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Tweeps 2017 Urges Casting Extremism Away | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, speaks at in the Tweeps 2017 social media forum at a hotel in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. AFP/ MANDEL NGAN)

Riyadh – Organized by the Riyadh-based MiSK Foundation, the interactive Tweeps 2017 forum registered the attendance of notable personalities, among which was daughter and advisor of the United States President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump.

Trump thanked members of the Saudi royal family during her brief remarks and touted the power of social media.

Tweeps speakers urged youth to fight off terror propaganda online and on social media platforms, in addition to actively repelling extremist ideology.

The White House adviser said on Sunday that social media is an incredibly power tool which empowers the people, particularly the next generation.

She said the new generation of Arabs and Muslims have the opportunity to build their future based on “tolerance, hope and peace.”

Several topics were discussed during the event, including the challenges that the international community is facing in its war against extremism through social media and the role of Twitter and social media in aiding a social movement for women.

For his part, Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat Adel al-Jubeir called on countries that embrace terrorists to “criminalize their ideas.”

Confronting extremism comes in three stages– confronting the terrorists, draining the sources of funding for terrorism and more importantly confronting the ideology — said Jubeir.

The UAE’s foreign minister has warned Europe that some countries could be classified as “incubators of terrorism” if they fail to better address extremism.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said that such countries should be publicly identified if they did not do more to address terror.

“Saudi Arabia is more keen to fight terrorism than the… Europeans,” Sheikh Abdullah said during the Tweeps Forum 2017.

“The voices we hear calling for murder and shedding blood and stealing the wealth of people are in London, Germany, Spain and Italy.

“There will come a day when we see far more radicals, extremists and terrorists coming from Europe because of (a) lack of decision-making, and trying to be politically correct.

“From now on, we will name and shame these countries. We will classify them as incubators of terror if they don’t address this problem of terrorism in their lands.”

During the forum a speech by Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb was delivered focusing on the negative impact of hate speech and extremism on youth.

Tweeps 2017 discussed the theme of “countering terrorism and extremism”. It also promoted the role young people can play in countering terrorism, alongside efforts made by governments around the world.