2002 Speech
 

02/25/2002
Address by Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi to information delegations at 1422 Hajj

Brothers, our guests, our colleagues, one and all:
May God bestow on you peace and mercy.
First of all, it gives me great honor to convey to you from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, his faithful Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and Second Deputy Prime Minister Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, greetings and their heartfelt wishes and hopes that the Islamic media will have ever greater success and maintain its deserving place in the Muslim community with its great message. It also gives me personally great pleasure to greet and welcome you; and to congratulate those of you who performed Hajj; and to extend congratulations to all of you on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha , the feast of sacrifice. May God accept your good deeds.

   

Brothers:

I have participated in the media coverage, whether written in the press or relayed through radio and television. This coverage has helped in transmitting the events of Hajj worldwide, so that the international community may know all it needs to know about the journey of faith symbolized by the shahada [declaration of faith] 'There is no god but God and the Prophet Muhammad is the Messenger of God'. It is where you hear Muslims uttering the talbia: "Here we are, God, before thee." And you hear prayers and supplications for the good of this world and the hereafter. Such a community can only be a great community. Those who belong to such a community must benefit from it as a source of bounties. Wherever they go, their aim is always to do right and to sow the earth with an abundance of righteousness by performing their rituals as ordained by God Almighty.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is honored by serving the Two Holy Mosques, cannot stand idle, because of its historic obligations when it comes to supporting Islamic causes, and especially that of Palestine; it cooperates with all brotherly and friendly countries in this respect. This unwavering firm Saudi policy has made this holy land a target of unscrupulous media which looks negatively at successive Saudi initiatives that have uncovered the false claims of the Israeli regime, which neither abides by the United Nations resolutions nor honors logic or international norms.

Brothers:

Perhaps it is important here to mention the Saudi initiatives starting with King Fahd's peace initiative, which laid down the basis of negotiations and demonstrated to the international public opinion the case of Arab strategy within the concept of land for peace and through the relevant UN resolutions. Then Crown Prince Abdullah offered an initiative that gained support and approval, that of establishing two funds, the Al-Quds and the Al-Aqsa, that total one thousand million dollars. The contribution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to these funds was duly paid in full. 

The question that now arises in the midst of these current events is this: what has the Islamic media done in face of those aggressive unjust campaigns which are on the increase? 

Before we try to answer this question, we should bear in mind that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been targeted because it is the cradle of Islam, its throbbing heart where Muslims long to serve as the servants of the Two Holy Mosques. 

I would like, however, to thank your for your media coverage. My thanks are extended to those present, and especially to the members of the Saudi press, for all their valuable contributions which have integrated them with the rest of the Islamic media, moving forward to wider horizons and carrying the message of Islam and the message of peace: an olive branch, a dove, and a guiding light towards the right path.

I would also like to mention the efforts of my colleagues at the Ministry: Prince Turki bin Sultan, who is Assistant Minister of Information, the staff of the information affairs sections, the Saudi Press Agency, television, radio, internal information, foreign information, public relations, technical affairs, and the administration. They have all accompanied us during this Hajj mission to provide comfort and logistics in the best possible way. I pray to God to guide us all to gain His pleasure and wish you many happy returns of this occasion as we thank and praise God Almighty.

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