World must unite to counter terrorism and extremism, says Jamal Al Suwaidi

STOCKHOLM, 30th January 2016 (WAM) – During his current visit to the Kingdom of Sweden, Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) called for the need to create an international database of members of extremist groups in order to prevent terrorists from entering European countries under the cover of asylum seekers.

He made this statement in the course of an interview with The Local, a popular Swedish newspaper issued in English in nine countries. Dr. Al-Suwaidi called for putting an end to the killing of innocent people and for international coordination to dry the sources of funding of extremist groups, including most notably ISIS, which benefits from selling oil extracted from areas under its control in Syria and Iraq.

Dr. Al-Suwaidi encouraged Sweden to play a bigger role in the European Union to counter the threat of extremist groups and called upon the Muslim community in Sweden to follow true Islam, reject extremist ideas and help the Swedish government ensure peace and security.

Dr. Al-Suwaidi expressed his astonishment at some Arab-descendant European Muslims who swear allegiance to ISIS despite the fact they live in peace under European governments, receive quality education and healthcare, and generally enjoy all their rights as citizens of European countries.

He called for developing a comprehensive strategy covering the fields of media, education and social networks to counter the threat of ISIS, which is spreading like cancer in Arab and western countries alike.

Regarding his book The Mirage, Dr. Al-Suwaidi stated that he wrote it to explain political Islam and the danger posed by extremist groups, and hoped it would pave the way for other Arab thinkers and researchers to write on the subject in order to intellectually counter the threat of extremist groups.

Dr. Al-Suwaidi concluded the interview by praising the environment of tolerance in the UAE, which contributes to the rejection of violence and called upon other countries to follow in the steps of the UAE in promoting a culture of tolerance rather than of violence.

Dr. Al-Suwaidi also visited the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a prominent think tank in Europe, which contributes to the decision making process not only in Sweden, but also in all European countries.

He was received by Tariq Rauf, Director of SIPRI’s Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme; Dr. Ian Anthony, Director of European Security Programme; and Dr. Jair van der Lijn, Senior Researcher in the Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme. Discussions in the meeting revolved around bilateral cooperation as well as security, political and military developments in the Middle East and the world in general.

At the end of the meeting, Dr. Al-Suwaidi signed copies of the English edition of his book The Mirage for SIPRI researchers and presented a memento to the Institute.

Dr. Al-Suwaidi concluded his visit to the Kingdom of Sweden by a meeting with Martin Safstrom, Director of Middle Eastern Studies Program, Stockholm University, in which they discussed bilateral cooperation and ways to enhance research and academic work between both sides. At the end of this meeting, Dr. Al-Suwaidi presented copies of his book The Mirage in English to Stockholm University.

It is worth mentioning that this visit to Stockholm is part of an intensive tour by Dr. Al-Suwaidi, which aims at developing cooperation in research between the ECSSR and several think tanks in Europe.