Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal gave a speech about the challenge of terrorism and the misunderstanding it has created about Islam and the Islamic world at the Middle East Institute’s 59th annual conference in Washington today.
In his remarks, Prince Turki characterized terrorism as the biggest single threat to international peace and stability today. Al-Qaeda and groups like it are evil cults with a political agenda to spread fear and destroy bonds between peoples and nations, he said.
Combating the challenge of terrorism requires a multi-pronged international approach, including cutting off financial and physical support for terrorists and international cooperation, such as the establishment of an International Counterterrorism Center as recommended by the Riyadh Declaration.
Prince Turki pointed out that Saudi Arabia is fighting terrorism on every level. It is tracking down terrorists; has introduced some of the most stringent laws in the world to cut off financial support for terrorists; and is actively working to educate people about the dangers of terrorism and extremism through public awareness campaigns and updating educational curriculums to remove any material that could be viewed as advocating intolerance.
The ambassador also warned that combating terrorism requires resolving important political conflicts that are fostering anger in the Muslim world and improving Al-Qaeda’s ability to recruit followers. Al-Qaeda is exploiting turmoil in Israel-Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan and using the perceived injustices there to recruit foot soldiers in its global war on humanity, he said.
Read the full transcript
Watch a video of the speech
Watch a video of the Q&A session