Saudi grand mufti: foreign agencies seek to damage Islam

Grand Mufti said those who kill other Muslims do not represent Islam, because Islam is a religion of mercy.

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The Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh said the killings of innocent Muslims in some countries is the work of foreign intelligence agencies that seek to damage Islam.

He added that those who kill other Muslims do not represent Islam, because Islam is a religion of mercy and justice that embraces Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Al-Hayat daily reported.

During the Friday sermon at Imam Turki Bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh, Al-Asheikh said it is forbidden for a Muslim to kill another Muslim as Islam emphasized the importance of respecting and preserving lives.

“Such teachings are the basis for a settled society, and if Muslims follow these teachings, they will live in complete harmony,” he said while referencing daily reports of gruesome criminal activities being committed by what he described as “evil persons and factions that are enemies of Islam.”

Al-Asheikh went on to say that Islam is innocent of such crimes, and every Muslim should denounce crimes that are committed against Muslims who pray and fast.

“These criminals are trying to cover their crimes in the name of Islam, however, they are far from the true meaning of Islam.”

The Grand Mufti’s strong statement follows his earlier plea to governments and fellow Islamic scholars across the Muslim world to punish the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah for its intervention in the Syrian civil war.

The Grand Mufti, who is also the President of the Board of Senior Ulema, emphasized that Saudi Arabia — since its foundation at the hands of King Abdul Aziz until the time of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah — has been supporting Muslim causes as well as just causes in all places; and this was based not on rigid political calculations but stems from the Islamic ideology that calls for justice and forbids injustice and oppression.”

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.