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Dr. Hassan Abdullah Al-Daa'ja

Intellectual security

The intellectual security term pops up continuously in tandem with a litany of current scientific dissertations and studies on the subject. A cause of political, intellectual and security concern to decision-makers, the issue has also worried a vast chunk of members of the society who are conscious of the dangers posed by the type of terrorism based on devious thought as it uses brutal force, violence and random killings against innocent people in public places.

Particularly worrying is that such devious thought may spread to a wide section of the population leading them to believe that it is the rule and moderate thought is the exception. Also, alarming is the prospect that the devious thought could spread to school and university students, posing a grave threat that could not be confronted with conventional means.

Intellectual security is highly essential for the individual, society and state, playing a major role in shaping the sound, moderate thought, shunning extremism and fanaticism with regard to the future generations' trends, practices, and actions. It is also instrumental in the progress and prosperity of the Nation and the state. The lack of intellectual security leads to intellectual anarchy, instability, and backwardness.

Intellectual security is the opposite of intellectual deviation. The western world has known terror organizations that resorted to violence after adopting the devious thought, both in the Catholic faith and Jewish faith. Religious extremism in Europe has provoked many wars, including the Thirty Years war pitting the Catholics against the Protestants.

Primarily centered in Germany, several European countries became involved in the conflict, starting with the bombardment of Prague, the Czech capital, in 1618 and ending with Westphalia peace treaty in 1648. About 8.1 million military personnel and 3 million civilians were killed in this war, with Germany losing one fifth of its population. Islam was plagued with similar incidents when Al-Khawarij wreaked havoc in the first Hijri century.

Humans have relentlessly sought intellectual security wherever they may be, exerting serious efforts to ensure and preserve it.

Currently, the world has suffered from the devious thought with certain groups adopting devious and extremist ideological, religious and political ideas. The World War provoked by the Nazi terrorism has taken the lives of millions. Even the United States of America has not been spared the horrors of such deviation: in 1995 the U.S. citizen Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck bomb on the Alfred Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. It was the most destructive terrorist attack on the U.S. territory, killing 168 persons, including 19 children, and wounding more than 680 others.

At the outset of the 21st century, the 9/11/2001 events killed or wounded nearly 3000 persons, seriously impacting international political relations and provoking wars, killings, occupation and unbridled anarchy worldwide. Add to these explosions in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and various countries.

The devious thought has nothing to do with the teachings of magnanimous Islam of mercy and wisdom. It hinders the progress of societies and states, thus making it incumbent on the concerned institutions and states to seriously ponder the establishment of intellectual security as it poses more threat than organized crime, drugs, epidemics or other menaces. Moreover, it is a complex religious, political and social disease, trying to usurp legitimacy, action, planning and execution. As such, it obliterates the legitimacy of the state and the nation, using immoral and illegal means to realize its objectives.

Highlighting the stance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz has stressed that "extremism and terrorism pose the gravest threat to the Arab Nation" calling for "concerted efforts to confront both using whatever available means".

Meanwhile, the initiative to establish the international center for combating extremism and enhancing moderation was based on King Salman's vision for fighting extremist thought and spreading moderation among the youth worldwide. The center prides itself in its technological and human resources as well as its intellectual, digital and media capabilities. This is in addition to its assignments that include monitoring and analyzing the activities of the extremist thought as well as its strategic goals based on protection, awareness and partnership in standing up to the terrorist thought.

Marking the Kingdom's national day anniversary, HRH Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Defence, has stressed this message, saying, "Led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, this nation has proved its credibility regarding the support of Truth and adherence to constants in realizing justice as well as its endeavors to establish regional security and world peace, let alone its internationally recognized efforts to fight and uproot terrorism.

Actually, extremism and terrorism are not mere actions, but rather the result of errant thought, requiring all state and civil society institutions as well as the religious, educational and social establishments to confront it, particularly the individuals and sections of the society. It is a joint responsibility to build the concepts and values of moderation sans any exaggeration or extremism since sound human values protect and guard the societies against intellectual deviation and terrorism.

We glean from the above that intellectual security is linked to the minds of the individuals, showing the result of their thinking, reflecting their behavior, as well their religious and ethnic identity. It also reflected the strong linkage to the changes in the concept of comprehensive security. The intellectual security is also closely linked to the security of the individual himself since the stature of a nation is measured by its degree of progress. The latter could only be achieved through a sound and moderate thought of the individuals, i.e if the individuals preserve their intellectual security they protect their values and principles that produce the society's collective thought, achieving the best form of security. However, if their thought goes astray due to devious and errant ideas, this will adversely affect the cohesion of the society. This will in turn devastate its stability and security and by extension the development, prosperity and progress of the country. The ensuing result will be fear and social instability and lack of national unity. Moreover, errant thought hinders the nation's development process, preventing it from keeping pace with progress and leaving it to languish among the least developed nations. Intellectual security is the principal pillar in the preservation of security and stability and the realization of socio-economic welfare.