Saudi mosque attack draws wide condemnation

Scholars, intellectuals and thinkers urged to intensify awareness campaign against terrorist doctrines

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Friday’s terror attack on a mosque in al-Ahsa that killed four people drew widespread condemnation across the world. The attack on Imam Rida Mosque in Mahasen neighborhood in al-Ahsa region of the Eastern Province also injured 18 worshipers.

The general secretariat of the Board of Senior Ulema roundly condemned the attack, claiming it as a failed bid to undermine the security of the Saudi Arabia and trigger sedition in the country, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The board said in a press statement that such terror acts would only lead to increase the Saudi people’s faith in Allah Almighty, and close their ranks to rally behind their leaders in safeguarding the nation against the scourge of terrorism. The board urged scholars, intellectuals and thinkers to intensify awareness campaign and fight the dangerous terrorist doctrines and stop silence over acts that threaten the nation’s security and safety of the public.

Sheikh Abdurahman bin Abdullah al-Sind, head of the Presidency for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia), said the mosque attack is a blatant aggression that serves only the ulterior motives of the enemies of Islam. It is a grave sin to target mosques and try to create division among the people through such barbaric acts,” he said.

German Foreign Minister FrankWalter Steinmeier denounced the al-Ahsa mosque attack, describing it as a cowardice act that is unacceptable in any religion. “The perpetrators of such attacks want to incite hatred among the Saudi people. It is the responsibility of the international community to show solidarity with Saudi Arabia in fighting terror,” he said.

The Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU) President and Speaker of Kuwait’s National Assembly (Majles Al-Ummah) Marzouq al-Ghanim voiced strong condemnation of the mosque attack in al-Ahsa. “We slam such cowardly and heinous attacks targeting unarmed worshipers, and express our total solidarity with Saudi Arabia in combating these vicious acts that are nothing to do with Islam,” he said while calling for regional and international collaboration and cooperation in stamping out the scourge of terror.

While denouncing the al-Ahsa attacks, Bahrain’s ministry of foreign affairs hoped that such terror attacks won’t be successful in undermining the security of Saudi Arabia or creating sedition or friction among members of the Saudi society.

The ministry lauded the great efforts being exerted by the Kingdom in strengthening the security and stability of the Arab and Islamic states as well as to ensure the prosperity and welfare of their people and confronting the challenges faced by them, especially fighting terrorism.

In a statement, the foreign ministry of Qatar condemned the attack, saying that such criminal acts are contrary to all moral and humanitarian values and fundamental principles of all divine religions. The ministry expressed confidence that the Saudi security authorities are capable of foiling such attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Condemning the attack on innocent worshipers, Dr. Mohammad al-Momani, Jordanian government spokesman and minister of state for media affairs and communications, said that this shows that the blind terror wont’ spare anybody and instead targeting all. “Jordan will stand by the Kingdom against all such vicious terror acts,” he said.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Jan. 30, 2016.

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