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Islamic Leaders, Trump Inaugurate Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Islamic leaders and US President Donald Trump inaugurate the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh on May 21. (SPA)

Riyadh – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and US President Donald Trump inaugurated in Riyadh on Sunday the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (EATEDAL ) along with the leaders and representatives of 55 Arab and Islamic countries.

EATEDAL seeks to become a global authority on combatting extremist ideology and a beacon for disseminating moderation.

The inauguration took place after the Arab-Islamic-US summit that was held in Riyadh also on Sunday.

King Salman stressed at the opening that terrorism is the product of terrorism and that the decision to establish EATEDAL stemmed from the need to confront it.

The center will help fortify families and communities and protect them against the lure to join terrorism. This will take place in cooperation with peace-loving countries and international organizations, he added.

He stated: “As part of our ongoing war against terrorism, we stress our determination to destroy ISIS and other terrorist groups regardless of their religion, sect or ideology. This is what prompted us to establish the Islamic Military Coalition to Combat Terrorism, in a pioneering step to counter terror.”

For his part, Trump hailed the inauguration of EATEDAL, deeming it an important step in the confrontation against terrorism and terrorist groups around the world.

He noted that more than 90 percent of terror victims come from the Islamic world, adding that there is a responsibility on these people to expel and shun the extremists in order for them to live in peace.

EATEDAL will combat terrorism on the ideological, media and digital levels.

On the ideological level, the center will seek to spread moderation. The media aspect seeks to devise a media strategy and offer material that calls for peaceful coexistence. Extremist ideology will meanwhile be monitored on the digital level.

The media and digital monitoring will take place around the clock. The gathered information will be analyzed in order to determine the reason for such extremism. It will be countered with moderate ideology and the production of media material that calls for tolerance.

Secretary General of EATEDAL, Dr. Nasser al-Baqmi described the center as a “decisive” step that is based on the world’s firm will to stand against terrorism.

The center enjoys “unprecedented” technical capabilities in combating extremist ideology and its activities over the internet and social media. It will develop high quality programs that are capable of monitoring and analyzing extremist content with high accuracy, he revealed.

The center’s technical capabilities can operate in all languages and dialects that are commonly used in extremist ideology. Two advanced demos are being developed. They will be able to pinpoint the geographic locations that are harboring terror and extremist ideology, said Baqmi.

The demos will help determine the digital platforms and shed light on extremist hubs and secret sources of recruitment.

Saudi Arabia set up EATEDAL within 30 days only through the exceptional efforts of more than 350 qualified Saudi youths.

It is a product of international cooperation to confront extremist ideology that leads to terrorism, which the common enemy of the world. EATEDAL was established with the help of many countries and includes a number of international experts in countering extremist media rhetoric.