Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dialogue Crucial to Counter Violence, Says Analyst

by Ebtihal Mubarak from Arab News

Hamza Al-Mezaini, a lecturer at the King Saud University and a columnist for an Arabic newspaper, spoke on Tuesday to an audience at the Jeddah Literary Club in a public lecture entitled “Extremism Roots: Reasons and Solutions.” ... He listed incidents from recent history — not only in Saudi Arabia but also in the region — that has contributed in fermenting extremism. One was the conflict between progressives and conservatives in the 1950s across the Middle East, which led to many Muslim Brotherhood members from Egypt and Syria moving to the Kingdom. He said that after that came the attack on the Grand Mosque in Makkah in 1979 after which hidden intentions of extremism clearly appeared on the surface and pervaded its agenda publicly in Saudi Arabia. “After that extremists tried and succeeded to enforce the concept of jihad in textbooks in schools,” said Al-Mezaini.

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