Saudi Arabia committed to moderate policies

Posted in Broader Middle East | 03-Apr-09 | Source: Gulf in the Media

Saudi Arabia's Interior Minister Prince Nayef, seen here in 2008.

Saudi Arabia has been stressing its role as a country following moderate policies. In the most recent example, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Prince Nayef emphasised the kingdom's policies of moderation, non-interference and mutual respect in foreign relations.
Addressing Islamic scholars, businessmen and tribal leaders who came to greet him on the occasion of his new appointment in Riyadh on Tuesday, Prince Nayef said the Kingdom is always working to promote world peace and stability, and fighting crime, extremism and terrorism.

Prince Nayef, who was appointed second deputy premier, last Friday, highlighted the Kingdom's vision for development and modernisation. "Our Islamic faith teaches the need to acquire power and knowledge and to compete with one another in doing good things, and protect the life and rights of people," he said.

He also highlighted the strong relations enjoyed by Saudi Arabia with other countries and concerted efforts to further strengthen these ties.

Some time ago, Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al Faisal delivered a lecture on Saudi Arabia's belief and practice of moderation at King Abdulaziz University here. "Moderation is the way of life of a progressive Arab Muslim. Society in this country firmly and confidently says ‘no' to extremism and westernisation and ‘yes' to moderation in thinking, politics, economics and culture," he stressed.

"A Saudi youth nowadays finds himself caught between two forms of extremism-- each ideology tries to take him to its side leaving him confused and in need of knowing who he is and what his culture stands for," he said.

Prince Khaled said that an academic chair - Al-Faisal Chair for Deepening Saudi Moderation - is planned to be established at the university.

"Islam is a religion of progress, civilisation, justice, equality and freedom," he said and denounced propaganda by certain westernised Muslims that Islam and Islamic values are the reason for the backwardness of the community.

The lecture was part of a series of meetings and discussions that Prince Khaled has been holding on a regular basis since the start of the year.

He explained how Saudi moderation overcame and defeated extremist ideologies since the time of King Abdul Aziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia.

Prince Khaled has broached the idea of establishing a cultural council to serve as one of various development mechanisms, particularly to promote moderate thinking. He dwelt on the basic principles that mould the character of the people of Saudi Arabia.