[Washington, DC] – Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki Al-Faisal today called for increased international cooperation to help combat extremism and terrorism worldwide in a speech delivered at the Middle East Institute’s 59th Annual Conference entitled “Terrorism and Radical Islam: Challenges and Misunderstandings.”
In his remarks, Prince Turki cautioned against associating the Islamic faith with extremism: “They [terrorists] wrongly attempt to use Islam to bolster and proselytize their extremism. They wrongly pervert Islamic texts in order to support their political agendas. They wrongly issue politically motivated fatwas permitting suicide bombings and the taking of innocent lives.” Prince Turki emphasized that “well before 9-11, religious scholars in Saudi Arabia had consistently and unequivocally condemned terrorism in general and suicide bombings in particular.”
Prince Turki highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts to fight terrorism, those who support it, and those who condone it. He described Al-Qaeda as an organization that “has no one declared enemy, and no one focus. Al-Qaeda has pitted itself against the whole of humanity.”
The Ambassador also remarked: “There are those who believe that the war against Al-Qaeda is a war between East and West; between Christianity and Islam. Some see it as a ‘clash of civilizations.’ We are not engaged in a clash of civilizations; we are engaged in a war ‘for civilization.’ It is a war that pits all peace-loving people, regardless of their culture or faith, against the forces of darkness.”
Prince Turki also stated that resolving regional problems, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, stabilizing Iraq, and helping the people of Afghanistan restore their nation, would take away a recruiting tool from Al-Qaeda.
For the complete text of Prince Turki’s speech, please visit www.saudiembassy.net.
Full text of prepared speech
Videos of Prince Turki’s speech and Q&A session