Senior Saudi cleric:No connection between Islam and terrorism
A senior Saudi cleric told Muslim pilgrims on Tuesday that the West was using the existance of terrorism to scare people away from Islam and discredit legitimate Muslim causes. Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudeis, the state-appointed preacher at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, also called for stability in Iraq and noted Islam was innocent of the charge of "terrorism."
"Islam is innocent of this grave phenomenon (of terrorism). The shedding of blood in this country and other Islamic states is a forbidden criminal act," the cleric said. "We should not forget our brothers in Iraq in the continuing spiral of injustice and murder, and (we must) act seriously to bring security, stability and unity to them," he said.
"The campaign against Islam has become fierce and Muslims are being described in insulting terms to distort the image of Islam and scare people away from it," he told the 2.5 million pilgrims in a sermon to mark the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.
He accused Western states of hypocrisy in promoting freedom and democracy, citing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "When the oppressor Zionist enemy uses its war of smart bombs and tanks against our brothers in Palestine, violating our holy sites, that's not terrorism to their mind -- but defending land, religion and honor is," Sudeis said, according to Reuters.