'Saudi Arabia Next in Line for Normalization With Israel': Mecca Sermon Hints

Published September 6th, 2020 - 08:42 GMT
'Saudi Arabia Next in Line for Normalization With Israel': Mecca Sermon Hints
Al-Sudais highlighted several examples of friendship and kind relations between the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the Jewish population of Medina. (Al Bawaba)

Friday sermon, delivered by the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca two days ago, has sparked a lot of controversies online; as it was perceived as a hint paving the way to full Saudi normalization with Israel only weeks after the UAE has announced similar ties.

Translation: "Friday sermon in Mecca yesterday about the prophet's Jewish neighbor." 

In his already written sermon, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais highlighted several examples of friendship and kind relations between the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the Jewish population of Medina during the early days of Islam, suggesting that coexistence between the two is possible.

In the sermon, the imam also called on Muslims to "agree with their leaders because they know best and to avoid divisions."

Translation: "Friday sermon by Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais is preparing for normalization. He's calling for cooperating with Zionists and being tolerant to them, all inspired by directions of the young prince MBS. There is no difference between Iran and the Saudi regime, they both cover politics with religion because they know that's how they can control Muslims and achieve their goals."

Translation: "Our prophet treated you well and considered all Jews as citizens with full rights. What have Jews done? You tell me."

Even though such examples have long been narrated by Muslim clerics in reference to coexistence between Islam and other religions, especially monotheistic ones such as Judaism and Christianity, online commentators have linked the sermon with possible normalization between Saudi and Israel, especially that conservative religious discourse in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the region have often associated hostility with Israel as it being primarily a Jewish state that took over Islamic sites, and not with its occupation of Palestinian land.

Translation: "Between today and the past, Al-Sudais is contradicting previous sermons using the same platform. One time he calls them Zionist oppressors and another time he's talking about treating them well so maybe they can become Muslims. This speech is nothing but an order by his leader aiming to announce normalization."

Some Twitter users also shared videos of older Friday sermons delivered by the same imam; in which he deemed Israelis and ones "that target Muslims and their symbols," highlighting changing stances some described as "hypocrite."

Translation: "It must be clear that there is a difference between doing politics that includes interests on one hand, and religion and faith on the other. Each has its own entity and they don't eliminate each other."


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