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GCC Members Call Out to Move against Media Campaigns Distorting Islam’s Image - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh- Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance Saleh bin Abdul-Aziz Al ash-Sheikh gave emphasis to the necessity of attending the inner composition of a Muslim believer, and to focus on their moderation and wisdom. Some of the call and guidance programs received his criticism for being inclined towards inciting youth with stories of heroism, acts of force, honor and integrity which are differently understood by youth than by reasonable adults. In Al ash-Sheikh’s view, the lapse in guidance is what helps extremists and radical terrorists reap off more recruitment.

Al ash-Sheikh, in his last speech, given at the third meeting of the Ministers of Religious Endowments of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members held yesterday in Riyadh, said that the challenges facing the Islamic nation are grave and equivalent to those faced by Islam itself.

He stressed that Muslims today face an unprecedented challenge aiming at distorting the holy religion’s image, and the threat is projected from within its unity. The danger is in the false alterations its creed, beauty, teachings and morals held by its believers are being subjected to.

The Minister of Islamic Affairs, during the meeting which is attended by Dr. Abdullatif Al Zayani secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, clarified that the situation requires everyone to stand up defending Islam and to spend efforts through the believer himself, the call and guidance programs and through the internet to rise to the obligations Allah the Almighty has bestowed upon us.

Allah in his holy book, according to Al ash-Sheikh, has praised believers who hold dear to their creed and faith; saying that the works of guidance and restoring the mind to the proper Muslim indoctrinated track and distinguishing bad from worse, priorities, and the Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) is absent from a lot of practices conducted by preachers of the Islamic creed.

The Minister addressed the multiple attempts on distorting Islam’s image, so that Muslims now suffer Islamophobia and its aftermath. Muslims now shy away from displaying their religion and are faced with uncomfortable discrimination, especially in Western schools.

The Minister also pointed out that the matter could escalate to obstruct Islam from spreading its message, and identifying with societies or even connecting with world-wide influential parties. According to him, it is needed now, more than ever, to build bridges across the world to identify Islam with research and study centers, universities and media outlets, as such a distortion of Islam cannot be neutralized otherwise. Connection, identification and clarification of truths are the methods most suitable to deal with this negative phenomenon.