Islamic NGOs slam Saudi Arabia over liberalisation, ties with Israel, US

The Malaysia Islamic Organisations Consultative Council says Saudi Arabia should not have allowed the Jeddah World Fest to be organised.

PETALING JAYA: A coalition of Islamic NGOs has slammed Saudi Arabia for liberalising its policies, most notably allowing the Jeddah World Fest, which was to feature US rapper Nicki Minaj, to be organised.

In a statement, the Malaysia Islamic Organisations Consultative Council (Mapim) also cited Saudi Arabia’s cooperation with the US and Israel, along with human rights abuses, in its attack on the kingdom.

Mapim president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid said even though Minaj had announced her withdrawal from performing at the concert, the “mere fact” that Saudi authorities allowed her to be invited was “shocking and utterly disgusting”.

“We are outraged by this immoral policy newly introduced by the Saudi government which plans to turn the kingdom into an entertainment hub as an attempt to generate billions of dollars in revenue,” Azmi said.

The coalition also said it was “perturbed” by the string of Saudi policies which had affected the region’s stability and misrepresented the teachings of Islam.

Azmi said these included the attack on Yemen, the “normalisation” of ties with Israel and the purchase of US arms worth billions, which strengthened its economy.

“All these policies and measures are escalating tensions in the region and creating a situation of pervasive conflict.

“What the Saudis have created is widening the division among Muslims not only in the region but also throughout the world,” he said.

Azmi said Mapim wanted Saudi Arabia to stop denigrating Islam with “liberal policies”, to cancel its “unIslamic” performances, withdraw its troops from Yemen, and stop all human rights abuses, among others.

He said Mapim planned to deliver a memorandum to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Saudi Arabian embassy in Kuala Lumpur and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) upon obtaining enough signatures.

He said the coalition would also mobilise all mosques in Malaysia to raise the awareness of the people on the issues related to the conflicts in the region.