Pilgrims circle the Kaaba yesterday. Muslims around the world celebrated Eid Al Adha this week. Image Credit: Reuters

Manama: Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud has warned that the Islamic nation would not allow anyone, regardless of their status, to interfere in its affairs or undermine its security.

Muslims at the same time should put aside their differences and rivalries and work together, based on their common concerns and shared hopes, not allowing disagreements to be used to undermine the unity of the Islamic nation, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques said.

“We are all one nation, living in glory as long as we are united,” King Abdullah said in his message on Haj (pilgrimage). “We have the same concerns and the same hopes and there is no glory unless we adhere to our creed and uphold the moral values ordered by God Almighty. Islam, as a religion of moderation, tolerance and clarity in its purity, is our way to understand the others and engage in a dialogue with them. It is also our way to understand the freedom of religions, cultures and beliefs with no coercion towards anyone,” the Saudi monarch said in his address read out by Crown Prince Salman at the annual reception for leaders of Islamic countries, dignitaries and heads of Haj missions performing Haj.

The Muslim community has been keen on direct contacts with all the followers of other religions and cultures, he said.

“We want to tell the world that we are extending our hand in respect of all divine religions and in an initiative that shuns hatred and violence and indicates that Islam is a religion of purity and moderation. If this be our case with non-Muslims, then our duty towards Muslims is to reject differences and rivalries between them,” he said.

Dialogue between Islamic sects is the proper way to understand one another.

“We praise God for everything that we agree upon, but our disagreements should not be used as a way to destroy the unity of the Islamic nation.”

King Abdullah said that the Islamic nation never compromised on its religion, morals or values.

“We do not allow anyone regardless of who he is to undermine the sovereignty of our countries or interfere in our domestic or foreign affairs,” King Abdullah who assumed power in 2005 said. “Let the whole world be aware that we respect them and appreciate their contributions to humanity throughout history. However, there is no option for anyone trying to fret, according to his narrow or interests. We are a nation keen on the safety and integrity of its religion and countries and on dealing with others on a peer-to-peer basis. “

The Islamic nation hopes that respect among counties is the “wide open way” towards mutual interests and benefits, King Abdullah said.

“Our belief is based on our recognition that this world is a homogeneous unit in an era where hatred is renounced and authoritarianism and arrogance are rejected. To those who appreciate this stance, [we say that] our hearts may accommodate all concepts and standards of friendship. However, to those who hold a different view, [we say] the choice is yours, but we do have our own options to preserve our pride and the dignity of our honourable people,” King Abdullah said.

Muslim leaders performing Haj this year included President of Turkey Abdullah Gul, President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain, President of Sudan Omar Al Bashir, President of Mauritania Mohammad Ouled Abdul Aziz, President of Guinea Bissau Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo and the Prime Minister of Jordan Abdullah Al Nasoor.