Final communiqué of the International Conference on Intellectual Security in the Context of combating terrorism

Organized by Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia

24-25 Shabaan 1440 AH / 29-30 April 2019 CE. Mogadishu, Federal Republic of Somalia

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful Most Compassionate

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Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be upon 
His most honorable Messenger,

On 24 and 25 Sha’aban 1440 A.H. (29-30 April 2019), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia held an international conference titled “Intellectual Security in the Context of Combating Terrorism” in the Somali capital Mogadishu. The Conference opened with a welcoming speech by H.E. Mr. Mahdi Mohamed Guled, the Deputy Prime Minister, in which he thanked the OIC General Secretariat for its continuous efforts in supporting Somalia and its keenness to serve the security and stability therein, especially its unlimited support for holding this Conference. He elaborated on the role of intellectual security in building societies and Somalia’s need for the experience of the Muslim countries that have a long tradition in this field in order to deal with insecurity. Then, Ambassador Askar Mussinov, Director of Asian Affairs and Director of the Security and Peace Unit, delivered the speech of the OIC General Secretariat, in which he thanked the Somali Government for its keenness to organize theConference, which would prove to the world that it is capable of hosting and organizingconferences with international resonance and that Somalia is marching steadilytowards stability and reconstruction. Then the Conference,divided intofive sessions, kicked off.

The five sessions of the Conference focused on the concepts of intellectual security and on mechanisms for strengthening intellectual immunity and building the Fiqh (jurisprudence) of sound citizenship in the minds of young people in Muslim countries. The topics of the sessions ranged from drawing the theoretical framework of the concept of intellectual security and its features and methods, and the practical and applied plans that need to be adoptedto build robust intellectual security that preserves the security and peace of Muslim societies politically, intellectually and religiously. The Conference saw the participation ofscholars and specialists from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, the United States and Somalia, in the presence of representatives of the OIC Member States and the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Somali Government in Mogadishu, such as the European Union, in addition to a large number of dignitaries and scholars of the Somali society and representatives of various Somali provinces.

At the five sessions of the Conference, the panelists discussed the methodological and practical mechanisms required to lay the foundation for robust intellectual security and sound and constructive citizenship. In their deliberations, the participants commended:

– The efforts of the Government of Somalia, represented by H.E. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, and H.E. Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, to restore stability in Somalia and their success in addressing the security challenges threatening the stability of Somalia through restructuring the security forces and the introduction of a robust coordination system between the security forces, the police and the army, which hasled to a manifest decline in terrorist attacks and a continuous demilitarizationof the streets of Somalia, where a lot of cities have been demilitarized.

– The OIC’s efforts in supporting the Federal Republic of Somalia and its relentless efforts to mobilize support for its causes in all international forums, especially its endeavor to convert its office in Somalia into a regional office representing the OIC across the Horn of Africa; a step that would highlight Somalia’s role and visibility in the Islamic and regional issues.

– The success of the Government of Somalia in charting the course for Somalia’s regaining of its position and role at the international level, improving sourcesof income, developing the port of Mogadishu and raising its revenues, and fighting corruption through restructuring the State Administrative Apparatus.

– The Government of Somalia’s excellent organization of this international Conference, which reflects its will to develop, its determination to pursue construction and openness, and its keenness to ensure the integrated construction of the State. The participants asserted that focusing on security and military aspects alone would not sufficeunless they are coupled withthe framing and fortification of the intellectual and cultural aspects, which was one of the objectives of this Conference.

– The efforts of the OIC Sawt Al-Hikmah Center and the Department of Peace and Security in organizing this Conference in such an excellent manner.

– The efforts of the State of Qatar in contributing to the convening of the intellectual and counter extremism Conference and to the restoration of the foundations of security and stability in Somalia.

The Conference participants agreed as follows:

– The security and military efforts alone shall not end violence and terrorism. They must be in parallel with other programs that deal with the chaos in ideas and fatwas considered the springboard of the overwhelming state of violence that plagues some Muslim societies. Therefore, it is incumbent on the international organizations and Muslim countries to develop comprehensive national plans that tackle the intellectual, cultural, social and economic factors and conditions of the phenomena of intellectual and religious deviation and chaos.

– Intellectual security is an integral part of the concept of comprehensive security cherished and nourished by divine religions and positive laws. Therefore, media agencies and official institutions that establish the principle of good citizenship must incorporate the dimensions of intellectual security in the security culture and raise awareness and develop personalities according to a national culture that is both tolerant and ready to coexist.

– Intellectual security is not a restriction to the human mind, but rather a process that regulates the flow of ideas in society. Ideas that undermine the security, religious and social stability of any society cannot be part of the freedom of thought but rather a permit for destruction and for tampering with its achievements and culture. The freedom to think, learn and contribute to the enrichment of the scientific and cultural life remains an existential right guaranteed for everyone in society as long as the goal is to serve the common good and increase intellectual richness and diversity.

– Intellectual security relies on the principles of solid religious education and teaching of the Arabic language, the language of most of the Islamic religious heritage. Therefore, there should be further attention paid to the religious education that fosters the development of the minds of young Muslims to the great diversity that enriches the Islamic heritage in terms of opinions and ideas. This would highlight the validity of Shari’ah for all cultures and societies.

– The calls and efforts to obliterate the Islamic and Arab identity in the Muslim societies have produced deep intellectual fragility among the rising generations, which makes it easy for extremist and deviant groups to recruit new adherents.

– The fragility of intellectual security in any society is due to one or more of the following reasons:

1. Illiteracy,

2. Chaos of fatwas and decline of the role of the official religious authority,

3. Withdrawal of real influencers from the religious and cultural scene in favor of the reckless and fake scholars,

4. Engagement of many religious movements in politics and their withdrawal from the field of Da’wah in favor of political gains, which opened the door for extremist movements to fill the vacuum,

5. Systematic pursuit for removal of religious content from the curricula and public life in some Muslim societies, contributing to the rise of Muslim youth who know nothing about their religion and ready to accept any idea or fatwa without any real awareness of its implications and consequences.

Recommendations

– The participants call upon the OIC to adopt a special strategy for intellectual security for its Member States, provided that such a strategy be referred to the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM).

– The participants call upon the Government of Somalia to intensify religious awareness programs in schools, Quranic schools and television programs to help the discourse of moderation prevail over that of exclusion adopted by terrorist groups.

– The participants call upon the Muslim countries to benefit from the experiences of OIC member states in immunizing intellectual security, particularly Saudi Arabia’s institutional and practical experience and Malaysia’s practical experience in consolidating intellectual security and immunizing society against the penetrations and divisions based on religion, sect and race, as well as the experience of Al-Azhar Al-Shareef and its moderate approach in combating deviant ideas and aberrant fatwas.

– The participants call on Islamic countries to benefit from the recommendations of the International Conference on “The Role of Education in the Prevention of Extremism and Terrorism” organized by the Sawt Al-Hikmah Center in collaboration with Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, which presented the most important leading experiences in the Muslim world in the prevention of extremism through educational curricula.

– The participants call upon the prominent scholars and intellectuals in the Muslim societies to hold conferences and seminars on the dissemination of the culture of intellectual security and the creation of the means required to inculcate it in the minds of the young, expand the theory of knowledge building and its close link to intellectual security and the balanced entrenching of intellectual freedom through activating partnership between all official and community institutions to protect youth from the influence of deviant ideas and false calls incompatible with the teachings of religions.

– The participants recommend the provision of the appropriate environment for the sound knowledge and religious building and activate the same to contribute to the achievement of intellectual security and the promotion of sustainable development. They also recommend the activation of student committees and associations that promote the culture of dialogue and debate and put intellectual problems in modern language easy to understand.

– The participants recommend the Ministries of Information, Communications, and Culture in the Muslim countries to pay attention to the bloggers and social media influencers and guide them to serve the general principles of good citizenship and positive thinking in society. They have great impact in formulating the convictions of a large segment of young people in the Muslim societies.

– The participants recommend the official institutions and civil society organizations to prepare a series of radio and television programs that activate the system of values and ethics, acceptance of the other and peaceful coexistence, and to introduce the components of the same society of each other. Usually, ignorance leads to the consolidation of negative stereotypes and thus leads to the adoption of extremist rhetoric against the other even if the other is from the same country and territory.

– The participants called on the OIC member states to work for the success of the experience of Somalia to become a model for uprooting terrorism and intellectual extremism and drying up their sources through an integrated mechanism encompassing all security, intellectual, media and political aspects.

– The participants call appeal to the Somali Government to unite the efforts and mechanisms adopted for drying up the sources of terrorism.

– The participants recommend the development of psychological immunity against the negative impact of the means of social communication and media outlets that lack purpose through campaigns that aims to intensify the positive content based on the noble religious and social values of the Muslim societies.

– The participants recommend the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia to prepare a draft resolution containing all the recommendations of this Conference and refer the same to the CFM coming session to be a prelude to the declaration of the OIC Strategy for Intellectual Security.
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