The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, the highest religious authority in the kingdom, on Saturday condemned the attacks against diplomatic representations as contrary to Islam after protests that have rocked the Arab and Muslim world. Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al al Sheikh condemned the anti-Islamic film "The innocence of Muslims" which sparked protests and called on governments and international bodies to criminalize insults against the prophets.
"It is forbidden to punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty or attack those who were given the protection of their lives and their property or public buildings exposed to fire or destruction," said the Grand Mufti in a speech quoted by the SPA news agency.
Describing the film as "pathetic" and "criminal," he said attacks against innocent people and diplomats were "as a deformation of the Islamic religion." They "are not accepted by God," he said.
At least nine people were killed after Friday prayer following protests in various Arab and Islamic countries. So far, there are no reports about protests against Americans in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the highest authority of Sunni Islam, called for the adoption of "an international resolution" prohibiting insulting Islam, in a statement addressed to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and distributed by MENA news agency. The Muslim cleric added that this resolution was to "criminalize attacks on Islamic symbols and symbols of other world religions." Shaykh al-Tayyeb said it was the responsibility of the UN to "protect world peace from all threats or aggression" so that "these dangerous events are not repeated in the future." He also called "the Egyptians to exert wisdom and restraint in these difficult times," condemning "the touching of innocent people" and stressing the need to protect diplomatic missions.
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