JEDDAH (RAHNUMA): The head of Saudi Arabia’s counter-extremism center received a delegation of international religious leaders on Thursday in Riyadh, where he gave a speech focusing on the importance of understanding the changes in the world, empowering women, keeping abreast of communication developments, and formulating joint strategies to combat extremism.
Dr. Mansour Al-Shammari, who is secretary-general of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal), also said in his speech that humanity knew nothing but tolerance, coexistence, and acceptance of the other and rejected everything that divided and did not bring people together.
The world was going through transformations and changes that were not without the escalation of the intensity of extremist rhetoric, the repercussions of a post-pandemic reality, and new conflicts that multiplied economic and social challenges, he said.
Humanity knew nothing but tolerance, coexistence, and acceptance of the other and rejected everything that divided and did not bring people together.
Dr. Mansour Al-Shammari, Secretary-general, Etidal
“Therefore, these unconventional variables require an unconventional and more flexible approach than before, based on partnership in dealing with these global challenges unrelated to religion, race, culture or place.”
He discussed the cooperation necessary to confront extremist organizations’ exploitation of rapid and successive technical developments in communications and seize these organizations’ polarizing recruitment operations.
“The developments in communication, especially concerning social media platforms, allow the rapid spread of extremist content, mainly targeting the youth. This requires concerted efforts and the development of joint strategies when dealing with these challenges, as we also emphasize the empowerment of women to practice their main role in developing the strategy based on the belief of women’s role in society.”
Rabbi Moshe Lewin, vice president of the Conference of European Rabbis and a special adviser to the chief rabbi in France, said: “I am very impressed with Etidal and the extent of professionalism in counteracting extremism, and this should be the case in all nations in our world, and the presence of such a center in Saudi Arabia is greatly important.”
The president of the Foundation for Islam in France, Sheikh Ghalib bin Al-Sheikh Al-Hussein, described Saudi Arabia as “a pioneer” in its efforts to undermine terrorist acts and extremist ideologies.
Al-Shammari stressed that Etidal supported fruitful global cooperation to build international capacity to deal with the phenomenon of extremist ideologies.
He affirmed the importance of promoting the values of coexistence between civilizations and people of all races, nationalities, and ethnicities.
Etidal is tasked with fighting extremism and seeks to build cooperative strategies that enhance the values of global coexistence and renounce violence.