Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—In his annual Hajj message, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, called on Muslims to put their differences aside and stand together. Crown Prince Salman delivered King Abdullah’s address at the annual reception for Islamic leaders, dignitaries, and Hajj pilgrims held at the Mina Palace on Wednesday.
The speech read: “Our goals are for the interests of Muslims and because of the fear of division among Muslims. Dialogue between Islamic sects is the best way to unite and understand each other. Our differences should not affect the unity of the Islamic ummah.”
King Abdullah called on Muslims to put aside their differences and rivalries, hailing the establishment of a Center for Dialogue between Islamic Sects in the city of Medina. This plan had been adopted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation earlier this year.
King Abdullah affirmed that Muslims across the world “share the same worries and hopes,” adding that success can only be secured if the Islamic ummah holds tight to its own beliefs.
However the Saudi King also warned that the Islamic ummah would not allow others to interfere in its affairs, undermine its security, or disrespect Islam.
“From the land of the Prophet’s message, we are telling the world that we are a nation that will never compromise its religious and moral values and we will never allow anyone to offend the sovereignty of our nation or interfere in its internal or foreign affairs,” the statement read.
The King called on Muslims to stand together and deal with others “with a forgiving humanity that does not reject others just because they believe in different religions.”
King Abdullah also expressed his hopes for mutual respect and friendship between different countries of the world, regardless of conflicting interests.
“In this era of rivalries, we must reject authoritarianism and arrogance and if we realize this, then our hearts will have the values of friendship and whoever disagrees is on his own, as we have the pride and dignity of our people.”