World Islamic Bodies Should Not Yield to US Pressure: WAMY Chief

 

Friday  March 26, 2004

Javid Hassan, Arab News

RIYADH, 26 March 2004 — The secretary general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) hopes that the creation of the new Ministry of Social Affairs would not affect the functioning of international Islamic organizations ,which are “ more important for the Kingdom than the local organizations.”

Dr. Saleh Al-Wohaibi added, “We hope that the government will take care of them and give them the opportunity to continue functioning in the Kingdom.” His observation came in response to a question on the separation of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs into two ministries and the impact it will have on international charitable organizations.

Dr. Al-Wohaibi, said the Muslim world needs more than the current 15 international Islamic organizations engaged in charitable activities. “We need thousands of these organizations all over the world. According to the Americans themselves, there are more than 1.5 million organizations in the US. When you look at the Muslim world, there are no more than 50,000. It is not fair that the West has so many organizations, while we are denied even the existence of a few organizations like WAMY, the Muslim World League, Al-Haramain Charitable Organization and others,” he said.

Dr. Al-Wohaibi was speaking at a reception for Abdul Rahman Suwar El Dahab, the recipient of this year’s King Faisal International Prize for services to Islam. Asked how the Islamic organizations would be able to withstand pressure from the US government to wind up their activities, Dr. Al-Wohaibi said, “If they have any evidence against us, they should go to court and not to the police stations. We believe that the court will be fair to both the parties.

“There is no doubt that governments all over the world — whether Muslim or non-Muslim — are under pressure from the American government in particular (to act against Islamic organizations). But we should not yield to the American pressure. We should resist and ask for proof. And if they have any proof, we have courts and departments to take care of it.”

Dr. Al-Wohaibi said that while the US government swore by its Christian values of fairness and tolerance, it had succumbed to the pressure of the neoconservatives within the administration to pursue the path that it has now embarked upon.

El Dahab said that while he felt honored on to be the recipient of the King Faisal International Prize for service to Islam, the award was also a challenge in the sense that he would be expected to maintain the same tempo of work in the midst of challenges facing the Islamic world.

El Dahab said it was time to make a switch to the euro to conduct monetary transactions instead of the US dollar.

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