- Sep 23, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
I have to agree with this Saudi cleric that Islam is widely misunderstood and innocent of the charge of terrorism. I also agree, that their has been hypocricy in the West's foreign policy. However, I do not agree with some of the anti-Jewish sentiment in the Middle East:
Saudi cleric says terrorism used to discredit Islam Tue Jan 10, 5:40 AM ET
MECCA, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - A top Saudi cleric told Muslim pilgrims marking the climax of haj on Tuesday that the West was using the global phenomenon of terrorism to scare people away from Islam and discredit legitimate Muslim causes.
Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudeis, the state-appointed preacher at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, also called for stability in Iraq and said Islam was innocent of the charge of "terrorism."
"The campaign against Islam has become fierce and Muslims are being described in insulting terms to distort the image of Islam and scare people away from it," he told the 2.5 million pilgrims in a sermon to mark the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.
He accused Western countries of hypocrisy in promoting freedom and democracy, citing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"When the oppressor Zionist enemy uses its war of smart bombs and tanks against our brothers in Palestine, violating our holy sites, that's not terrorism to their mind -- but defending land, religion and honor is," Sudeis said.
Israel has largely crushed a Palestinian uprising launched in 2000 and Al-Haram al-Sharif, the site of Islam's holy Al-Aqsa mosque, is in Arab East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after its capture in the 1967 Middle East war in a move that has not been recognised internationally.
"Islam is innocent of this grave phenomenon (of terrorism). The shedding of blood in this country and other Muslim countries is a forbidden criminal act," the cleric said, adding that fighting Islamic rulers was "foolish" and counterproductive.
"We should not forget our brothers in Iraq in the continuing spiral of injustice and murder, and (we should) act seriously to bring security, stability and unity to them," he said.
A campaign of violence to bring down the U.S.-allied Saudi rulers has largely run out of steam over the past year. The kingdom has deployed thousands of security forces at the holy sites to prevent possible attacks during the haj.