Arabs have "wronged Islam and distorted the image of Muslims," Saudi Prince Khaled Al-Faisal warned in a speech this week. The prince said Muslims should "not allow colonialism to return, or for divisions to prevail."

The prince's remarks were brief and did not reference any recent events in the Arab world. It's unclear what he was referring to, but his comments come as the Islamic State group has carried out terror attacks against Muslims across the Middle East and as Saudi Arabia is locked in a struggle against Iran for influence over the region.

"I do not envy anyone who stands to speak on behalf of Arabs today. We have wronged Islam and distorted the image of Muslims," Prince Saud, who has served as foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, said during the opening remarks at the 15th Arab Thought Foundation conference in Abu Dhabi. The theme of the event was: "Arab Integration: The Gulf Cooperation Council and the United Arab Emirates."

"Excuse me if my candor is painful, but the wounds are glaring," he added. "Arise Arabs, wake up Muslims, do not allow colonialism to return, or for divisions to prevail."

In July, Saudi officials accused the Islamic State group of bombing the holy city of Medina, the site of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad's tomb and his house, in an attack that killed four security officers and injured five others.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has urged Muslims to unite against an epidemic of "extremism." But earlier this year, Saudi Arabia's top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, said Iran's leaders were not Muslims. Saudi Arabia and Iran represent opposite sides in Syria's civil war and other Middle East conflicts, including Yemen. Saudi Arabia cut off relations with Iran in January after its embassy was attacked in Tehran.