The Muslim World League (MWL; Arabic: , Rabitat al-Alam al-Islami, Arabic pronunciation: [ra:bit?at al ?a:lami al isla:mij]) is a Pan-Islamic[dubious ]NGO based in Makkah, Saudi Arabia that aims to clarify the true message of Islam by advancing moderate values that promote peace, tolerance and love.
The NGO was funded by the Saudi government from its inception in 1962, with that contribution growing to approximately $13 million by 1980. Because of the Saudi funding, the League is widely recognized as a representative of the Islamic principles promoted in Saudi Arabia. Under Saudi Arabia's modernization agenda, Vision 2030, the country has embraced a moderate form of Islam, which the Muslim World League seeks to promote in Saudi Arabia and around the world.The Oxford Dictionary of Islam says that "the group has acted as a mouthpiece for the Saudi Arabian government, which finances it."
Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa is the General Secretary. The organization propagates the religion of Islam, encouraging Dawah and conversion of non-Muslims, and promotes apologetics against criticism of Islam. The organization funds the construction of mosques, financial reliefs for Muslims afflicted by natural disasters, the distribution of copies of the Quran, and political tracts on Muslim minority groups. The League says that they reject all acts of violence and promote dialogue with the people of other cultures, within their understanding of Sharia, but they are no strangers to controversy, having been the subject of several ongoing counterterrorism investigations in the U.S. related to Hamas, al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
However, since 2016, the Muslim World League has been widely recognized as one of the leading organizations in Saudi Arabia dedicated to combating extremist ideology. Government officials have commended the Muslim World League for its commitment to confronting hatred, disunity and violence closely associated with extremism.
The Muslim World League was founded in accordance with a resolution adopted during the meeting of the General Islamic Conference which was held in Mecca on the 14th of Dhul Hijjah 1381 Hijra, corresponding to the 18th May 1962.
The Muslim World League's mission is to introduce Islam and the moderate values presented in the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Further, the Muslim World League seeks to spread a message of "peace and harmony" that strengthens Islam's resolve and unity around the world. The organization also combats extremist ideology by promoting and clarifying the facts through education, traditional, digital and social media, and international conferences.
The Muslim World League claims to not only defend the rights of Muslim minorities, but all minorities that face discrimination, and overt and covert forms of oppression. The Washington Times quoted the League's Secretary General saying that the organization "embraces the full range of Muslim beliefs and seeks to downplay sectarian divides - including that between Sunni and Shiite Muslims." In regards to protecting the rights of minorities outside of Islam, the Muslim World League's leadership wrote in a 2019 Newsweek opinion editorial piece that the Charter of Makkah "demands that we preserve the human rights of all people, including women and minorities."
According to the Muslim World League's website, the organization places significant emphasis on civilizational rapprochement through constructive dialogue and engagement. In 2018, Dr. Al-Issa stated that Muslims and non-Muslims alike have an obligation to call for civilizational rapprochement that promotes and shares values and common interests, "in addition to the advancement of the concept of human brotherhood that calls for reinforcing the feeling of love, cooperation and understanding." Additionally, the organization promotes peaceful and harmonious coexistence between Islam and the world's largest religions, especially, but not limited to, Christianity and Judaism.
We the members of the Muslim World League, representing it religiously, hereby undertake before God, Almighty to: · Discharge our obligation towards God, by conveying and proclaiming His Message all over the world. We also reaffirm our belief that there shall be no peace in the world without the application of the principles of Islam. · Invite all communities to vie with one another for the common good and happiness of mankind, establish social justice and a better human society. · Call upon God to bear witness that we do not intend to undermine, dominate or practice hegemony over anyone else. Hence, in order to further these goals, we intend to: · Unite the ranks of the Muslims, and remove all divisive forces from the midst of the Muslim communities around the world. · Remove obstacles in the way of establishing the Muslim world union. · Support all advocates of charitable deeds. · Utilize our spiritual as well as material and moral potentialities in furthering the aims of this charter. · Unify efforts in order to achieve these purposes in a positive and practical way. · Reject all the pretenses of ancient as well as contemporary Jahiliah (attitudes of the pre-Islamic era). · Always reaffirm the fact that Islam has no place for either regionalism or racism.
The Secretariat General of the Muslim World League is the executive wing of the organization. It supervises the day-to-day activities of the 'League', and implements the policies and resolutions adopted by the Constituent Council, under the direction of the Secretary General, the assistant secretaries and the general staff. The Secretariat's headquarters is located in Om Al-Jood, Saudi Arabia.
The General Islamic Conference is the highest policy making body that expresses the feelings and aspirations of Muslim peoples around the world. It is the source of the League's legitimacy and capacity as the spokesman of Muslims worldwide. The GIC consists of leading Islamic preachers and activists who meet annually to review major issues facing Islam and Muslims and to find appropriate solutions for the realization of Muslim interests and aspirations.
The GIC has met on several occasions so far as follows:
In 2015, Abdallah Ben Abdel Mohsen At-Turki spoke on behalf of the speakers at the conference and commenting on the violence caused by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, he said: "The terrorism that we face within the Muslim Ummah and our own homelands today ... is religiously motivated. It has been founded on extremism, and the misconception of some distorted Sharia concept."
The Constituent Council is the highest authority in the Muslim World League. The Council consists of about sixty (60) prominent Muslim scholars representing Muslim peoples and minorities. Members are appointed according to the decision of the Council. The Council endorses plans adopted by the Secretariat General. Membership: The prospective member of the Constituent Council must be active in the field of Islamic propagation.
The Constituent Council meets periodically to review research works and issues submitted either by the Secretariat General or by three members of the Council and to adopt appropriate resolutions. The Council may also provide governments and communities with advice and counseling in the service of Islam. Members function voluntarily. They receive neither salaries nor remunerations.
The WSCM has an independent legal personality. It aims at reactivating the mission of the Mosque as a vital focal point of the religious as well as the temporal life of the Muslim. Ultimately, the WSCM aims at restoring the Mosque's role to what it was during the early days of Islam. It also strives to protect Mosques and Islamic trusts against assault, and to maintain the sanctity and purity of the Mosque. The WSCM was founded in compliance with a resolution adopted by the "Message of the Mosque" conference, which was held in Holy Makkah during the month of Ramadan 1395 (September 1975) under the auspices of the Muslim World League.
The MWL has a number of regionally based Islamic cultural centres that oversee the certification of halal meat products in various countries around the world. Only meat approved by MWL-affiliated centres can be imported to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Much of its work in this field is organised through the International Islamic Halal Organization, a constituent body of the MWL founded to spread awareness of the importance of halal foods.
In October 2001, Newsweek writer Evan Thomas reported that "Two interrelated global charities directly financed by the Saudi government--the International Islamic Relief Organization and the Muslim World League --have been used by bin Laden to finance his operations. The organizations were left off the list of groups sanctioned by the United States last week, U.S. officials hinted to NEWSWEEK, in order to avoid embarrassing the Saudi government."
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the MWL has frequently been a platform for anti-Israeli rhetoric. In 2008, it invited Yusuf al-Qaradawi to speak at their first International Islamic Conference on Dialogue in Mecca in June 2008. During his speech at the conference, he said he would "never sit with Jews on one platform and never hold dialogue with those Jews who have committed injustice against us and support Israel."
The movement for Pan-Islamic unity, however, was not without some results. Its tenacious adherence to the concept of a united world of Islam ultimately triumphed in the 1960s, when new and more vigorous attempts to develop bonds among Muslim countries emerged. The Saudi crown prince, later King Fay?al, led this new effort, motivated by his desire to contain Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser's Arab nationalism. He toured Pakistan, Iran, Jordan, Sudan, Turkey, Morocco, Guinea, Mali, and Tunisia advocating an Islamic ummah. In 1962 Saudi Arabia also established a philanthropic organization, the Muslim World League (R?bi?at al-lam al-Isl?m?) to combat socialism and secularism.