Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I'll take these statements much more seriously when the Saudi's start doing the following:

  1. Denouncing suicide bombings by Palestinians against Israel as terrorism
  2. Fire the government-paid clerics who preach radicalism in their mosques

Saudi Official Urges Muslims 'To Combat Deviant Thoughts', 'Oppose Terrorism' Report by Galal Fakkar in Mecca: "Makkah Plays Pivotal Role in Promoting Tolerance: Governor"

Arab News

Monday, September 19, 2005 T07:02:04Z

The holy city of Makkah has been playing a big role in promoting tolerance and encouraging dialogue between various cultures, says Makkah Governor Prince Abdul Majeed.

Prince Abdul Majeed made the remarks while inaugurating celebrations to mark Makkah as the Islamic cultural capital of 2005. He urged intellectuals and scholars all over the Islamic world to combat deviant thoughts and oppose all types of terrorism, which is totally against the spirit of Islam and its lofty goals.

The governor reminded scholars and intellectuals of their great responsibility saying they have to lighten the way of people keeping up with modern developments.

He also emphasized the role of educated women in bringing up future generations on the basis of pure Islamic teachings.

Culture and Information Minister Iyad Madani said Makkah has been the center of culture and civilization since time immemorial. Scholars from different parts of the world came to the city and enlightened the world through their knowledge.

"These scholars promoted tolerance by reaching out to non-Muslims," he pointed out. He spoke about Makkah's heritage, which is manifested itself in its streets, buildings, lifestyle, fashions and food.

Dr. Nasser Al-Saleh, president of Um Al-Qura University and secretary-general of the festival organizing committee, said his university would host about 70 cultural events this year as part of the festivities.

Higher Education Minister Dr. Khaled Al-Anqari inaugurated a museum at the university showcasing the city's rich heritage including old coins, Islamic engravings, old calligraphic writings and several rare possessions.

Dr. Muhammad Al-Oqla, undersecretary at the university for studies and scientific research, said the university had been making preparations for the festival for the past 18 months in coordination with other government agencies.

A three-day seminar focusing on the importance of Makkah is being held as part of the festival. Al-Saleh said more than 300 research papers would be presented at the seminar by scholars and historians from within and outside the Kingdom.

"The seminar will focus on nine main topics including Makkah's religious role and its influence on other nations; cultural and educational movements in Makkah; endowments and their effect on Makkah society; the concept of security in Makkah; Makkah environment; and the expansion of the Grand Mosque.

"The main objective of the seminar is to study the cultural role of Makkah, past and present," the Um Al-Qura president said, adding that the seminar would have a total of 16 sessions.



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