Grand Mufti: Terrorism has no place in Islam


Published — Wednesday 20 August 2014

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh says that extremism and the ideologies of groups like the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda are Islam’s No. 1 enemy and that Muslims have been their first victims.

He also said in his public statement that terrorism has no place in Islam.

“The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism… have nothing to do with Islam and (their proponents) are the No. 1 enemy of Islam,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

He cited militants from the Islamic State, which has declared itself a “caliphate” straddling large parts of Iraq and Syria, and the Al-Qaeda network, saying their brutal actions have tarnished the image of the divine Islamic faith.

“Muslims are the main victims of this extremism, as shown by crimes committed by the so-called Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and groups linked to them,” the mufti said, and called for greater efforts to promote tolerance and moderation among Muslims.

Al-Asheikh’s stance reflects the opposition of the Kingdom’s senior religious scholars toward IS militants.
“In the circumstances the Islamic nation is living through, several countries have been destabilized” by extremists, who divide Muslims in the name of religion, the mufti said.

He also advised Saudi nationals to stand united behind their political leadership.

“The conflicts outside our borders should not divide us,” the mufti said, stressing the importance of dialogue to narrow differences of opinion on various matters.

He warned: “In Islam, after heresy, dividing Muslims is the greatest crime.”

He urged tolerance, “which is at the root of Islam’s growth and longevity.”

On June 29, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah said: “We will not allow a handful of terrorists, using Islam for their vested interests, to terrify Muslims or undermine our country and its inhabitants.”

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