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Saudi Arabia: Blacklisting Terror Groups Raises Social Awareness on their Dangers | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia Dr. Tawfiq al-Sudairy. Photo by Khaled al-Khamis

Riyadh- Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia Dr. Tawfiq al-Sudairy confirmed that the kingdom’s strict intolerance and criminalization of terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood, played a great part in raising community awareness. 

Dangers presented by these terror organizations are now known well across the kingdom. Consequently, such groups have been gaining less sympathy in light of the decisive media and awareness campaigns promoting national unity against rifts that undermine peace and security in Saudi Arabia, said Sudairy.

The rate of extremist rhetoric used in Friday sermons has fallen drastically across Saudi Arabia over the last few years, he added.

By emboldening tolerance as a core Islamic value and norm to Arab societies, extensive efforts spent by responsible government authorities has aided in fighting extremism, explained Sudairy.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, the deputy minister stressed that only a united Saudi Arabia exists and would prevail, and that actions pursued by groups seeking a separatist agenda are illicit and considered a crime by law.

Fighting extremism should be made part and parcel of a broader culture, and all slices of society are required to contribute to combating extremism, each according to their own abilities, said Sudairy.

“It is important that the fight against this disease becomes a widely held culture among Arab and Islamic societies. It is one of the most important means of protecting young people who have not yet fallen into the trap of extremism,” he added. 

Addressing Gulf Cooperation Council discussions on the role of mosques in promoting intellectual security, Sudairy said that coordination between Islamic affairs ministries in the GCC is good with signs of increasing efficiency.  

He pointed out that the last meeting of ministers of Islamic affairs of GCC states had examined the role of mosques in promoting intellectual security, and reviewed significant proposals provided by experts and approved by ministers. 

Those proposals can be a good starting point for cementing cooperation and coordination and the exchange of information and experiences of the GCC countries with respect to countering terrorism and extremism.