Islamic coalition vows to ‘wipe terrorists from the earth’

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JEDDAH: Leaders of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) hope their alliance will be the best global terror-fighting organization. During their first meeting in Riyadh, they revealed that they had institutional plans and strategies aimed at drying up the sources of terrorism and cutting off its financing. The IMCTC also pledged to correct perceptions and discredit radical narratives as terrorist organizations had falsified the meaning of jihad in Islam.
In November, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated a high-profile meeting in the Saudi capital where top defense officials from the IMCTC agreed to boost its military capabilities to dismantle terrorist organizations. In his keynote speech, the crown prince vowed to “pursue terrorists until they are wiped from the face of the earth.”
He also said that the greatest danger terrorism and extremism have achieved was not the killing of innocents or the spread of hatred (but) the distorting of the Islamic faith.
The prince added: “Today we began to pursue terrorism, and today we see defeats in many countries around the world, especially in Islamic countries, and we shall be those who assure its disappearance from the face of the earth.” Two days later, King Salman, chairing a Cabinet session, supported the crown prince’s statement about the need to track down terrorism and eradicate it in all its forms and manifestations. The Cabinet also praised the final declaration of the IMCTC meeting. Under the slogan “Allied against terrorism,” the Riyadh conference also agreed to step up cooperation to cut off financial support to terror groups, and stressed the importance of empowering the media and investing in digital platforms to combat deviant ideology and propaganda.
The final declaration stressed the important role of the military in combating terrorism, enhancing security and peace in the coalition member countries, and contributing to regional and international security and peace.
It also underscored that terrorism had become deadlier than ever, especially in the Islamic world, which is suffering from heavy losses of lives and property to terrorism which has shattered the dreams of broad sectors of societies trying to live in peace and tranquility. The ministers, who reaffirmed their determination to work with every possible means to confront extremism and terrorism, emphasized the importance of draining the sources of terrorist financing. They also called for more actions to improve compliance with international standards. IMCTC military commander Gen. Raheel Sharif said the greatest challenge to peace and stability in the 21st century, especially in the Islamic world, is to address the most serious phenomenon in the world “terrorism.” He added that terrorist organizations have falsified the concept of jihad in Islam in order to achieve their destructive goals. He said that they would develop, produce and publish factual media content for dialogue to correct perceptions and discredit radical narratives.
Gen Sharif said that IMCTC would endeavor to dry up all types of financial support to terrorist organizations. The defense ministers of the 41-member coalition expressed their deep appreciation for the Kingdom’s efforts in forming the coalition, and for hosting the inaugural meeting.
They also expressed their gratitude to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for presiding over the meeting. It is noteworthy to mention that Saudi Arabia announced the 41-state IMCTC in December 2015. In March 2016, chiefs of staff from Muslim countries met in Riyadh and affirmed their insistence to unite efforts in fighting terrorism through joint work.