Govt raps extremists for ‘hijacking Islam’

Members of the Saudi border guards patrol the fence on the Kingdom's northern border with Iraq, near Arar City, on Monday. Saudi Arabia increased its security measures along its frontier with Iraq following attacks launched by the Islamic State (IS) group against Saudi troops and security posts along the border.

Members of the Saudi border guards patrol the fence on the Kingdom’s northern border with Iraq, near Arar City, on Monday. Saudi Arabia increased its security measures along its frontier with Iraq following attacks launched by the Islamic State (IS) group against Saudi troops and security posts along the border.


The Kingdom has intensified efforts to counter extremist groups locally and abroad who are attempting to hijack Islam, the Cabinet said here on Monday.

At a meeting chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace on Monday, the Council of Ministers said these groups were distorting Islam’s message of peace.

Briefing the media on the outcome of the meeting, Adel Al-Toraifi, culture and information minister, highlighted the message against terrorism of King Salman at the World Islamic Conference Against Terrorism, which started on Sunday in Makkah.

The Cabinet also highlighted the Kingdom’s participation in the first world summit against extremism held last week in Washington.

It said that the Kingdom has been at the forefront of tackling extremism in all its forms.

“It is indeed our responsibility to be involved in serious international efforts that seeks to mobilize concerted international action against this evil phenomenon and its sources,” Al-Toraifi said.

The Cabinet also took stock of regional and global issues. King Salman briefed the meeting on his talks with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, emir of Qatar and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates.

He also briefed the ministers on his telephonic conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during which they discussed bilateral cooperation.

Al-Toraifi said the Council of Ministers also discussed several topics on local affairs, including the tenth national dialogue under the title “Extremism and its Effects on National Unity.” This was part of efforts and activities carried out by the King Abdulaziz National Dialogue Center.

The meeting authorized the foreign minister to discuss with Gabon a draft memorandum of understanding on political issues. It also authorized the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities to discuss a draft agreement on archaeology, museums, architectural heritage and handicraft industries.

The Cabinet also approved an agreement between the Kingdom and Azerbaijan on the avoidance of double taxation and tax evasion. It further approved a draft agreement between the Ministry of Civil Service and the Kingdom of Jordan.

The meeting authorized the president of the General Authority for Civil Aviation to sign draft agreements with the Maldives, Czech Republic and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the field of air transport services.

The Cabinet also approved new appointments, including Abdullah bin Ali as secretary general of the council for tenders at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry; and Suleiman bin Mohammed, coordinator of the council agenda, at rank 15 on the general secretariat of the Council of Ministers.

It approved the appointment of Prince Fahd bin Abdullah as minister plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Eqab bin Misfer, undersecretary for security affairs in Madinah; Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, cultural attache at the Ministry of Education; Hamad bin Marzouq Al-Qahtani, director general of the department of information and technology at the Ministry of Civil Service; and Sant bin Suleiman bin Al-Mutairi, general manager for performance monitoring of companies and public institutions.


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