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JEDDAH: Hundreds of journalists, educationalists, bankers, entrepreneurs and other professionals from 57 Islamic countries are expected to benefit from new training courses on intellectual security that aim to prevent the spread of extremist ideology.

The two-week courses, to begin on Sunday, will focus mainly on ways to improve intellectual security, promote moderation and fight the money laundering that helps to finance the spread of extremism.

They will be held throughout the year at the Jeddah headquarters of the Union of News Agencies (UNA) of the member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in partnership with Distance Learning and Training Company Group (DLT), a specialist international training company. It is the first project of its kind between UNA and a private company.

DLT CEO Zuhair Azhar said intellectual security is an important issue that is key to quality of life and stability. His company, he added, has developed training courses in which experts from inside and outside the Kingdom will educate people on the issue, along with related concepts such as moderation and money-laundering crimes.

“We have set up a work plan for the UNA training center, taking into consideration its role in fighting intellectual terrorism and its financing sources, as well as its supporters,” Azhar said, adding that Muslim nations in particular need to protect their culture and identity against cultural invasions.

“Thus, we have worked on preparing courses to protect our identity,” he said. “We have also selected our audience on the basis of their effectiveness to help us spread moderate, peaceful ideologies.”

Azhar said the courses would focus on practical ways to help protect individuals and families from intellectual deviation.

“This course will also shed light on the role of families, schools, and media to keep Muslim societies safe from aberrant thoughts,” he added. “The courses will also provide practical measures that can be taken to achieve such a goal.”

The Kingdom has, he said, been successful in promoting moderation, fighting extremism and battling against money laundering. “Saudi Arabia has become a global model to follow in combating deviant ideologies and preventing all sorts of illegal money activities,” he added.

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