Manama,. (BNA) — His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain today called for an end to the rise of “evil theocracies” pervading the Middle East.Addressing delegates at the opening dinner of the 10th IISS Manama Dialogue at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in
Manama,. (BNA) — His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain today called for an end to the rise of “evil theocracies” pervading the Middle East.
Addressing delegates at the opening dinner of the 10th IISS Manama Dialogue at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Bahrain, the Crown Prince spoke of the severe threats posed by religiously-inspired extremist groups on the security and stability of the region.
Calling for the end to extremist ideologies, Prince Salman said: “While politics may drag people into ideology, it is the ideology itself that must be combated. It must be named, it must be shamed and it must be contained, and eventually it must be defeated.
“We must use all resources to hold accountable those who place themselves above other ordinary human beings who claim they have divine right to rule. These are people who try to govern us, here on earth, and in the hereafter. We are not only fighting terrorists, we are fighting theocrats,” Prince Salman emphasised to an audience of senior regional and international security officials and policymakers.
Turning to events that have impacted the Middle East over the last four years, he added: “History and the events of 2011 will tell you that where state paradigms collapse, into the vacuum comes extremism. We will be fighting these theocrats for a very long time.
“The question is do we have the courage, and the moral and intellectual integrity to call them out for what they are,” he continued.
Concluding his remarks, the Crown Prince called on the summit’s attendees to disregard the term ‘war on terror’ and focus on what he termed “the real threat – the rise of evil theocracies”.
The 2014 Manama Dialogue, held in partnership with the IISS, marks the tenth iteration of the region’s foremost security conference.
Speaking at the event’s opening, Dr John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive of IISS said: “Today we mark the 10th edition of the IISS Manama Dialogue and we are very proud of our partnership with the Kingdom of Bahrain in this effort to inspire open and transparent strategic debate.
“The Manama Dialogue, used wisely, can become the incubator for a stronger strategic culture in and for the Middle East,” he continued.
The Manama Dialogue provides a unique setting for national security leaders to gather to discuss a range of critical security issues, including ways to increase efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism, countering nuclear proliferation and regional military cooperation to address emerging threats.