Saudi King Salman stressed the Kingdom’s keenness to be an example of protection of human rights, freedom, welfare and comprehensive development for community.
This came in an address delivered on behalf of the king by Adviser to the King and Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal at the opening of an international conference organized by the Muslim World League (MWL) in Makkah on Sunday.
All this, he said, will be done according to Islamic values and with the goal of maintaining security, adherence to religion and harmony between citizens and officials.
At the conference titled “Intellectual trends between freedom of expression and Shariah regulations,” Prince Khalid said that freedom of expression is an integral part of the overall freedoms and it is granted in Islam, which says that Allah created all humans free.
He said the Islamic Fiqh Assembly reaffirmed, at its 9th session, that expressing opinion is protected in Islam in line with Shariah, including that serves the interests of Muslims.
He added that expression of opinion should not involve attacks on religion, its rituals or sacred places, and should show commitment to honesty, integrity and impartiality.
Prince Khalid said one’s opinion should work to protect the interests and values of the community, and not be detrimental to public order or lead to discord between Muslims. At the same time, opinion should be formed based on reliable sources and people should not promote rumors.
“We have recently seen many controversies about freedom of expression, especially on social media, which have no controls, but we strongly believe in the capacity of Islamic Shariah to protecting rights and freedoms,” he said, adding that the Kingdom is keen to be an example of a country that protects human rights.
Prince Khalid said media should be a tool of good that spreads spiritual values and humanity; they should be responsible and aware of the danger pose by the publication of items harmful to religious values or leading to discord.
Secretary General of the Islamic Fiqh Assembly Salih Al-Marzouqi said Islam is a basic pillar in building correct human relations, and that it is responsible for the establishment of justice, respect, security and development.
He said that since its establishment, “this blessed country has served Islam and Muslims, adopted their causes and its kings stood against deviant thoughts that undermine some Arab and Muslim countries.”
The event was also addressed by MWL Secretary General Mohammed Abdulkarim Al-Eisa, who said that personal freedom, which emerged in the social development in the West, is strongly respected the Muslim world.
He added that there have been exaggerated demands to allow people to say or behave whatever way they want, even if not conforming with Islamic teachings.
He stressed that freedom is one of the most important human values.