MWL: Ex­trem­ism has lit­tle foothold in Mus­lim world

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NEW YORK: The vast ma­jor­ity of Mus­lims are in­ter­ested in cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the nonMus­lim world and ex­trem­ism is an ab­nor­mal and iso­lated oc­cur­rence, Mo­hammed Al-Issa, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Mus­lim World League, (MWL) told a con­fer­ence in New York on Saturday.

“Cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion gen­er­ates un­der­stand­ing among na­tions … and this leads to the al­liance of civ­i­liza­tions,” Al-Issa said.

Ex­trem­ism “has lit­tle foothold in the Mus­lim world,” he said, and ac­cord­ing to the lat­est es­ti­mates, the term could be ap­plied to only one in 200,000 peo­ple. “The im­pact of in­tel­lec­tual and mil­i­tary ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ism is shrink­ing, in a clear and tan­gi­ble way.”

Al-Issa said ex­trem­ism was a gen­eral and com­pre­hen­sive con­cept, and to at­tribute it only to Is­lam was false since it also had in­tel­lec­tual, po­lit­i­cal and racial as­pects.

He was speak­ing on the open­ing day of the In­ter­na­tional Mus­lim World League Con­fer­ence, at­tended by more than 450 rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Is­lamic in­sti­tu­tions and sci­en­tific, in­tel­lec­tual and po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions from around the world.

The two-day con­fer­ence will dis­cuss is­sues in­clud­ing cul­tural con­tri­bu­tions from the US and the Is­lamic world, the Is­lamic con­tri­bu­tion to the pro­mo­tion of world peace, Mus­lims in the US, in­te­gra­tion and cit­i­zen­ship, and the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the US and the Is­lamic world.

Yousef bin Ah­mad Al-Othaimeen, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Is­lamic Co­op­er­a­tion, told del­e­gates at the con­fer­ence that cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion en­hanced link­age be­tween cul­tures and helped to close the cul­tural gap. “We look for­ward to liv­ing in dig­nity and se­cu­rity and pro­tect­ing our fam­i­lies and Mus­lims,” he said.

Al-Othaimeen said more than 1.8 bil­lion Mus­lims around the world lived in peace and re­flected mod­er­ate Mus­lim ide­olo­gies.

Ab­dul Rah­man ibn Ab­dul Aziz Al-Su­dais, gen­eral pres­i­dent for the Af­fairs of the Two Holy Mosques, said cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween na­tions was im­por­tant, es­pe­cially be­tween the US and the Mus­lim world, and es­sen­tial to Is­lamic civ­i­liza­tion. Con­fronting ter­ror­ism was one of the main ob­jec­tives of cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion, he said.

Mo­hammed Al-Issa, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Mus­lim World League, ad­dresses a con­fer­ence in New York on Saturday.

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