Abdullah to Open Conference on Islam and Terrorism Today

RIYADH – Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier and commander of the National Guard, will inaugurate an international conference on Islam and terrorism at Imam Muhammad In Saud Islamic University (IMSIU) today.

The conference, titled “The Position of Islam on Terrorism, Violence and Extremism”, will bring together some 100 scholars from around the world.

The terrorism conference was prompted by the increasing number and ferocity of terrorist attacks in the Kingdom and worldwide, according to Dr. Abdullah Al- Hamoud, the chairman of the conference’s media committee.

“Islam has a clear position on terrorism and violence and their causes,” he said, adding the religion “abhors such phenomena and combats them.”

The university has been trying to shed its extremist image after it emerged that a number of men on the government’s list of most wanted terror suspects were its graduates. Al-Hamoud denied reports that some IMSIU students and staff are busy fighting the US-led occupation in Iraq.

On the sidelines of the conference, the university is screening a documentary as part of an exhibition, which “highlights the role played by the university to support a moderate doctrine and Islamic values.

Participants from the universities of Oxford and Birmingham in the UK and Duke University in the US will rub shoulders with scholars from India and Malaysia. Among prominent guests will be former Thai Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan and Farhan Nizami, the director of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies.

Globalization Conference

At King Saud University, the impact of globalization on Saudi educational priorities will be the theme of a symposium organized by the faculty of education today.

Dr. Badr Al-Otaiby, the head of the education department, told Arab News that some 40 papers will be presented during the two-day conference.

The seminar aims to give a comprehensive view of globalization and its impact on the education system, defining new roles for educational institutions.

“In addressing the challenges posed by globalization, tremendous levels of cooperation are needed to uncover the negative and positive aspects of our educational system and in order to meet the knowledge, education and learning challenges of the new age; said Al-Otaiby said.

An important topic to be addressed is globalizing Islamic education, he added.

Other topics include Islamic identity, the concept of citizenship, world peace and educational and cultural diversity. “The changing and unchanging aspects of Saudi curricula, developing the curriculum, cultural and social changes in our society and new trends of instruction will also be discussed,” he said.

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