DAMMAM — Recent terrorist acts in the Eastern Province have led Saudi youth to drastically increase their social media participation, according to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance.
The ministry’s head of the Sakina Campaign, which aims to gauge public opinion on Daesh (the so-called IS), told Al-Hayat that the attacks on mosques in Al-Qudaih and Dammam increased traffic on the initiative’s social media sites.
Abdulmonem Al-Mushawah said: “The visitors of our social media sites have increased by 180 percent.
“Social media has enabled the youth to become more involved in world issues and more critical in their opinions.
“Regardless of religious sect, people are uniting to oppose Daesh and its terrorist acts.”
He said fighting terrorism is no longer just an official duty but the patriotic task of every citizen.
“A lot of young people argue and debate directly with the terrorists on their social media accounts. The young generation is bold and has defied Daesh’s agenda on multiple levels,” Al-Mushawah said.
“They are uniting together from various parts of the Kingdom and from Sunni and Shiite backgrounds to honor the martyrs of the two incidents and defend the national security.”
Security affairs researcher Ahmad Al-Mowkli said the technology and information revolution has drastically changed the dynamics of communication and awareness in society.
He said: “In the past, the only people able to speak about a certain topic were its experts. “Nowadays, however, anyone can voice their opinions about anything.
Communication is fast and people are able to reach out to millions of people.”
He added raising awareness have become easier than ever because people do not only share their thoughts with like-minded people but are also exposed to opposing views.
“An example of the positive effects of the technology and information revolution is the way the general public and the youth are dealing with terrorism.
“In the past, terrorism was this hazy dark cloud that everyone feared. Nowadays, terrorism is a topic open for debate and intellectual discussion.”