[Opinion Editor’s note: This material from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is being published here unchanged as it was received by The Times.]
THE Embassy would like to refer to foreign media reports on terror attacks that recently happened in some countries of the world, and the attempts of some of them to link these events to what they describe (conservative Wahabbi) in the Kingdom. Given the importance of not leaving a little space for these fallacies and what some writers arc stating in linking these unfortunate events to the Kingdom, as well as the need for the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to react to them immediately, the Embassy would like to inform the following:
1. Islam had been launched more than (1400) years ago to spread the principles of love and harmony, the call of Sheikh Mohammad Ibn Abdulwahhab came about (300) years after to affirm these principles and establish it.
2. If the call of Sheikh Mohammad Ibn Abdulwahhab was a call for extremism and violence, and the rejection of others, it might have been felt in the Arabian Peninsula since centuries ago. But the Arabian Peninsula did not experience violence and extremism except during three decades ago.
3. The religious scholars in the Kingdom and at all levels strictly and firmly denounced and are continuously denouncing extremism, violence and terrorism, as these are contrary to Islamic values and Islam’s teachings of tolerance.
4. The religious scholars in the Kingdom based their denunciation on the contradiction of terroristic actions with the texts of the Holy Quran and the noble Tradition of the Prophet, which are considered as sources of legislation in the Kingdom.
5. The Kingdom had suffered and is still suffering from attacks by terrorists of Al Qaida and Daesh since 1995 until now. The Kingdom fights them in all aspects (security and intellectual) and cut their financial channels, as the Kingdom passed legislations criminalizing terrorism. It also managed to arrest thousands of them on suspicion of terrorism, recruitment and brought them to justice.
6. The Kingdom sensed early the seriousness of the spread of the terrorist phenomenon (internationally), and repeatedly warned the world about it, and it did not spare any efforts in order to unify international efforts to combat and uproot terrorism.
7. For this purpose, the Kingdom took the initiative to host the first international conference to combat terrorism in its capital in 2005, on the level of security specialists in order to set up international cooperation in view of its belief on the necessity of international cooperation to thwart terrorism and extremism.
8. The Kingdom defended the efforts that resulted in the establishment of the International Center to Combat Terrorism under the auspices of the United Nations and supported it with (US$110 million), and the Kingdom did not hesitate to participate in any international conference or initiative to combat terrorism.
9. The Kingdom warned since years ago of the dangers of the Syrian and Iraqi crises on the growth of the terrorist phenomenon, and affirmed that the way to defeat Daesh is possible by reaching at a political solution to the Syrian crisis, and to implement needed reforms in Iraq.
10. The Kingdom is one of the founding members of the international military alliance against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, and one of the first states which contributed effectively, and still is conducting a military campaign against Daesh in Syria.
Our Embassy would greatly appreciate it if your widely-read newspaper could disseminate this to your readers by way of an article.
ROYAL EMBASSY OF SAUDI ARABIA IN MANILA