Freedom does not mean blasphemy: Saudi Shoura




Bin Homaid’s comments came in a speech at the opening of the 118th General Assembly of the International Parliamentary Federation on Monday.



“Our world is currently going through political, economic and social changes that have increasing influence day by day on the life of peoples and stability of nations and world peace,” said Bin Homaid.


“That requires the serious cooperation of all parties to forge better environment for a joint international action aiming at building relations among nations and peoples, based on respect of international resolutions and solving of disputes by peaceful means.”


“Then, it is the best means of extending bridges of understanding and contact in the parliamentarian relations,” he said.


“However, such dialogue should be based on mutual respect for the values and principles of each other s civilization or culture,” he added.


“While calling for dialogue and respect of cultures, we strongly denounce all the strange voices defaming those principles by blaspheming the profile of religions and their prominent figures, particularly the prophets (peace be upon them) and moreover, we express our surprise that such violations and misbehavior receive the support of some parties under the pretext of freedom of opinion and expression,” said the Shoura chief.


“This could not be accepted by international logic and norms. It is considered one element of spreading hatred and hostility among peoples,” Bin Homaid said. “We avail ourselves of this opportunity to call for forging an international mechanism to strongly and firmly deal with these issues that harm religions and prophets (peace be upon them) and, in this regard, we confirm the importance of the initiative launched by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, calling for dialogue among divine religions through a conference among them to discuss ways to solve the current crisis hitting the world community and causing the imbalance of reason, ethics and humanity.”
He noted that the Kingdom, out of commitment to its international responsibilities, is continuing to contribute to pushing the development wheel in developing and underdeveloped countries in particular.


He said that the total of Saudi assistance to poor countries has exceeded the limit prescribed by the United Nations.


“The Saudi non-recovered and soft assistance amounted to $ 88 billion over the last three decades, equivalent to one quarter of the country’s gross domestic product over the same period, in addition to contributions amounting to $ 25 billion to regional and international development funds and institutions, and writing off loans worth $ 6 billion for developing countries,” said Bin Homaid.


“We in the Saudi Shoura Council will continue to support this policy of our government, based on assisting poor peoples and nations in confirmation of our commitment to the humanitarian dimension of our international relations,” the Chairman of the Shoura Council told the world parliamentarians.
He also said that world peace could never be achieved under the growing spots of tension in today’s world.


“In the absence of the humanitarian dimension in relations among peoples and nations, a quick look to the situation in the Middle East casts light on the risks facing stability and development,” he said “The Israeli occupation still oppresses Arab territories, changing the region to spots of violence and turmoil, regardless of the continuing humanitarian sufferings of the Palestinian people and the increase of upheaval and frustration that could increase extremism.”


He said the only way to curb the phenomenon of extremism and to create a proper environment for development starts with finding a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, which aggravated the situation in the region over the last six decades.
“There is no similar regional crisis that negatively affect the other crucial issues of national and regional peace,” he said. “Unless the world community accelerates efforts to solve this dispute with the utmost fairness that brings into being the Palestinian independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, according to the international resolutions and the Arab initiative, violence, hostility and hatred will continue to grow in the region, putting a grave hurdle before the endeavors of development, modernization and reforms in the region.”


He confirmed that diplomatic solutions remain the appropriate option to tackle the current regional conflicts and crises, as the option of war yields no winner at all.


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