The Washington Post Highlights Saudi Ruling Against Terrorism and Terror Financing
Saudi Arabia's senior religious council's recent religious decree [fatwa] denouncing terrorism and terror financing was highlighted on June 13 in a Washington Post editorial by David Ignatius entitled, "Saudis act aggressively to denounce terrorism." The article emphasized the strength of the condemnation by Saudi scholars. The article also stated that the Maljis Al-Shura (Consultative Council) is drafting a counterterrorism finance law, an effort which is being led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
The article reported the details of the fatwa, stating that it began with a definition of terrorism, which was described as, "a crime aiming at destabilizing security." It also states that the fatwa specifically condemns the financing of terrorism and cites punishments equal to those of the actual terrorist. In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat on May 23, 2010, Fahd al-Majid, the secretary general of the Senior Ulema Council stated, "The financier of terrorism is more often than not more dangerous than the actual terrorist, since without funds, schemes fail and things do not take place."
The article hypothesizes that the increasing volume with which the Saudis are condemning terrorism indicates that they still view themselves as prime targets of Al-Qaeda. The reporter notes the recent assassination attempt of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as an example to support this theory.
This condemnation leaves no wiggle room for terrorist organizations. "There is no gray area here," said a senior Saudi official. "Once it has come out like this, from the most senior religious body in the kingdom, it's hard for a lesser religious authority to justify violence." In Saudi Arabia the Senior Ulema have become another one of the many authority figures who are speaking out against terrorism and for moderation and acceptance.