Referring to corruption as a “black hole” that hinders the development process of a nation, Dr. Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa called for confronting this menace in all ways possible.
Al-Issa, who is a member of the Council of Senior Scholars and secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), was addressing an event organized by the Saudi Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha)to mark International Corruption Day.
He told the audience about the different meanings and kinds of corruption. Al-Issa described the extremists’ skewed interpretation of the religion as intellectual corruption.
“Corruption could also be moral,” he said, adding that financial corruption is often preceded by administrative corruption.
Al-Issa said our world is not programmed; it is a world of choice, test and free interaction. Hence, corruption is present and should be confronted in all ways possible.
He stressed the need to fight corruption to achieve development goals. “Fighting corruption represents a measure of development,” he said.
“That is why, there are competitiveness measures relating to many factors, many of which are related to fighting corruption, eliminating bureaucracy and enhancing transparency,” Al-Issa added.
He also referred to “compound corruption,” which involves practicing corruption and justifying it.
“There is a masked corruption, which involves calling corruption by other names, like tips, encouragement and special facilities, and the most dangerous type of corruption in this context is money laundering,” said the MWL official.
He noted that serious efforts in fighting corruption from the top had a positive impact on the. The Kingdom followed the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in fighting corruption at the top; for the Prophet (PBUH) said: “I swear by Allah that if Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, should steal, I would have her hand cut off.”
This sends a clear message that no one has immunity, Al-Issa said. “But if fighting corruption starts from the bottom, the elite may think they are immune.”
He stressed that only authorized bodies should talk about corruption cases based on evidence. Al-Issa also praised the Saudi authorities for their efforts in fighting corruption.