Because some in the West have decided to place blame upon Islamist ideology for the attacks against America on September 11, 2001, average Middle Eastern citizens have decided to approach a more edgy lifestyle and take up arms with Islamist extremist groups, according to the logic of Faisal Muammar, Secretary-General of the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND) in Saudi Arabia.
“The goal of these critics was to fight Islam, not terrorism and this made them gain more supporters and sympathizers globally instead,” he said. Muammar’s comments were received by US government advisers and Congressional staffers, according to Arab News, an English-language newspaper published in Saudi Arabia. “Those terrorists are not related to religion, they simply make use of religion to gain supporters and sympathizers and portray their actions as service to their religion,” he added.
Muammar continued, “KACND’s top priority is to confront extremism and terrorism and to work through partnerships with other agencies, organizations and institutions to promote the values and virtues of Islam.”
KACND was established in the shadow of 9/11 by former Saudi King Fahad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who died in 2005 after ruling as King for over 23 years.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia jailed six individuals who they had accused of going abroad to fight for the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria. Saudi officials believe that the Islamic State has recruited more than 2,500 Saudi nationals. In February, Saudi King Abdullah announced that his citizens may face a penalty of up to twenty years in prison if they choose to fight for any groups designated as terrorists by Riyadh. These groups include the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah.