The Speech of H. E. Secretary General of the Muslim World League Dr. Muhammad Abulka-rim Al-Issa
Your Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Advisor to the Monarch & Governor of Makkah Al-Mukarramah.
Your Eminence Sheikh Abdu-laziz bin Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & President of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League.
His Excellency Dr. Saleh bin Zabin Al-Marzouqi, Secretary Gen-eral of the Islamic Fiqh Council.
Distinguished Guests, Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatul-lah Wa Barakatuh
I am extremely glad to warmly salute you and to welcome you from the bottom of my heart at this ceremony held at the headquarters of the Muslim World League; and I have to emphasize the signiﬁcance of the theme chosen by the Islamic Fiqh Council for this Conference. In fact, the world we are currently living in is replete with intellectual interactions and cultural polariza-tions of every colour. This is also augmented by the infatuation with the developments and changes that target everything in our life and threaten the most precious and sa-cred asset we posses and what gives our life its signiﬁcance - our religion – Islam, which Allah Almighty has chosen for us as a perfect religion with which He completed His favor on us. Allah says, “ This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have cho-sen for you Islam as your religion” (Qur’an, 3:5); He also said, “Reli-gion as ordained by Allah is Islam (submission to His will)” (Qur’an 3:19) and “If anyone desires a re-ligion other than Islam (submission to Allah) never will be accepted of him”. (Qur’an 3:85)
The issue of personal freedom is considered one of the most im-portant matters that emerged in the civil and social developments in the west because it has strong re-percussions in the Muslim world for the tense controversy over it. Furthermore, the most manifesta-tions of the aspects of such free-dom include the freedom of de-claring different convictions and thoughts, expressing one’s opinion on the various expressive arts and in the different means that connect man to society and public opinion such as authorship, media and art.
In fact, there are voices that are odd because they deviated from the moderation path; and they have been demanding that people should be left free to say whatever is dic-tated to them by their whims; to preach people to embrace any sects or intellectual schools; and to ac-cept behavioural features even if they are unacceptable, disgusted by people nature or disapproved by Islam.
Undoubtedly, freedom is one of the most signiﬁcant human values; and that the most difﬁcult thing to which an individual is exposed in his life is to expropriate his free-dom; and that his behaviours and decisions remain in the hands of others or that his freedom is sub-jected to restrictions and surveil-lance. Hence, he is compelled to say or do what he doesn’t want or is prevented from saying or doing what he desires.
However, when we ponder over the concept we ﬁnd that if freedom is left to ramble, it changes man into a source of real danger and chaos that threatens society as a whole. Thus, you won’t ﬁnd in the world a society that enjoys order and security unless the freedoms of individuals are effectively con-trolled by principles necessitated by social responsibility. Moreover, such freedoms should conform to the requirements of the laws and regulations according to which the country is ruled; and they should organize the affairs of society in a manner that guarantees justice and achieves desired peace, security and stability.
Every society has the right and full sovereignty to depend on its own cultural particularities in form-ing higher reference for its legal set. Furthermore, Muslim commu-nities are characterized by the fact that religion has central importance in directing the individual’s con-duct and social relations; and that it is the source of their social and ethical values. Additionally, Islam is not conﬁned only to worshiping and conviction affairs; it is in fact a comprehensive system for life, and provides it with its legislative tenets and principles. Hence, Muslims conditions cannot be improved un-less their constitutions are derived from the overall bases and general principles mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah and that sec-ondary laws should not in any way contradict the basic principles of Shari’ah and pillars of Islam.
With this particularity in mind, which gives us our distinctive iden-tity, and retains for us our civiliza-tional status among nation, we deal with the concept of freedom, wheth-er in its perception or application, according to the Islamic standards and within our intellectual set and civilizational context. Therefore, freedom of expression or any other personal freedoms should neither be - in any condition - a pretext for cancelling the consideration for the values and principles of society nor a means for the destruction of the characteristics, ethics and main reference of the Nation nor an en-couragement for ridiculing Islamic sanctuaries and precisely deﬁned Islamic principles. Thus freedoms in such a way constitute an indirect threat for security and stability in the Muslim community.
We sincerely cherish the hope that this august Conference will adopt anticipated outcomes that en-hance the intellectual security of the Nation and contribute to the refutation of the suspicions raised against the position of Islam, in regard to rights and freedoms, the top most of which is the freedom speech, within the framework of the rapid changes and unrestricted openness towards cultures and thoughts, and the subsequent spread of calls that deviated from the path of truth and guidance exhorted by Islam. It is also requested that the recommen-dations of the Conference should focus on the elucidation of the dis-tinguishing features pertaining to the situation of freedom guaranteed by Islam which linked it to both the honor of man as well as the com-mitments and responsibilities ne-cessitated by it towards the others, in contrast to that relating to chaos and liberation from the restrictions of ethics as well as societal values together with tampering with the intellectual security of the Nation and society.
The Muslim World League and its Islamic Fiqh Council and institu-tions cooperating with it are glad to express their profound thanks to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdu-laziz Al-Saud, his HRH Crown Prince Muhammad bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud for the kind patronage of both the Conference and the different occasions of the League as well as for encouraging and supporting the League’s activi-ties, based on the method followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in serving and defending Islam as well as in giving due attention to the issues of Nation and the various affairs of Muslim.
Deep thank is also extended to His Royal Highness Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Advisor to the Monarch & Governor of Makkah Al-Mukarramah for his continuous concern with the League and its various oc-casion and for his kind inaugura-tion of this Conference on behalf of the Monarch. Likewise, sincere thank goes to both His Eminence Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & Presi-dent of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League as well as to their Excellencies guests and participants at this Conference and media personnel for their partici-pation and cooperation with the League.
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahma-tullah