The Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal) celebrated its fifth anniversary on Saturday, May 21, 2022, which was launched by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in 2017, in the presence of the United States President and several leaders and heads of governments of Arab and Islamic countries.
Etidal provided many intellectual, digital, and media achievements over the past five years. In addition, the Center has participated in many conferences, dialogues, seminars, and workshops specialized in combating violent extremism, terrorist financing, and dialogue Interfaith, in partnership with many countries and organizations from Saudi Arabia, America, France, Japan, Iraq, and Indonesia, as well as various partnerships with the United Nations.
During that period, Etidal launched many initiatives, projects, and specialized services, such as (Moderate) initiative, an initiative launched in June 2020 to activate community partnership in combating extremist ideology. Another initiative is (Tafneed)that aims to dismantle and refute the extremist ideology and discourses circulating through the Internet and social media sites, which is a vast arena for the extremists’ activities that start with disseminating extremist ideology through propaganda for violent extremism and ends with recruitment. Etidal also launched the (Research Cooperation) service, which is a service that aims to help graduate students in their thesis and studies of combating extremist ideology, whether citizens or residents inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as a first stage, then the rest of the students around the world as a second stage in the future. Also, among the initiatives is the (University Training) project. It aims to train undergraduate students, develop their skills, and provide them with knowledge by engaging them with the rest of Etidal employees and observing their efforts to combat extremist ideology through its ideological and digital foundations. Finally, (gether2) initiative aims to serve the deaf and hard of hearing people, believing in its role in immunizing societies from extremist ideology and preventing all groups from falling into its clutches.
Etidal is a destination for many regional and international organizations specialized in combating extremist ideology. Since its inauguration in May 2017 and until May 2022, it has received more than 1,861 visitors from different countries worldwide.
In the context of Etidal’s keenness to utilize its capabilities in the service of brotherly and friendly countries, a delegation headed by the Secretary-General of the Center, Dr. Mansour Al-Shammari, visited Iraq in August 2021 to support its efforts in combating extremist ideology and to enhance cooperation and adapt the suitable strategies that serve the two parties. The visit included talks with Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem Al-Araji, Head of the Iraqi National Security Agency Abdul-Ghani Al-Asadi, Head of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahhab Al-Saadi, a high-ranking religious scholar Hussein Ismael Al-Sadr. During the visit, the Secretary-General, Dr. Mansour Al-Shammari, gave a lecture at the Al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on (the dangers of hate speech), in the presence of the Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem Al-Araji, and representatives of the Iraqi and social religions and sects in the Republic of Iraq.
In addition, Etidal gave great importance to partnership and cooperation with many relevant regional and global organizations and signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Center for Counter-Terrorism (UNCCT) of the United Nations Office to combat terrorism (UNOCT) in 2021. In February 2022, Etidal agreed with (Telegram) to strengthen cooperation and expand coordination between them, and this resulted in the removal of 672,972 extremist content. The (Etidal) team continues its efforts to raise awareness of the importance of human values in the development of peoples, in addition to its main role in combating extremist ideas and discourses on social media accounts and applications.