The Saudi Ideological War Center is part of an intellectual battle Saudi Arabia is launching against extremism. The Center’s board of trustees is headed by none other than Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman himself.
The Center’s main aim is to expose the anomalies, allegations, suspicions and tricks that people propagating extremism use and to highlight the legitimate approaches related to extremism.
This is in addition to other ideological initiatives being taken in and outside the kingdom and the Islamic military alliance that has been formed to combat terrorism.
Sustained battles at the security and political levels have succeeded in deterring terrorist and extremist organizations but what is more dangerous is the continuous breeding of ideas that continues to thriveTurki Aldakhil
Understanding the problem
Some of the core of the Center’s work are “establishing deep understanding of the problem of extremism through its different trends, specify the categories targeted by extremist groups, understand the tools and doctrines which extremist groups resort to, efficiently cooperate with several media and intellectual centers and institutions, devise effective approaches to enhance the values of moderation, tolerance, dialogue and understanding within the context of faith in the inevitability of diversity and plurality away from abstract theories and overcome stereotypes in this regard.”
The Center’s name itself clarifies its objective. It is after all the “ideological war.” Sustained battles at the security and political levels have succeeded in deterring terrorist and extremist organizations but what is more dangerous is the continuous breeding of ideas that continues to thrive. The ideological war is thus as important as the battle on the security front. It is an ideological war indeed.
This article was first published in Okaz on May 11.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.