Brussels – Secretary General of Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa warned that the extremist reaction against Islam is a result of Islamophobia. He indicated that it will generate more sufferings and increase numbers of extremists who previously were moderate persons coexisting with their societies in non-Muslim countries and respecting their constitutions, laws and cultures.
Speaking at a conference hosted by the European Parliament in Brussels, Issa stressed that Salafism is not a synonym of Islam but rather an approach taken by Muslims who follow their ancestors.
The conference was attended by a number of senior officials from European parliamentarians, politicians, a number of followers of religions and cultures, and leaders and activists of Muslim communities in Europe.
While terming Islamophobia an outcome of lack of knowledge about the true teachings of Islam, Issa said that terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda or Daesh are acting in the name of Islam, which rejects the very ideas that these terrorist organizations are spreading around the world.
“Islam is a 1,400-year-old religion. It cannot be equated and judged by the few events and attacks, carried out because of political or geo-strategic interests. As a religion, Islam teaches humanity, tolerance and mutual respect,” Issa stressed.
Islamic world and Muslim countries are tolerant but only smaller numbers of people are extremists, according to Issa.
He said the Muslim population in the world is around 1.6 billion and extremist forces amount to 1% out of 200, 000. He admitted that even this small number of extremists is striking because of their ideology.
He reiterated that non-Muslim countries should understand that these forces do not represent the religion of Islam.
The sec-gen differentiated between terrorist ideology and conservative thinking.
He cautioned against the use of the term “Islamic terrorism” saying that extremism represents no more than one person and it can’t describe Islam or Muslims.
Issa condemned international media reports blaming Saudi Arabia for financing and promoting extremism, terrorism and sectarian conflicts throughout the world.
Rather, he said, KSA was at war against terrorism and terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
He stressed that terrorists were targeting KSA more than any other country and warned that terrorists are successfully using social media to misguide young minds throughout the world.
The Saudi government has, in this regard, established an International Counterterrorism Center aiming to prevent terror attacks and use the media and social media to counter extremist ideas.
The Muslim World League is an international non-governmental Islamic organization, which was founded in 1962 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia following a resolution of the General Islamic Conference.