2003 News Story

Crown Prince receives scholars attending Islamic Dialogue Meeting

Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today received Muslim scholars who participated in the National Meeting for Intellectual Dialogue that was held at King Abdulaziz Public Library in Riyadh from June 15 through 18. The scholars presented to the Crown Prince a summary of the working sessions, whose focus was on Islamic discourse within Saudi Arabia and abroad, stressing the Kingdom's adherence to Islam, its ties with the Muslim world, and its national unity within the framework of moderation.

The meeting's final communiqué reported that among the topics covered were identification of national unity, its importance and that of the Islamic principles on which it is based; the pioneering role of Islamic education in maintaining national unity; women's rights and duties and their role in society; the question of moderation and flexibility, and of freedom of expression; the concept of jihad [Holy War] and its requirements; and the Kingdom's relations with other countries, and how to deal with non-Muslims in light of the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet).

The meeting recommended that the Crown Prince's inaugural speech be regarded as a major guiding document, since it stressed the Kingdom's adherence to Islam, its relations with the Muslim world, and its national unity that is to be achieved in a framework of moderation and not extremism. The meeting also recommended that a National Dialogue Center be set up to organize further gatherings and prepare studies and research in this regard; that there be equitable distribution of development programs among the Kingdom's regions; that progress in education continue to be in line with modern times; and that young people be taken into consideration in development plans. The recommendations further called for the continuation of the reform process in all its aspects and for the base of popular participation to be expanded in order to strengthen national unity.