Riyadh, November 27: Saudi Arabia on Sunday hosted the first ever ‘Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism meeting’ in Riyadh with an aim to counter "terrorism and extremism". The meeting brought together the defence ministers of around 41 Arab and Islamic countries excluding Iran and Qatar.
Notably, the meeting held under the theme “Allied Against Terrorism”, the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) meeting was opened by Saudi Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohamed bin Salman. During the meeting, the defence minister from various Arab and Islamic countries put the light on the importance of media in fighting terrorism and extremist thoughts.
While addressing the media, Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman said Muslim countries lacked coordination on fighting terrorist organizations over past years. “This lack of coordination is now over by forming this coalition,” he said. “More than 40 countries send a strong message that they will work together and coordinate vigorously with a view to enhancing their [anti-terrorism] efforts,” the Saudi crown prince added.
On this occasion, Mohamed bin Salman also vowed to stop terrorist groups from distorting the true image of Islam and its values. “We will not allow terrorist groups to continue their effort to tarnish the peaceful Islamic region and terrorize innocents in Islamic countries,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Islamic and Arab alliance introduced an extended and in-depth vision on ways and mechanisms to combat terrorism which surpass the military coordination between these countries. The vision puts intellectual and media fields at the center of the alliance’s joint missions.
According to Arab and Islamic alliances, international efforts to fight terrorism include combating terrorist organizations’ media discourse and their attempts to lure the minds of youth. Other international efforts include developing content which fights extremist thought through media platforms such as social media, television and radio channels. However, in this meeting, Iran and Qatar were not invited as they are accused of sponsoring terrorism and extremism.