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PROMOTING DIALOGUE: Shown in this September 2014 file photo are participants of a KACND English training program, part of an effort to broaden the base of promoting the culture of dialogue in English and facilitate access to others through language and culture. (AN photo)

Abdullah Al-Mutlaq, a member of King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND) and a member of the Council of Senior Ulema, recently coined religious extremism as a disease that afflicts a number of Saudi youths. According to the Saudi scholar, this disease is turning young men from good, benefiting citizens to people who are willing to inflict harm and damage on the society.
Al-Mutlaq was speaking during a dialogue session held in the presence of a number of young men in Jeddah, where he also stressed that extremist youths do not fully understand their national and religious role in building the country.
“They don’t have the correct and accurate explanation of what the holy books say. They have left the rest to follow destructive fatwas that derailed them from the right path and the right Islamic teachings and principles,” said Al-Mutlaq during his elocution.
This behavior has damaged Islam in the eyes of other nations, the scholar added, which entails working hard to correct this image through good, moderate conduct.
KACND Secretary General Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muammar said the message of our nations is one of moderation in its essence.
“We must work hard to address the deformations and distortions that plagued the body of our nation,” he stated at the dialogue session.
He also stressed the role of the family to follow up on their children to prevent them from living in an isolated world, where they will be more vulnerable to extremists elements plaguing the social networking sites.
“Families should always open the channels of dialogue and discussion with their children,” Muammar said.
Hassan Al-Howaimel, KACND board member, dismissed recent accusations by international bodies and media that the Kingdom contributed in one way or another in terrorism.
“We are gathered here today to open channels of dialogue with our youths with honest hearts and minds,” he said during the discussion, calling on all the concerned parties to protect the youth from these harmful elements.

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