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The Saudi rebuke of Islamic ‘extremism’

06.05.2017

Saudi Arabia has long been accused of financing and encouraging terrorism. The latest proof that the accusation is false was a little noticed event during President Trump’s recent visit to Riyadh.

Mr. Trump, Saudi King Salman and more than 50 other world leaders opened the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in the Saudi capital. The location of this important counterterrorism organization is the latest step by the kingdom to identify, isolate and deal with the real sources of intolerance and extremism.

Saudi Arabia has realized for a long time that it had a problem. After Osama bin Laden declared war on Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, Saudi authorities realized that the narrative prevalent among its clerical community had been taken over by highly intolerant voices that had not only poisoned religious discourse in the country but also academia, which in turn was poisoning the minds of youth — with dangerous consequences.

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