2001 News Story

Saudi leadership encourages scouting movement

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today received Minister of Education Dr. Muhammad Al-Rasheed, who is also chairman of the Arab Scouts Association, together with participants in the 23rd Arab Scouts conference, which opened in Riyadh this morning. King Fahd wished the conference every success, and commended the role of the scouting movement in promoting values and morals among young people, stressing his concern for what is beneficial to Arab youths in order to have a generation committed to religion and equipped with education.

A similar audience was held by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who praised the scouting movement in general and Saudi scouts in particular, and declared: "All the peoples of the world need to fight evil, whether in the form of terrorism or otherwise; all divine faiths renounce evil, and Islam renounces it entirely." He noted that only abnormal people do not love others, and these people are ostracized, saying this is true for all religions and all times. Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz also received the scouting officials, and praised their role, stressing that the country's leaders are servants of God, and desire to serve all Arab and Muslim nations.
At the conference's opening session, Dr. Al-Rasheed read to the boy scouts and their leaders Crown Prince Abdullah's speech, in which he declared that Saudi Arabia, honored to serve the Two Holy Mosques, has always opened wide its doors to all Arabs and Muslims. He urged the boy scouts to fortify themselves with a deep belief in God Almighty, observing that today's world is full of sedition, as a result of which many innocent people have been killed. "We never tolerate any form of injustice," he said, "and we do believe that an innocent person should ever be punished for a crime committed by another." The Crown Prince went on to stress the importance of acquiring knowledge as well as good behavior, and called for conducting dialogue with others, declaring: "We should avoid all forms of sedition and work to enhance the pillars of security and stability in our countries." Commenting that Islam is a great religion, and one of peace, mercy and tolerance, he reaffirmed that it nevertheless does not tolerate humiliation or weakness. He praised the scouting movement for teaching youngsters how to depend on themselves after depending on God Almighty, adding that it also develops skills, and trains young people how to behave properly during hard times.