Crown Prince Sultan visits Faisal, Martyr and Witness exhibition

Prince Sultan: Exhibition indicates actions of honest men would live to attest to their glory

Prince Khalid bin Sultan inspects Taif military zone

Anti-terror conference in Saudi Arabia urges terrorist groups to renounce their ideologies

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, visited the exhibition 'Alfaisal: Witness and Martyr,' which documents the history of the late King Faisal bin Abdulaziz.

Following the visit, the crown prince wrote a note in the visits' book in which he hailed the traits of the late king.

Meanwhile, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received at the Royal Court at Al-Yamamah Palace a number of princes, ministers and senior officials.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also received the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Senior Scholars' Commission and Scientific Research and Ifta Department Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh and a number of Ulema and sheikhs who came to greet the King.

Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques received members of Al-Amoudi family who thanked the King for offering his condolences and sympathy to them on the death of Ahmed bin Abboud Al-Amoudi. The King prayed to Allah Almighty to bless his soul.

The audiences were attended by a number of princes and officials.

In Riyadh, Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs received Director of U.S. Missile Defense Agency Lieutenant General Patrick J. O'reilly.

During the meeting, they exchanged cordial talks and discussed a number of issues of common concern.

The meeting was attended by U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Dr. Susan Ziadeh and a number of U.S. officials.

Prince Khalid also paid an inspection visit to Taif Military Region.

At the venue, he was received by Governor of Al-Taif Fahd bin Abdulaziz bin Muammar and senior army officers.

At the end of the visit, Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz praised the Saudi army and air defense performance and advancement.

On the other hand, the Conference of Terrorism Between Intellectual Extremism and Extremist Ideology organized by the Islamic University in Madinah concluded its works.

The Conference called on Arab and Muslim media to respect the Islamic identity in terms of broadcasting programs and publishing messages, as well as intensification of programs of awareness and dialogue and information messages on Islam's moderation and tolerance and avoidance of slipping behind some international media in transmitting false and distorted image of Islam and Muslims.

The Conference called on Ministries of Culture and Information to reform the media discourse, and to develop a code of conduct for TV channels to avoid contempt of Islamic values and symbols, not to make dialogue programs with the so-called scholars and programs of stimulating instincts and social hatred leading to extremist ideology.

It called on Muslim World League (MWL) for the establishment of an Islamic Information Commission for the improvement of the image of Islam and following up false media messages and respond to them directly.

The Conference also called on extremist groups alleging Islam to refrain from involving Islam in their deviating media discourse, to stop perpetrating criminal acts, return to their senses and follow the path of groups that have declared repentance.

It urged Muslim youth to adhere to Islam's moderation and its tolerance towards others and to unite behind their leaders in their countries.

The Conference urged Muslim communities in non-Muslim countries to encourage their citizens for moderation in understanding Islam, good-neighborliness, respect for others and compliance with regulations, also calling on the Governments of these States to respect the rights of these communities and to deal equally with them.

Concluding the conference by issuing their final statement, the participants have hailed the efforts of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his adoption of national dialogue's issues and dialogue among civilizations, having a great impact on accepting the other and eradicating the sources of thinking of extremism and terrorism.

They also expressed support of a proposal put forwarded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to form an international centre to counter terrorism, which was already mentioned in the conclusion of the World Conference to Fight Terrorism held recently in Riyadh.

The participants commended the Kingdom's efforts to fight terrorism at security and intellectual fronts, as well as the wise role of Saudi scholars in tackling the deviant thinking and those who embrace such thinking.

And in a cable to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the participants extended their thanks to and appreciation of him for approving to host the conference in the Kingdom.

In similar cables, they also extended thanks to and appreciation of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, and Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior for patronizing the conference.

In the Mexican city of Cancun, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for Petroleum Affairs and Chairman of the High Level Steering Group (HLSG) at the 12th Conference of the International Energy Forum, delivered a statement at the conclusion session of the conference this week.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman highlighted support by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for real dialogue between producers and consumers.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman mentioned Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' proposal to establish a permanent headquarters for the general secretariat of the forum in 2000 and his opening of the headquarters in 2005 in Riyadh.

For his part, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi confirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considered, thanks to its moderate and balanced policy, one of the most enthusiastic and interested countries in adopting constant dialogue among oil producers and consumers.

In a speech before the Cancun meeting, Naimi said this policy aims at providing credible energy supplies at the reach of all, noting that the Kingdom believes that dialogue should be open and not confined to days of crises.

To guarantee the continuation of such efforts, the Kingdom has suggested the set up of a permanent secretariat general for the International Energy Forum to enhance relations between producers and consumers of petroleum, he said, adding that the Kingdom enjoys the honor to host the headquarters of the IEF's secretariat general.

So far, the IEF takes the correct path to achieve its goals and live up to its responsibilities, Al-Naimi added.

He said that the IEF accepts the Joint Initiative for Petroleum Statements, an additional statistical effort to that one exerted by several worldwide renowned bodies aiming at presenting oil information to the public and industry as well.

He declared that ministers who took part in Jeddah Energy Meeting in June 2008 and London Energy Meeting in December 2008 have agreed to forge an expert group to present recommendations to this 12th Ministerial Meeting to set up the basics for an international dialogue, enhance the IEF and reduce the oil market fluctuations.

They also agreed that OPEC has to provide technical assistance to the Secretariat General of the IEF as deemed necessary, noting that a higher guide group was formed to supervise the referential items for the expert group.

In this regard, Al-Naimi extended thanks to Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, President of the Higher Guide Group and his aides for the effort they exerted to achieve the common interest for the presence and future of the energy producing and consuming countries.

In London, a committee of MPs has warned that the British government's strategy to prevent violent extremism has stigmatized and alienated Muslims it wants to work with.

The communities and local government committee said the Prevent program was backfiring and it was difficult to know what good it was doing.

Millions have been spent on projects aimed at countering al-Qaeda's threat.

The Department for Communities said it was disappointed the report had not recognized important reforms.

The Prevent program is a key part of the government's counter-terrorism strategy.

Local authorities hand out funding to local groups they think are best placed to combat al-Qaeda-inspired violent extremism.

In their report, the MPs said that Prevent had tainted many local projects that would have been otherwise seen as playing an important role in strengthening communities.

Committee chairwoman Dr Phyllis Starkey said: "We agree that a targeted strategy must address the contemporary al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist threat, but we do not believe a government department charged with promoting cohesive communities should take a leading role in this counter-terrorism initiative."

The MPs said the government should shift most of Prevent back to the Home Office, where it started, so that it could be more clearly seen as a crime prevention scheme.

In turn, the Department for Communities could properly devote itself to dealing with the underlying causes of all forms of extremism and division in multi-ethnic Britain, they said.

Dr Starkey told the BBC that it was very difficult to measure whether any of Prevent's spending was doing any good at all and that many local authorities needed more help in running its programs.

She said that many Muslims suspected they were being spied upon by Prevent projects and that the government had also sought to engineer a "moderate" Islam by promoting some groups over others.

"The misuse of terms such as 'intelligence gathering' amongst Prevent partners has clearly discredited the program and fed distrust.

"Information required to manage Prevent has been confused with intelligence gathering undertaken by the police to combat crime and surveillance used by the security services to actively pursue terrorism suspects.

"These allegations of spying under Prevent will retain widespread credibility within some communities until the government commissions an independent investigation into the allegations."

Shortly after taking over the department last year, Communities Secretary John Denham said Prevent had suffered from a "lack of clarity".

He began shifting the emphasis of the entire strategy on extremism, saying that he wanted to see more targeting of the far-right.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said it was disappointed that the report had not reflected these changes.

"The government has made clear that all forms of violent extremism must be tackled and has increased funding to tackle white, racist extremism," said the spokesman.

"Prevent is a crime prevention program aimed at making it less likely that young people will be drawn in terrorism.

"All Prevent activities are designed to support Muslim communities in resisting those who target their young people.

"Promoting community cohesion remains a government priority in its own right but will not be sufficient on its own to tackle those promoting al-Qaeda-influenced violence."

Shadow communities secretary Caroline Spelman said the report had confirmed "our longstanding concern that there are serious failings in the way the government has used taxpayers' money in this important policy area".

She added: "It's clear that that too much money has been wasted on unfocused and irrelevant projects which have created confusion and increased the risk of alienating the very communities it ought to engage.

"We need a complete review of the Prevent strategy, with an emphasis on removing the confusion between counter-terrorism and cohesion work, shifting the emphasis to funding groups which bring communities together and ensuring compatibility with fundamental rights and freedoms."

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said:

"The Prevent program alienates and marginalizes Muslim communities, and exacerbates racist bias and ignorant views.

"This program has just prevented a practical solution to tackling violent extremism."