2004 News Story

Saudi religious leaders on visit to U.K. issue statements condemning terrorism

Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance Shaikh Salih bin Abdulaziz Al As-Shaikh stressed at an Embassy press conference in London, U.K. today that Saudi Arabia has achieved a great deal of success in combating terrorism, with many perpetrators killed or arrested. The Kingdom, he said, enjoys political, economic and social stability in spite of the evil terrorist incidents that have recently occurred. He attributed the global phenomenon of terrorism to outstanding issues such as the Palestinian problem as well as the presence of extremism. Islam, he reiterated, is a religion of love and tolerance that calls for dialogue with others. Commenting that Saudi Arabia does not need to be convinced of the need for political, economic and educational reform, he declared that the extremist groups arose not from the Kingdom’s religious education but as products of what happened in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Shaikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, one of the imams at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, led Friday prayers with over 55,000 worshippers gathered in and around the East London Mosque yesterday. Calling for inter-faith peace and harmony, he urged Muslims to be united in adhering to this message, following the example of Prophet Muhammad, setting an example of "the true image of Islam" in their interactions with other communities, and dispelling misconceptions portrayed by the media. "The history of Islam, he declared, “is the best testament to how different communities can live together in peace and harmony."