Saudi Grand Mufti Says Islam Is Against Terrorism
More than two million pilgrims Thursday performed the most important rite of the Haj as they stood in prayers from dawn to dusk in the plains of Arafat, 15 kilometers east of Mecca.
Delivering the Arafat sermon, the Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh strongly defended Islam against terrorism charges made in the West in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
“It is unfair to associate Islam with terrorism,” he said. “Terrorism equals tyranny and injustice, and these are alien to Islam,” he said.
“How can terrorism be linked to a religion which orders respect for human life ... (a religion which advocates) justice and promotes peace rather than war?” Sheikh Abdul Aziz asked. “Islam strictly forbids the killing of women, children and innocent people ... It calls for respect of treaties and agreements... and upholds rights at all times,” he added.
Sheikh Abdul Aziz also urged the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims to adhere to Islamic teachings in all walks of life.
“The Islamic nation is experiencing momentous events these days, and this requires it to think rationally and unite in defense of its faith,” the mufti said.
According to Arab News, Sheikh Abdul Aziz slammed what he called the “resentment” harbored by the enemies of Islam, whose spurious civilization discriminates between human beings and “gave mankind (no more than) all types of destructive weapons.”
But he also urged Muslims not to pin the blame for all their woes on others. “What is happening to us was (partly) caused by our sins,” he said. “It is unwise and irrational to blame our enemies for everything that harms us. Weak faith, disputes and differences among us are other causes,” he said.
Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti denounced Israel's terrorism against the Palestinians.
"This is injustice, aggression and terrorism," Sheikh Abdul Aziz, whose sermon was aired live on Saudi State television.
Referring to the escalation of violence in the Palestinian territories, the mufti condemned, "the killing of unarmed Muslims ... in Palestine."
Almost 30 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes since an attack near the West Bank town of Ramallah left six Israeli soldiers dead on Tuesday night.
More than 1.4 million pilgrims have come this year from about 120 states. According to unofficial data, up to 800,000 have joined them from various parts of the Kingdom including over 100,000 Mecca residents. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)