UN human rights chief describes Medina bombings as ‘attack on Islam’

Published July 7th, 2016 - 05:00 GMT
United Nations Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein. (AFP/File)
United Nations Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein. (AFP/File)

The UN human rights chief on Tuesday called the suicide bombing outside the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah an attack on Islam itself and many Muslims expressed shock that their second-holiest site had been targeted.

Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and a member of the Jordanian royal family, delivered his remarks via a spokesman in Geneva.

"This is one of the holiest sites in Islam, and for such an attack to take place there, during Ramadan, can be considered a direct attack on Muslims all across the world," he said. "It is an attack on the religion itself."

Saudis were rattled by the rare, high-profile attack.

"I apologize to everyone if I don't congratulate you this Eid," Khaled bin Saleh Al-Shathri, a Saudi businessman, wrote on Twitter.

"I am shocked by the deaths of four of my brothers and the wounding of five others as they guarded the holiest places."

The hashtag #daesh_attacks_Prophet's_Mosque_and_Grave was trending and 7.9 million users took to Twitter to comment on the misunderstanding of jihad by extremist organizations and to praise security men for fighting terror.

"History will note Madinah was sad on this day for the first time!" read one tweet.

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