Leading Saudi religious figures urge Iraqis to support resistance
Leading Saudi religious scholars have called on Iraqis to support resistance fighters waging Jihad against the U.S.-led occupation forces, saying fighting them was a duty and a right.
In an open letter to the Iraqi people and posted on the Internet Saturday, 26 Saudi scholars and religious preachers noted that armed attacks launched by Iraqi groups on U.S. troops and their allies in Iraq were "legitimate" resistance.
The scholars - some of whom have been criticized in the past for their "extremist" views - issued a fatwa (religious edict), prohibiting Iraqis from offering any support for military operations carried out by U.S. forces.
"Fighting the occupiers is a duty for all those who are able. It is a jihad (holy war) to push back the assailants ...," said the letter, cited by The AP. "Resistance is a legitimate right. A Muslim must not inflict harm on any resistance man or inform about them. Instead, they should be supported and protected."
Among the scholars who signed the letter are influential Sunni clerics, Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, Sheikh Nasser al-Omar, Sheikh Salman al-Awdah, Sheikh Sharif Hatem al-Aouni and Sheikh Awad al-Qarni. (albawaba.com)