In remarks at Oxford University today, Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki Al-Faisal said that terrorist acts perpetrated by Al-Qaeda have changed the global perspective, and will remain a contributing factor in international relations. He remarked that Al-Qaeda is not a religious or political organization based on Islamic principles, but a cult that exploits the suffering of others in order to realize its goals. He warned that Al-Qaeda is trying to create a wedge between peoples and religions, and underscored the importance of a collective counterterrorism effort on both the local and international level.
Commenting on the Middle East, Prince Turki said that an unjust handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict above all else has damaged Western relations with the Islamic world. Prince Turki also said that terrorists have used the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to justify their destructive activities, and pointed out that such international conflicts can never justify acts of terrorism. He added, however, that it would be naïve to believe that terrorism will end once the Israeli-Palestinian issue is resolved, and that cultures must strive to understand each other.
Prince Turki also said that governments should not shelter people who proselytize extremist ideologies, and should view those individuals as aggressors, not victims, and prosecute them.
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