Annihilating extremism is my mission: Head of Saudi-based Muslim World League

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The head of a Saudi-based organization that for decades was building mosques around the world has said, in an interview with Reuters, that his focus now was aimed at annihilating extremist ideology.

Former justice minister Mohammed al-Issa, appointed secretary-general of the Mecca-based Muslim World League (MWL) just over a year ago, told Reuters during a European tour that his organization would no longer let Islam be taken hostage by extremists.

“We must wipe out this extremist thinking through the work we do. We need to annihilate religious severity and extremism which is the entry point to terrorism. That is the mission of the Muslim World League.”

“What we are doing and want to do is purify Islam of this extremism and these wrong interpretations and give the right interpretations of Islam,” he said. “Only the truth can defeat that and we represent the truth.”

Issa said part of his work was to address the difficulties Muslims may have in adapting their religion to non-Muslim nations.

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“We try to bring answers to face down these messages that change the reality of Islam. We want to offer the real interpretation of the sacred texts that have been taken hostage and interpreted in a wrong way,” he said.

As part of those efforts, Issa said he was also working with other faiths. After the Lebanese Maronite patriarch made a historic visit to Riyadh last week, Issa visited religious officials at Paris’ landmark Notre Dame Cathedral, but also Paris’ Grand Synagogue.

“We have a common objective to end hatred,” he said. “The Muslim World League really believes that we can accomplish that, and religions are very influential in doing that.”


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(With inputs from Reuters)

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