In the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
My Dear Brothers and Friends:
May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.
It is my pleasure to thank you for accepting the invitation to participate in this historic gathering, and to welcome you, on behalf of my brother, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques -- may God protect him – and on behalf of the Saudi people, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the land of peace and Islam, from which an eternal message of equality and friendship between all people was launched. In the words of the Almighty: “O, Mankind, we have created you from a male and female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you before God is the one who is most pious.”
This eternal call from our Almighty God represents the true spirit of Islam, a religion of peace, wisdom and righteousness, not the false slogans espoused by those outside the bounds of Islam who proclaim them from dark caves in order for the enemies of Islam to use them to create a distorted picture of our faith. The prophet of Islam - God’s peace and blessings be upon him - is a prophet of mercy, and Islam is a religion of mercy. It is therefore not possible that mercy and terrorism can co-exist in one mind, or one heart, or one house.
My Dear Friends:
The convening of this conference, which includes nations from various cultures, faiths and political systems, is clear testimony that terrorism, when it strikes its victims, does not differentiate between cultures, faiths or forms of government. Terrorism does not belong to any culture, or religion, or political system. It is a global crime perpetrated by evil minds filled with hatred towards humanity and consumed with a blind desire to kill and destroy.
This conference represents the will of the international community to combat this crime in every aspect by fighting evil with justice, confronting deviant thought with wisdom and noble ideas, and challenging extremism with moderation and tolerance.
It is important to recognize that terrorism is strongly linked to three other global crimes: arms smuggling, drug smuggling and money laundering. It will be more difficult for us to prevail in our war on terrorism if our war does not include a serious effort to confront the three other crimes.
My Dear Friends:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to suffer from terrorism and warn of its dangers. It has dealt with it vigilantly on the local, regional and international levels. We are fighting terrorism, those who support it and those who condone it. We will continue to do so until we eliminate, with the help of God, this evil. During this conference, we will present our experience in dealing with terrorism, and we also look forward to benefiting from your experiences in this area. I have no doubt - God willing - that our collective experiences will help all of us in the battle against terrorism. It is our hope that this conference will usher a new era of international cooperation in the war against terrorism that will enable us to rid our world of this threat.
In this regard, I call upon all countries to establish an international center for combating terrorism where experts in this area can exchange information instantly in response to the demands of the situation and the need to prevent incidents - God willing - before they occur.
I realize that the danger of terrorism cannot be eliminated overnight, and that our war against terrorism will be long and difficult, and that terrorism is becoming increasingly violent and vicious as we tighten the noose around it. But I am fully confident - God willing - that the final outcome will be a resounding victory for the forces of moderation, tolerance and peace against the forces of hatred, extremism and crime, with the help of God Almighty, the ultimate supporter and protector.
Thank you, and may God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.