western world alike.
    This came in a speech addressed to the participants in the fifth international symposium organized by the Permanent Standing Committee for Human Rights of the Organization since yesterday and concludes today in Istanbul, Turkey, under the theme: “Islamophobia: a violation of human rights and a contemporary manifestation of racism” Legal Affairs in the Organization, Ambassador Hassan Ali Hassan said.
    Al-Othaimeen stressed that the OIC’s efforts and continued engagement at all levels have come to fruition as they have enabled us to raise awareness and create institutional support through UN Resolution 16/18, which provides for substantive action to address public concerns about freedom of religion or incitement Of hatred and discrimination based on religion.
    “However, given the scale of the challenge, the efforts of the OIC alone are inadequate; it requires concerted collaborative efforts by Member States, civil society, intellectuals and the media,” he said.
    The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation pointed out that the rise of populist and extreme right-wing movements in many parts of the world has reinforced the discourse of “we are against them”, which has led to a gradual increase in xenophobia manifested and reinforced through hate speech, negative stereotypes, based on Religion or ethnic or social origin.
    The opening session was addressed by the Chairman of the Independent Permanent Commission for Human Rights, Dr Rashid Al Balushi, and the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Turkey, Abdulhamid Gul.
    The fifth International Symposium of the Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights on Islamophobia aims to establish a multi-stakeholder dialogue to analyze Islamophobia objectively and to discuss the disturbing effects of this phenomenon on the persistence of racism in modern societies.

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  • 10/14/2018

    Dr. Abdullah bin Fahd Al-Lheedan, Advisor to the Minister supervising the Knowledge Exchange Program, participated in the World Religions and Traditional Religions Conference in a security world, currently in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan.
    Dr. Al-Lheedan delivered a speech at the third session of the conference entitled “Religion and Globalization: Challenges and Response”. At the beginning of his speech, Al-Luhaidan said: “I am pleased to express my pleasure to participate in the sixth conference of religious leaders in the Republic of Kazakhstan, representing the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Da’wah and Guidance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am also pleased to convey the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz to the Government of His Excellency President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his continued support to the peace efforts in the world. I also convey the greetings and appreciation of His Excellency Dr. Abdullatif Al-Sheikh, Minister of Islamic Affairs, Da’wah and Guidance, and his wish for this conference to continue success.
    Al Lheedan continue saying: In view of the complex problems and crises of mankind today in all parts of the world, and the imperatives of the situation in which man searches for the path to perfection and happiness, and when materialism and material life overwhelm him, he looks into a bright window to emerge from this dark tunnel. All over the world, there has been a wave of thirst for spiritual issues, especially among the younger generation. This issue is increasing today the burden of the message placed on the men of religions, and the message of the religions, especially the Abrahamic religions, becomes greater. Turning away from useless conflicts and arguments, adhering to the Abrahamic chain (the father of all true religions and monotheistic religions), and turning towards intimacy and dialogue, are among the duties of religious men. Today, our world is witnessing successive incidents of violence and terrorism, the assault on the safe, the intimidation of the peaceful, the fueling of conflicts, the spread of hatred, the spread of sectarianism and racism, all amid successive calls for a clash of civilizations and a clash of religions. Some people mistakenly believe that religions – including the Islamic religion – are causes in increasing the conflict and fueling that burning fire. Hence, this conference is important because it sheds light on the position of religions, including the Islamic religion, on contemporary issues.
    He added : Modernist thought believed that religion was a matter of the past, a feature of primitive societies, that it would either be greatly weakened or completely disappear and, at best, would become something of an individual faith, in modern secular societies. But world history has taken these days, different paths from all expectations. In post secular society, religion is no longer perceived as an apprehension, but as an essential component in building facts. The same thing is happening in Muslim societies, but in different ways, that is, considering religion as a means of building civilization, overcoming weakness and delay, and contributing to universality. The return of religion is evidence that secularism has not been able to convince the spirit within a human being, whose bent on religion,. Thinkers did not hesitate to clear the possible positive role of religion, replacing the works of Ernst Blauch, They saw religion as a force for justice and reform in the event of political and social conditions, refusing to reduce religion to a role of justification of authoritarian.
    In this context, Jürgen Habermas stressed that the future is for “rational religion”. modern society reject myths and legends, multi-religious, cultural and ethnic world, religious consciousness must recognize the principle of difference with other sects and accept the authority of science. It must also accept the laws and principles on which the modern state is based, despite its emergence from non-religious ethics. Habermas acknowledges that religion must return to public space and contribute to the building of its realities. This is about the new and clear vision of a religion that accept others. Religion has never been a human means of controlling, managing, or controlling people, but rather in response to the need for meaning, amid excess in all forms of consumption and secularization. in the Islamic world, return to religion came as a result of the failure of development projects and the suffering of people from poverty, ignorance and disease. These issues is increasing today the burden of the message placed on the men of religions, and the message of religious people becomes heavier. Where we must move towards familiarity and dialogue.
    Al Lheedan added : The dialogue is an authentic Islamic approach, maintained by the Prophet Muhammad in all stages of his life with the friend and the enemy. Prophet Muhammad made dialogue a means for three things: acquaintance and co-existence and co-operation between peoples, the Quran said ((O people we created you male and female and made you peoples and tribes to know each other) people acquainted through encounter and meetings. For the followers of religions and cultures, cohabitation is possible, it is a natural thing that they practice among themselves to achieve their interests and safeguard their gains. For cooperation in the Holy Qur’an: “Cooperate with righteousness and piety, and do not cooperate in harm and aggression.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of people is their benefactor .” So it is to benefit all people – and not only to Muslims – is to be a trait and a standard for a true Muslims.
    This stage of cooperation between nations and peoples, cultures and civilizations to achieve common interests and meet the common challenges and threats, and to replace : fear with security, chaos with , stability, backwardness with development, poverty with sufficiency in injustice with justice and fairness. The Messenger of Allah Muhammad peace be upon him With a group of non-Muslims in Makkah sign a treaty in which they support of the oppressed, and the Prophet said: (I have seen in Dar Abdullah bin Jadaan an alliance, if I was invited to like it in Islam I would answered)
    Al Lheedan concluded by saying: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and His Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is making a great effort to support the efforts of understanding between the followers of religions and cultures and seeks to consolidate moderation and confront extremism and exclusion. The knowledge Exchange Program in the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and Guidance, which is supervised by His Excellency Dr. Abdullatif Al-Sheikh, Minister of Islamic Affairs, aimed at conveying true knowledge of religions and their scholars through dialogue and understanding. To cooperate and achieve common objectives with followers of other religions.

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