New Delhi, Nov 3: Terrorists have hijacked Islam and Saudi Arabia will therefore spare no effort or expense to “combat terrorism, uproot extremism and drain terrorist and extremist groups of resources”, Saudi Ambassador to India, Saud Mohammed Al-Sati, said here on Thursday.
In an address on ‘Saudi-India Relation: Continuity and Change’ at the Centre for West Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, the envoy regretted that “Saudi Arabia is not given enough and proper credit for its leading role in fighting extremism and terrorism at the local, regiol and intertiol levels”, a role that has been praised by major intertiol intelligence agencies.
On the contrary, he said, a section of Western media and alysts “and some of their counterparts in India” do gross injustice to the Kingdom by accusing it of exporting extremist ideology or supporting violent extremism. He said it is illogical and irratiol for Saudi Arabia to remain anywhere but at the forefront of tions combating this scourge, and said the Kingdom has been a target of diverse terrorist groups for a long time. He said these go as far back as 1996, when Osama bin Laden issued his first fatwa against the Kingdom, this taking place after “we revoked his citizenship and closed his access to his bank accounts two years prior”.
He said terrorists do not practise or preach any religion, they simply hijack it, “as they have hijacked Islam, and in the me of Islam they kill Muslims and non-Muslims. Last week the Houthi terrorist militias based in Yemen tried to attack the most sacred place in Islam by directing their missile towards Makkah. And yet they claim to be Muslims.”
In May 2003, the Saudi capital was targeted by Al-Qaeda with simultaneous suicide bombings at three residential compounds, he stated, and said the Kingdom “has also been a target of terrorism perpetrated by proxies of Iran, which has used terrorism as an instrument of its foreign policy since the 1979 revolution”. (IANS)