Top Saudi cleric blasts Qaeda, IS as ‘enemy No 1’ of Islam

Saudi's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh
Saudi’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al al-Sheikh, the highest religious authority in the country, said Tuesday that the militant groups Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda were “enemy number one of Islam” and not in any way part of the faith.

Although the mufti and other senior Saudi preachers have condemned ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other groups before, the timing of Sheikh’s statement is significant given the gains by militants in Iraq.

“Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilization, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims,” he said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

He later compared them to the Kharijite movement in early Islam, which assassinated the Prophet Mohammad’s son-in-law Ali for making compromises to a rival Muslim faction, and has been seen as heretical by most subsequent Muslim sects.

Saudi Arabia follows the ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam but sees Islamist militants, who staged attacks in the kingdom last decade, as posing a threat to its own stability.

Although senior Wahhabi preachers endorse execution by beheading for offences that include apostasy, adultery and sorcery, oppose women driving or working and describe Shiites as heretics, they differ from Al-Qaeda and ISIS militants in opposing violent revolt.

Riyadh has been a main supporter of rebels battling Syrian President Bashar Assad, but has funneled arms and money away from ISIS and Al-Qaeda towards other opposition groups.

Wahhabi preachers, who hold senior government positions and lend the ruling Al-Saud Islamic legitimacy, oversee a massive religious infrastructure paid for by the state and are sometimes dismissed by militants as being in the government’s pocket.

Thousands of young Saudis are believed to have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join rebel and militant groups, spurring concern within the authorities that they may eventually launch attacks on their own government.

Saudi Arabia labeled ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Nusra Front and other groups as “terrorist” in March and imposed long prison terms for offering them public support or giving them moral or material aid.

Early this month King Abdullah made a speech attacking militant groups that used Islamic justifications, and urged Muslim scholars and leaders to fight against them.




8 responses to “Top Saudi cleric blasts Qaeda, IS as ‘enemy No 1’ of Islam”

  1. crygdyllyn Avatar

    What a crock.
    The Wahabbists defaced and destroyed tombs in the Garden of the Prophets where Muhammed and early leaders of Islam are entombed. The madrases they support around the world have been the source of the Islamists that created Al Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, Al Shabbab, etc.
    Saudi Arabia has backed ISIS financially and politically.
    SA is just trying to distance itself from the public backlash against ISIS.
    SA supports the genocide against the Yazidis, and the forced conversion of Christians.
    SA is NOT our friend. Never was our friend.
    A core tenet of Wahabbism is the conquest of the world for Islam. As history shows, that means violence. Islam was never spread peacefully.
    Islam has only spread by the sword.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Ahem … and by ONE word. ‘Virgins’.

      1. $89733098 Avatar

        You will never stop showing ur biased opinion.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          Really, I have nothing specific against virgins … but all in all, it’s not a pref.

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Wow .. an ‘Al al-Sheikh’. Double ‘Al’d’. Really high up in the ether-world.

  3. wargame1 Avatar

    Great speech by the scholar. More scholars should come forward to condemn the criminal act of the ISIS

  4. sweetvirgo Avatar

    While I applaud him for speaking out against terriosm, Saudia Arabia should stop arming these rebels. These rebels are nothing but murderers and yes I’m going to label all of them in Iraq and in Syria. They may have started off peaceful but they fight side by side with IS and have become them. If a person who is not in a gang but drove his gang buddies that committed a drive by shooting isn’t he just as guilty as the gang members?? They need to be more strict on men who leave the country to go fight in Syria and Iraq. For goodness sake they are strict with everything else. WTF?!?!

    1. no rebel group in Syria fight side by side with the ISIS dogs. In the beginning the rebel welcomed them because outwardly these Khawarij look more religious. This same misunderstanding happened 1400 years before when the Khawarij declared the Muslim Khalifa as Kafir! Many companion of the prophet were not ready to fight them because of their extreme religious practice. So Khalifa Ali waited for them to attack . When these Khawarij attacked the Muslims Ali Ibn abu Talib and the other companion of the prophet wiped out most of them. only 9 Khawarij survived and fled. Since then they have been keep coming in every generation. At this very moment the matter is very clear and FSA/Islam brigade already exclude them from the resistance group and they also face attack from the ISIS. More than 50 suicide bombing were directed on the FSA by this ISIS group.

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