Saudi Arabia's chief cleric deemed it a sin for Muslim to kill non-Muslims, in a religious ruling aimed at countering terrorism. Muslims who kill or rape non-Muslims or steal their money are committing not jihad, but "great sin (and) causing harm to themselves," Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz al-Sheik said in the fatwa issued recently and published Friday by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The mufti called for "true understanding of religion, especially the meaning of jihad for the sake of God."
Al-Sheik argued in his fatwa that only spiritual leaders can declare jihad. His fatwa came one day after two suicide bombings targeted civilians and UN officials in Jerusalem and Baghdad.
The Saudi Grand Mufti told Saudis to listen to their religious authorities and ignore fanatic interpretations of Islam or risk "banning God's bounty." "One of the fall-outs from extremism in understanding Islam is that some people call for jihad for the sake of God without justification," Sheikh Abdul-Aziz said.
"Muslim youth must try and better themselves and their country but not through violence as Islam is not a violent religion, it is a merciful religion," he added. (Albawaba.com)
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