The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holliest sites, has condemned the gloating by radical “tweeps” in the Arab world over the Sandy storm disaster, which left more than 100 people dead in the U.S. East Coast, as “illegitimate.”
Sheikh Abdel Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh told al-Hayat newspaper that gloating over "these people who were hit by storm Sandy is inappropriate,” adding that such behavior is “illegitimate” and “must be abandoned.”
Saudi Arabia’s prominent Islamic preacher Salman al-Oudah also urged Twitter users to refrain from gloating over Sandy victims, recalling the Prophet Mohammed’s message of peace to mankind.
Commenting on the super-storm disaster, one person who identifies himself as a professor of religion tweeted: “We ask God to destroy them all, and not keep one of them,” because the United States “supports war and abuse towards Muslims.”
In Egypt, controversial Islamic preacher Wagdy Ghoneim described storm Sandy as one of “God’s soldiers” sent to punish the United States for its actions against Muslims.
Other Twitter users compared Sandy to the sand storm, which according to Islam was sent by God to the “People of Aad” to punish them for refusing to believe in him.
But Mustafa al-Nagar, Former Egyptian parliament member who was in the United States at the time of the storm, wrote on his Twitter account: “I pray for people here in America with mercy. What’s happening here is a catastrophe and a tragedy! Do not gloat over innocent victims, this is inhumane.”
Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti also criticized gloaters over Sandy. He tweeted: “Who told you that children, students, women and men in America wish you [Muslims] death? Politicians like Mubarak and Bush are one thing, and humanity is something else.”
In the same vein, Engy Hamdi, political activist and member of Egypt’s April 6 Movement, wrote on her Twitter account, “Did Islam teach us to gloat amid the misfortunes of people?"