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SecaucusFats
01-23-2005, 05:33 PM
Islamic cleric urges all Muslims to reject terrorism(One of the most influential clerics speaks out)
Inquirer / 2005-01-23 / Allan Nawal

MECCA, Saudi Arabia -- One of Saudi Arabia's most influential clerics urged Muslims to eschew terrorism, saying attacks on the innocent were not in accordance with the teachings of Islam.

"Islam is a religion of moderation. Extremism has no place in Islam," Sheikh Abdurahman Al-Sudais of the Masjid'l Haram (Grand Mosque) said in a sermon delivered for Friday's Eid'l Adha (feast of sacrifice).

He called on followers of Islam to exert all efforts to protect non-Muslims.

Hundreds of thousands of people, from among some 2.5 million Muslims performing the haj pilgrimage in the kingdom, attended the Eid'l Adha prayers.

Al-Sudais' call came in the wake of stepped up attacks by militant Muslims in troubled areas of the Middle East. Some of the attacks have occurred in Saudi Arabia, blamed on militants linked to the al-Qaeda network, which had declared the pro-US Saudi rulers apostates.

In the latest incident in Iraq, a suicide car bomb exploded at a Shi'ite wedding party in a town south of Baghdad late on Friday, killing at least 11 people and wounding 27, doctors said.

There has been a surge in attacks on Shi'ites as Iraq's January elections approach. Earlier on Friday, a suicide car bomber killed 14 Shi'ite worshippers as they left a Baghdad mosque.

Al-Sudais said Muslim scholars should help preach the real Islam to counter what he said was a distorted interpretation of the religion by some people.

"Islam is a religion of peace but some people are using misguided interpretations of Islam to justify (attacks on perceived enemies)," Al-Sudais said.

He said scholars might have to take some of the blame for the "little success" of distorted ideas because they had done little to counter their spread.

"We are now suffering from this dangerous phenomenon. This phenomenon has become widespread that Muslim scholars must hold on to the real Islam," Al-Sudais said.

'Repulsive hearsays'

Earlier, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia urged scholars to use all available materials to teach the correct form of Islam.

Sheik Abdul Aziz Al-Asheik told participants at an international inter-culture conference, which was hosted by the World Muslim League (WML), that Muslims would not have difficulty in establishing dialogues with other sectors because materials on Islam were widely available.

"Many non-Muslims know very little or nothing about Islam and depend on hearsays, which are repulsive and distorted," Al-Asheikh said.

He said people who hated Islam were claiming that the religion encouraged terrorism and extremism, and appeared to be winning in some aspects because some people were starting to think that what they were being told about Islam was the truth.

Exposing Islam's enemies

"It is only through constructive dialogue, led by people who understand Islam and its teachings, that the enemies of Islam could be exposed and their lies refuted," Al-Asheik said.

Al-Sudais said the branding of followers of other faiths as infidels and attempts to incite Muslims to rise against their leaders had caused instability not only in the region but in other areas of the globe, as well.

"Theirs is a delinquent and void interpretation of Islam based on ignorance," he said.

Islam does not mean killing non-Muslims, Al-Sudais said.

"It does not mean shedding blood and terrorism, such as killing people (by planting bombs) to send their body parts flying."

Bombings in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia has not been spared from terror attacks.

Bombings have scarred Riyadh, the country's capital, and militants identified with the al-Qaeda network have attacked facilities manned by foreigners.

In the wake of the violence, Saudi security forces have launched a manhunt for Saudi dissident Saad Al-Faqeeh, allegedly a ranking lieutenant of Osama Bin Laden.
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SF < I'll believe this when the terror stops.

nhp
01-24-2005, 02:36 AM
Supposedly the extremists use and go by 'forged' parts of the Koran that were taken out of the original. Those parts include teachings that capturing and beheading an enemy is acceptable to instill fear on the rest of them. Makes me sick...

hondo
01-25-2005, 05:45 AM
So... what did you learn from this, SF?

Gayle in MD
01-25-2005, 07:14 AM
Thanks for posting this. It's encouraging to see some effort by an important Islamic cleric to draw some line of distinction between the the religeon and those who have distorted it through extremism and violence. We need more of this kind of participation from the influential religeous leaders of the Middle East who condemn violence and extremism.

Gayle in md.

Chopstick
01-25-2005, 08:01 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr> Supposedly the extremists use and go by 'forged' parts of the Koran that were taken out of the original. Those parts include teachings that capturing and beheading an enemy is acceptable to instill fear on the rest of them. Makes me sick... <hr /></blockquote>

I never heard that. It is interesting and it makes sense. The worst WMDs, by far, are ideas.

SecaucusFats
01-25-2005, 10:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote hondo:</font><hr> So... what did you learn from this, SF? <hr /></blockquote>

Good question Hondo.

I was reminded that there is still a glimmer of hope amidst all the gloom. That perhaps all people can be united by our humanity while respecting each other's rights to pursue, or not to pursue, a relationship with God as each sees fit.

I hope that all good and decent Muslim leaders take up the cause, and that eventually, all good Muslims will come together to end the evil of radical fundamentalist Islamic theology.

SF

Gayle in MD
01-25-2005, 10:53 AM
Tap Tap Tap!

Love,
Gayle...

Wally_in_Cincy
01-25-2005, 11:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr> I was reminded that there is still a glimmer of hope amidst all the gloom. <hr /></blockquote>

The trouble is they did not condemn sh*t until Saudi Arabia was attacked. Viewed in that context I have less hope than you do.

hondo
01-25-2005, 01:22 PM
Good answer, SF. There's hope for you afterall, my man.

highsea
01-25-2005, 02:01 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr>The trouble is they did not condemn sh*t until Saudi Arabia was attacked. Viewed in that context I have less hope than you do.<hr /></blockquote>Unfortunately I share your pessimism, Wally.

Al-Qaeda does not recognize the Saudi Gov't, and therefore the clerics that make these statements. The Sunni-Shia split is an old and deep division among muslims. As you say, the Saudis did not start denouncing the terrorism until it hit Saudi soil. Prior to that, they were the biggest supporters. Now that the threat has come home to them, they are seeing it in a different light, but it's too little, too late.

A few words in a sermon will only go so far. What needs to happen is a full-fledged reform of Islam. The Imam's who are preaching jihad need to be stripped of their religious authority and replaced with moderates. Not just in the ME, but everywhere. It needs to happen on both sides of the Sunni-Shia divide. They not only need to stop preaching hate towards non-muslims, but among themselves as well.

And Arab governments need to renounce terrorism as a valid means of struggle against their enemies. This means that Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, etc. need to lose their State sponsorships, and their leaders need to be imprisoned for their crimes.

Until both of these steps are taken concurrently, the problem can not be resolved. No one will pay any attention to the Imams until the underlying causes are addressed.
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DavidMorris
01-25-2005, 03:44 PM
Unfortunately, Highsea, I think there are too many fanatical Imams and their followers for that approach to be effective. Stripping of any official religious sanctions will just cause them to regroup and create their own sanctions in order to continue spewing their hatred. You can't snuff out a fanatic's fanaticism just by telling him he can no longer practice it under an official name.

I do agree though that Arab countries and the ME as a whole should take a stand against the fanatics, but I don't see it happening in my generation. There is still far too much control and influence by the conservative fundamentalists to let that happen. Hopefully as they die off there will be fewer to step into their shoes, but I'm not optimistic as to that happening anytime soon.

Mr Ingrate
01-25-2005, 04:34 PM
In Canada, as in many countries, there is a movement by the Muslims to have their followers judged by Muslim Law (Sharia). They want this to replace the Canadian court system for members of the Muslim community.

Since this is the basic law in many US friendly countries, such as Saudia Arabia, you would expect moderation instead of extremism. Not so. This law is a trip back to the 18th century. Islamic Clerics may decry suicide bombers, but their religious laws (which are also the law of the courts) are draconian, at best. According to Sharia, the word of one man is as good as the word of two women. Women are segregated in the temple. Polygamy is fine. Girls may marry at age 9. A man may divorce his wife by simply saying "I divorce you". The religious police publicly flog women not properly covered. Women have few rights and they can only be exercised by a male relative.

Google Sharia and read some of the articles. Here is a link (http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2002/14012.htm) to get you started.

Oxymoron - Moderate Muslim Cleric.

Do I believe in the separation of church and state? .... you betcha.

highsea
01-25-2005, 04:34 PM
Well you may be right, but these guys preach in mosques, and these mosques have financing behind them, usually from Saudi Arabia. Most of these mosques are in communities, and the muslims from those communities will visit those mosques regardless of who the Iman happens to be. So if you can get them out of their mosques, you take away a large part of their recruiting infrastructure.

In the Arab world, the reforms have to come from the top down. There is no other way. In the West, the reforms may actually come from the bottom up, since the people who worship there are likely to have more personal freedoms, a better education, and are living in a more dynamic economy. Even so, the influence of the Imams shouldn't be underestimated, and they need to be rooted out and expelled wherever thay are found.
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highsea
01-25-2005, 04:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Mr Ingrate:</font><hr> In Canada, as in many countries, there is a movement by the Muslims to have their followers judged by Muslim Law (Sharia). They want this to replace the Canadian court system for members of the Muslim community.
<hr /></blockquote>Dave, hasn't this already been approved in Canada for civil cases? It seems to me that I read about this not long ago, and the Canadian gov't said okay to it.
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Mr Ingrate
01-25-2005, 05:02 PM
In Canada we go overboard to promote multi-culturalism. The idea of a melting pot seems to have disappeared.

"The Ontario government redrafted legislation in 1991, granting religious leaders the authority to mediate civil matters. The law, called the Arbitration Act, was designed to help unburden an already over-taxed court system. At the same time, they hoped it would enhance the country's official doctrine of multiculturalism, the notion that a society is made richer when ethnic groups are encouraged to share their cultural expression and values. Rabbis and priests have also used the act to adjudicate squabbles over everything from dietary rules to monetary disputes between parishes."

Here is a link (http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0810/p01s03-woam.html) to an article.

As you mentioned, civil disputes have been settled by religious leaders for some time. Now there are formal tribunals being created.

Canadians are idiots for allowing religious leaders the ability to bypass the law of the land. Talk about your slippery slope. Next thing you know instead of "the laying on of hands" it will be "the cutting off of hands".

SecaucusFats
01-25-2005, 07:11 PM
Some interesting articles from the Arab media:

UAE Writer: The Reason for Arab Muslim Youth Involvement in Terrorism is Religious Brainwashing

In an article in the United Arab Emirates daily Al-Itihad, columnist Abdallah Rashid stated that the reason for terrorism is not the socio-economic situation in the Arab countries, but the religious brainwashing of Arab youth. The following are excerpts:

"The greatest mistake of the social and political commentators is their attributing the cause for the spreading of the phenomenon of terrorism in the Arab and Islamic world solely to the lack of social justice, the spreading of poverty, and the harsh social conditions in most of the Arab and Islamic countries.

"The socio-economic situation of most of the terrorists who participate in the criminal operations around the world is very good. Thus, for example, Faysal Zayd Al-Matiri, a young Kuwaiti man from an economically well-off family, went to Fallujah to fight alongside the terrorists supporting the Al-Qa'ida organization, together with the terrorist Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi. He left behind his parents, his wife, and his three girls. He was killed in the fighting, leaving a widow, three orphan girls, and stricken parents mourning his death…

"Interrogations by the Iraqi authorities of terrorists arrested during raids and searches in Iraqi towns revealed that most of the Saudi youth and some of the [youth] from the Gulf who went to Iraq to join the Al-Qa'ida terrorist groups come from families that are not poor and from a social environment that does not suffer from economic problems.

"What is the reason for the involvement of the Arab Muslim youth in such criminal and despicable acts?

"The simple reason is the terrifying brainwashing suffered by most of the Arab youth at the hands of 'religious clerics' and particularly at the hands of the extremists with backward views. [These 'clerics'] nourish the Muslim youth with various kinds of racist views and destructive extremist principles, and nurse them with hostility, hatred, and resentment towards other people and towards members of other divine religions.

"Those who award themselves the title of 'religious clerics' incite Muslim youth to what they call ' Jihad,' while they do not know the meaning of Jihad. What is odd is that they incite others to cross seas and oceans in order to fight 'the atheist and Christian infidels,' as they put it, while not one of them volunteers to go [there] himself and to serve as a model and an example to others…

"So many victims of the brainwashing to which Arab youth are subjected! So many people attribute the reason for these youths joining the caravan of terror to the socio-economic situation [in Arab and Islamic countries], all the while ignoring the fact that there are thousands of youth from peaceful households, from stable families and from rich families who join the gangs of terror, the most prominent leaders of which are bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri, and Al-Zarqawi !…" [2]


Saudi Columnist: Why Don't the Sheikhs Who Encourage the Youth to Fight Jihad Do So Themselves?

In an article in the Saudi daily Al-Watan titled "Question to the Youth Seeking Paradise," Saudi columnist Abdallah Nasser Al-Fawzan criticized the sheikhs who encourage youth to fight Jihad but refrain from doing so themselves:

"If there is a worthy deed that endangers one's life, but guarantees [one's reaching] paradise, like Jihad for the sake of Allah – are we to suppose that young teenagers in the early stages of life should aspire to carry it out? Or should it rather be the elderly, nearing death, [for whom] it is natural to aspire to end their lives through an honorable deed that will guarantee them paradise?

"Logically, and as reality shows us, the correct answer is the second one. Thus, for instance, youth indeed participated in Jihad for the sake of Allah in the era of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, but it [i.e., their Jihad] depended principally on middle-aged men, and the elderly took part in every mission appropriate for their age…

"If adults took part in Jihad [in that era], why do we find today that all those involved in what they claim are ' Jihad ' operations – whether in Iraq or here [in Saudi Arabia] – are young teenagers, and we do not see among them any adults or elderly people?… After all, the elderly are quite capable of carrying out missions in the best possible manner. An old man over 100 years old can drive a booby-trapped car and explode it in a given area, perhaps even with greater expertise than a 20-year-old.

"In one of his quests for paradise, a youth traveled to another country in order to kill a man accused of atheism, in order to get closer to Allah by killing him, and thus to reach paradise. Fate had it that the man accused of atheism was the first one to meet the youth in a cafe. He saw him sitting there and realized that he was a foreigner. The man addressed him, shook his hand, welcomed him, and asked if he might sit next to the youth. The latter gave his consent. They had a friendly talk, and got to like one another.

"Afterwards the youth asked him, 'Do you know so-and-so?' The man saw that the youth had mentioned him by name and was startled, but he controlled his emotions and asked the youth, 'Why are you inquiring about this man?' The youth said that the man was an evil atheist and that he intended to rescue people from his evildoing in order to get closer to Allah and to reach paradise. The man, who was by now quite amazed, said to the youth, 'How are you so certain that this man is an atheist deserving of death, and that killing him will bring you to paradise?' The youth responded, 'Some sheikhs told me so.'… The man said, 'Why don't these sheikhs aspire to reach paradise themselves, and why are they giving up for your sake [the merit of] carrying out this honorable deed which brings one to paradise?' The youth was embarrassed and said, 'I don't know.'

"Today, the same question that the man asked the paradise-seeking youth could be addressed to the youth who blow themselves up and explode booby-trapped cars while still inside them, in order to reach paradise, for they are without doubt influenced by the Fatwa s, the ideas, the inclinations, and the instructions of men who have gained their trust and have done much to influence them.

"These people who hold sway over the minds of the youth have deceived them into thinking that what they are doing is an act of Jihad that will bring them to paradise. These youth should ask themselves why it is that these people prefer them [i.e., the youth] to themselves, and give up for their sake [the merit of carrying out] the 'honorable' deed that would bring them to paradise.

"In true acts of Jihad, everyone participated, including the Prophet and his sublime Companions. Today, however, those who carry out these dangerous acts, which are considered to be Jihad, are youth who have been influenced [by the sheikhs] and have turned into bullets. Where are the adults and the elderly? Where are the adults who have been influenced by the organization's ideology? Is there not a single elderly person convinced that this is an act of Jihad ? Is there not a single elderly person who would blow himself up or explode a booby-trapped car?

"Oh youth, you who seek paradise, where are your sheikhs [when it comes to] this 'honorable deed'?… Everybody wants paradise. Why then, oh youth, are your sheikhs shirking [Jihad], and not participating in your 'honorable' mission" [3]

highsea
01-26-2005, 08:07 PM
Saudi militants told to go to Iraq
Clerics seek peace in their kingdom

Tell rebels to wage holy war abroad
[ QUOTE ]
LONDON—Fundamentalist Islamic leaders in Saudi Arabia are telling militants intent on fighting "infidels" to join the insurgency in Iraq instead of taking up Osama bin Laden's call to oust the Saudi royal family at home, say Saudi dissidents who monitor theological edicts coming out of the kingdom.

Iraq as a battleground offers the solution to a quandary facing Saudi clerics who have to both placate the kingdom's rulers and keep their radical base happy.

"If they preach that there ought to be absolutely no jihad (holy war), they would lose credibility and support among their followers. So what they do is preach jihad — not in Saudi Arabia, but in Iraq," said Abdul-Aziz Khamis, a Saudi rights activist in London. "To them, Iraq is the answer to their dilemma."

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 gave the Saudi government the opportunity to send men there to wage holy war against communism.

It also opened the field for the Saudi regime to spread a rigid form of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism. The royal Al Saud family adheres to it, as do Saudi-born bin Laden and his Al Qaeda followers.

Today, Iraq, more than anywhere else, is where the future of political Islam is being shaped. It has become a free-for-all for extremists and anti-American movements.

Although there are reports Saudis are among suicide bombers in Iraq, Al Qaeda isn't heeding the clerics' advice to give up the fight against the kingdom.

It claimed responsibility for a Dec. 29 suicide attack outside the interior ministry in Riyadh, wounding 17 police officers.<hr /></blockquote>
source (http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&amp;c=Article&amp;cid=1106607012214&amp;call_pag eid=970599119419)

Nothing new here from the Saudis, they did the same thing in Afghanistan. Send the militants elsewhere to get their ticket punched.
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