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Condemning Extremism & Promoting Moderation

Dec 13, 2015   //   by admin   //   Combatting Terrorism, Saudi Issues  //  No Comments

 

 

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Public Statements by Senior Saudi Officials and Religious Scholars Condemning Extremism

As the birthplace of Islam and the home of the Two Holy Mosques, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejects extremists and terrorists who aim to subvert the Islamic faith. Saudi officials and religious scholars have long been vocal in condemning terrorism and extremism.

Following are a series of public statements by Saudi officials and religious scholars condemning extremism and promoting moderation.

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, opening ceremony of a conference on Islam and counterterrorism in Makkah, Feb. 22, 2015

Saudi Arabia has “tried hard to fight terrorism as an ideology and practice and used its national security apparatus to combat terrorism relentlessly.”

  • Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, following a counterterrorism meeting hosted in Jeddah, September 11, 2014

“The meeting today was a good opportunity to discuss this phenomena from all different aspects and perspectives, and to go deep in its roots and causes and reflected keenness to come up with a joint vision to combat it through military means, security means, and intelligence, as well as economic and financial means, and intellectual means also.”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Council of Senior Ulema (religious scholars) and the General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta, August 19, 2014

“The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism do not belong to Islam in any way, but are the first enemy of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims, as seen in the crimes of the so-called Daash (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda and their affiliated groups.

 STATEMENTS ON FIGHTING TERRORISM

  • Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Feb. 19, 2015

“Saudi Arabia is fully committed to fighting terrorism and all its sources regardless of race, color, religion or doctrine.”

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, statement during a presentation of credentials ceremony for new ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, August 29, 2014

“If neglected I’m sure they [terrorists] will reach Europe in a month and America in another month… The evils of terrorism must be fought with force, reason and speed.”

  • Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, following a counterterrorism meeting hosted in Jeddah September 11, 2014

“Saudi Arabia has always taken initiatives with regard to a firm position towards terrorists and against them. So there is no limit to what the Kingdom can provide in this regard. …the Kingdom is determined to face and overcome this scourge.”

  • Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior, speaking at a symposium held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia titled, “The Role and Responsibility of Public Prosecution and Judiciary Bodies in Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism,” September 8, 2012

“The Kingdom has become a global distinguished model in this regard [counterterrorism] and a source of expertise for the benefit of the international community in the fight against international terrorism and the reform of those who have been affected by deviant thought and groups.”

  • The Council of Senior Ulema (religious scholars), in a fatwa (religious edict) as reported by Asharqal-Awsat, April 13, 2010

“…any act of terrorism, including providing financial support to terrorists, [is] a crime, regardless of where it takes place… the financier of acts of terrorism will be considered a partner in the crime.”

  • Prince Mohammad bin Nayef, Assistant Interior Minister for Security Affairs, addressing the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) following an assassination attempt against the Prince, August 31, 2009

“The security efforts and strategy that the country is following for reform will not change.”

  • Sheikh Saleh Al-Luhaidan, head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Okaz, July 9, 2008

“That man [bin Laden], his actions speak for him. He is not the one to guide a person onto the right path. He is a promoter of evil and depravity, and whoever follows him also pursues depravity … Without a doubt, anyone who calls to destroy it [Saudi Arabia], to undermine its security, to harm its installations and economic centers, and who incites the public against it – such a person is a criminal, as are members of Al-Qaeda. Anyone who is associated with [Al-Qaeda] must be punished.”

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, addressing the Shura Council, March 15, 2008

“The deviant group sought to develop its destructive capabilities to inflict greater damage on the homeland and its achievements and extended its base of support…I assure you of our continued determination to confront this group.”

  • Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, statement to the 62ndSession of the UN General Assembly, September 28, 2007

“Achieving decisive victory against terrorism requires not only denying terrorists all financial support, but also combating extremist thought and the environment in which it prospers.”

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, ABC, “Nightline,” October 14, 2005

“ …We will fight the terrorists and those who support them or condone their actions for 10, 20 or 30 years if we have to until we eliminate this scourge…. We are fighting terrorism and extremism in our midst…. We have also regulated our charities and we have closed offices around the world, and we have withdrawn support for institutions that we found to be extremist.”

  • King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah,excerpt from address to Hajj pilgrims, January 21, 2005

“Terrorism leads to corruption on earth and to destruction; the Kingdom has therefore been confronting it in its various forms, and working to uproot it, refuting the deviant ideas believed in by terrorists, and clarifying Islam’s position on terrorism.”

  • King Fahd, addressing the Shura Council, June 20, 2004

“We will not allow a wicked group driven by a deviant ideology to destabilize the Kingdom’s security.”

  • Crown Prince Abdullah, ArabNews, July 22, 2003

“These misguided groups, whose members’ minds have been possessed by the devil, will be punished and defeated, God willing, along with those who support them.”

  • Crown Prince Abdullah, in an address to the nation, May 13, 2003

“The tragic, bloody and painful events that took place in the heart of our dear capital, Riyadh, last night, in which innocent citizens and residents were killed or injured, prove once again that terrorists are criminals and murderers with total disregard for any Islamic

and human values or decency. … The perpetrators are but a small group of deviants whose objective is to do harm to our society by doing damage to its security.”

“On the other hand, the whole Saudi nation, old and young, men and women, stand shoulder-to-shoulder in condemning this heinous act and expressing their rejection of those who perpetrated it. We will be steadfast in defending our homeland, the cradle of Islam, and the heart of the Arab world.”

“If these murderers believe that their criminal and bloody act will shake our nation or its unity, they are mistaken. And if they believe they can disrupt the security and tranquility of our nation, they are dreaming. This is because the Saudi people, who have embraced the Holy Book as their guide and the Shari’ah as their way of life, and who have rallied behind their leaders, who in turn embraced them, will not permit a deviant few to shed the blood of the innocent which God Almighty, in His infinite wisdom and justice, has sanctified. The entire Saudi nation, and not just its valiant security forces, will not hesitate to confront the murderous criminals.”

STATEMENTS ON INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION TO FIGHT TERRORISM

  • Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Conference on Counter-Terrorism, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, February 16, 2013

“The threat of terrorism and terrorists is still existing and extending in many countries, which requires the necessity to combat it by all means and at all local, regional and international levels…”

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, in a speech delivered by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Second Meeting of the Advisory Board of the UN Counterterrorism Center, June 3, 2012

“One of the most important challenges facing us at the present time is the phenomenon of terrorism, whose combating is no longer a local matter confined within the limits of a state, but goes beyond that to become the goal of the international community as a whole.”

  • Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Global Forum on Counter-Terrorism, NewYork, September 22, 2011

“International cooperation is imperative in dealing with this phenomenon [terrorism] in all its aspect: security, ideology and funding.”

  • Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, ‘The Conference of Terrorism Between Intellectual Extremism and Extremist Ideology,’ March 28, 2010

“We are still facing this terrorism. We are working day and night to detect these acts, to prevent their occurrence in our dear country and to contribute with others to prevent their occurrence in other places.”

  • Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior, ArabNews, June 29, 2008

Prince Nayef called on the international community to cooperate in order to stop terror funding, saying: “If they fail to dry up their financial sources, terrorism will prevail.”

  • Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior, ArabNews, July 25, 2005

“We are now looking forward as an Arab and Islamic world to think and unite in fighting terrorism. These terrorist activities are targeting Islam and peace between people and countries of the world. If we do not move together, then terrorism will continue.”

  • Crown Prince Abdullah, Counter-Terrorism International Conference, Riyadh, SaudiArabia, February 5, 2005

“We are fighting terrorism, those who support it and those who condone it. We will continue to do so until we eliminate, with the help of God, this evilIt is our hope that this conference will usher in a new era of international cooperation in the war against terrorism that will enable us to rid our world of this threat.”

  • King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah,excerpt from address to Hajj pilgrims, January21,2005

“Saudi Arabia has called on all peace-loving countries to work together to combat the phenomenon of terrorism through a comprehensive plan based on the United Nations. It is essential to cooperate in the fight against terrorism. No country in the world should ever provide shelter to terrorists, nor should any country ever enable them to practice their subversive acts from its territory. In line with this policy, the Kingdom has called for an international conference on combating terrorism to be convened in Riyadh on February 5, 2005.”

  • Crown Prince Abdullah, excerpts from a letter to President George W. Bush on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, September 10, 2002

“The target of the terrorists who engineered this crime was humanity at large. They hoped that this outrageous act would incite and ignite bloody strife among different faiths and civilizations. But their evil was turned against them, for all humanity united to fight terrorism, and wise voices from all corners of the world arose to echo your declaration that terrorism has no religion or nationality; that it is pure evil, condemned and abhorred by all religions and cultures.”

  • Crown Prince Abdullah, address to the United Nations Millennium Summit, September 6, 2000

“In view of the internationalism and comprehensiveness of this phenomenon [terrorism], addressing and combating it effectively can only come through agreed-upon international action within the framework of the United Nations, that ensures the elimination of terrorism, conservation of innocent life, and preservation of the supremacy and stability of the State.”

 

STATEMENTS ON EXTREMISM AS CONTRARY TO ISLAM

  • Council of Senior Ulema (religious scholars), in a fatwa (religious edict) condemning terrorism, September 17, 2014

“Terrorism is a heinous crime, injustice and aggression rejected by Shariah (Islamic law).”

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, in an address on the occasion of the Eid Al-Fitr, July 27, 2014

“These groups have become an easy tool for the enemies of Islam who use them to terrorize and kill innocent people through the distortion of the holy text and interpretation of Islamic law to serve their ends and personal interests.”

  • Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, statement before the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, September 26, 2011

“…there is grave injustice committed against Islam when some people tend to brush it with terrorism while this religion calls for tolerance, coexistence and applying its principles to achieve its objectives.”

  • Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior during his opening speech at the 29thMeeting of the Interior Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, November 2, 2010

Accusing the terrorists of trying to use Islam as a cover for their un-Islamic, criminal activities, he characterized those deviants as “people who are misled by Satan to target security and stability. They shed blood unjustly. Their course is against the sound Islamic creed.”

  • Council of Senior Ulema (religious scholars), in a fatwa (religious edict) on terror financing, May 7, 2010

“Thus, the Council rules that the financing of terrorism; the inception, help or attempt to commit a terrorist act whatever kind or dimension is forbidden by Islamic Shariah and constitutes a punishable crime thereby; this includes gathering or providing of finance for that end, or providing help or participating in it in any form or manner including financial or non-financial assets, regardless whether these assets are originated from legal or illegal sources.”

  • Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh, in talks with Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, April 13, 2010

“We condemn the plague of terrorism and we’ll not accept it from any party, whoever it may be…Our religion, Islam, rejects terrorism, killings and causing harm to people.

Saudi Arabia’s stand on this issue is very clear.”

  • Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, ‘The Conference of Terrorism Between Intellectual Extremism and Extremist Ideology,’ March 28, 2010

“Emanating from its religious and moral duties, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been in the lead in exposing the dangers of terrorism and intellectual extremism and in confronting them with the force and approach of deterrence.”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars),“International Legal Framework for Combating Terrorist and its Financing Workshop,” February 20, 2010

“Terrorism is criminal and spills the blood of innocents. It attacks security, spreads terror among people and creates problems for society … Such acts are forbidden by Islamic law.”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), during his sermon in Arafat during the Hajj, November 26, 2009

“The most serious problem the Muslim community is facing lately is from deviant ideology. The deviants have abandoned the right principles of Islam and adopted a wrong creed. Therefore adherence to the right creed is one of the most important duties of a Muslim.”

  • Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of Makkah Province, International Conference on Fatwa and its Controls, January 17, 2009

“Ignorance in religion and being prejudiced in fatwa are the most dangerous challenges to the Muslim community.”

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, speaking to the heads of state and heads of Hajj missions in Mina, December 9, 2008

“The objective of this interfaith dialogue, which was initiated by your brothers in the Kingdom, is to strengthen the pride of Islam and serve humanity… terrorism is threatening the world and it is attributed to Muslims alone because of the actions of few extremists who represent none but themselves. Though they put on the guise of Islam, the religion is innocent and not responsible for their acts. This makes dialogue among the Muslim Ummah (community) necessary to unify the ranks, bolster moderation, remove the causes of conflict and eradicate extremism.”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), April 2, 2008

“Fanatical zeal cannot be considered part of religion, even if they [extremists] falsely pretend to be devout…”

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, address to the Shura Council, Saudi Arabia, April 1, 2008:

“Development can only be achieved in a climate of security and safety. So, we reiterate our resolve to annihilate the deviant group of murderous terrorists and fight the deviant thought with a sound one.… There is no room in the country of the Two Holy Mosques for extremism.”

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz , World Conference on Dialogue, Madrid, Spain, July 16, 2008

“It is therefore incumbent upon us to declare to the world that difference must not lead to conflict and confrontation, and to state that the tragedies that have occurred in human history were not attributable to religion, but were the result of extremism with which some adherents of every divinely revealed religion, and of every political ideology, have been afflicted.”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), in a statement issued following the terrorist attacks in London, July 8, 2005

“Killing and terrorizing innocent people and the destruction of property are not condoned by Islam. Attributing all these horrific incidents to Islam is unjust. Muslims should tell the truth and unveil falseness, and inform all people that Islam is a religion of righteousness, betterment and progress.”

  • King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah,excerpt from address to Hajj pilgrims, January21,2005

“The world has witnessed acts of terrorism that aim at undermining the pillars of stability and security as well as intimidating innocent people. Unfortunately these acts have been perpetrated by people who claim they belong to Islam. We would like to make it clear that these terrorist acts in fact run counter to the teachings of Islam, and have been carried out by individuals whose ideas are deviant.”

  • Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, Imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, ArabNews, January 21, 2005

“Islam is a religion of moderation. There is no room for extremism in Islam…. Islam is a religion of peace that abhors attacks on innocent people.”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), Eid Al-Adha sermon, February 1, 2004

“You must know Islam’s firm position against all these terrible crimes. The world must know that Islam is a religion of peace and mercy and goodness; it is a religion of justice and guidance … Islam has forbidden violence in all its forms. It forbids the hijacking airplanes, ships and other means of transport, and it forbids all acts that undermine the security of the innocent.”

  • Crown Prince Abdullah, in an address to the nation, May 13, 2003

“There can be no acceptance or justification for terrorism. Nor is there a place for any ideology which promotes it, or beliefs which condone it. We specifically warn anyone who tries to justify these crimes in the name of religion. And we say that anyone who tries to do so will be considered a full partner to the terrorists and will share their fate. As revealed in the Holy Qur’an: ‘If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (forever): and the wrath and the curse of God are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him.’”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), September 15, 2001

“The recent developments in the United States constitute a form of injustice that is not tolerated by Islam, which views them as gross crimes and sinful acts.”

  • Sheikh Salih Al-Luheidan, Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, in a televised statement, September 14, 2001

“As a human community we must be vigilant and careful to oppose these pernicious and shameless evils, which are not justified by any sane logic, nor by the religion of Islam.”

  • Leading Saudi clerics, Friday sermons following the terrorist attack in Al-Khobar, June 28, 1996

The Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Sheikh Saleh bin Humaid …… cited many Islamic principles that forbid terrorist acts of killing, violence, and intimidation of peaceful and innocent people, and made it clear that violence and terrorism will not succeed anywhere on earth because they run counter to all religions, all international norms and laws. He called on religious scholars, writers, thinkers and intellectuals to clarify the true course of Islamic behavior and to advise on how to avoid deviations in ideology, referring to the important role that the mass media can take in this regard.

Similar exhortations were made at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, where Imam Ali Al- Huzaifi called the explosion in Al-Khobar serious sedition, aggression, and corruption, adding that such terrorist and destructive acts are totally forbidden in Islamic teachings.

STATEMENTS ON COMBATING EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, August 1, 2014

“I call on leaders and scholars of the Islamic nation to carry out their duty towards God Almighty, and to stand in the face of those trying to hijack Islam and present it to the world as a religion of extremism, hatred, and terrorism, and to speak the word of truth, and not fear anybody.

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, during his inauguration speech at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, September 23, 2009

“Humanity has been the target of vicious attacks from extremists, who speak the language of hatred, fear dialogue and pursue destruction. We cannot fight them unless we learn to coexist without conflict – with love instead of hatred and with friendship instead of confrontation. Undoubtedly, scientific centers that embrace all peoples are the first line of defense against extremists. And today, this university [KAUST] will become a House of Wisdom to all its peers around the world, a beacon of tolerance.”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), in an interview with AsharqAl-AwsatSeptember23,2009

“This ideology is being treated in a variety of ways [in Saudi Arabia]. It must be treated by the education curriculum, either by way of written materials or at least by lectures, to clarify this evil ideology to people and warn them against it. Our news media should also treat this issue realistically, not with words and culture, but with a realistic and uncomplicated treatment [of the issue] to clarify to the public what these organizations are, what their goals are… Imams should also play a role in this.”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), in an interview with AsharqAl-Awsat, October 1, 2008

“It is our duty and we all – the media, the universities, mosque imams, and mosque preachers – are responsible for fighting these evil thoughts and those that promote them. Such thoughts should be discussed and their corruption exposed. Even the father and mothers should fight these thoughts. We pray to God Almighty that the war on ideological terrorism be fierce and strong and be based on solid foundations and good curricula so that we can close the doors on evil with God’s help.”

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Italian newspaper LaRepubblica, July 16, 2008

“We have adopted a comprehensive anti-terror strategy that not only focuses on the security side but also includes preventing financing of terrorism and dealing with its

intellectual roots as well as rehabilitating the followers of deviant ideologies after giving them counseling.”

  • Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior, at a press conference after attending the 7th Engineering Conference at King Saud University, Riyadh, SaudiArabia,December2,2007

“Security efforts alone cannot eliminate terrorism. The intellectual effort is also necessary as it prevents extremist ideas from taking root in the minds of young Saudis.”

  • Adel Al-Jubeir, Foreign Affairs Advisor to Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, Speech, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, March 7, 2005

“…Saudi Arabia has taken steps to combat the mindset that instills and justifies acts of terror, hatred and violence. Islam is a religion of peace, benevolence and tolerance, and we will not allow deviants to corrupt our faith…. Violence and extremism are not part of our Islamic faith or Saudi culture or traditions.”

  • Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior, Counter-Terrorism International Conference, February 5, 2005

“In fact, terrorism is not just an act, but the product of an aberrant ideology that must be fought. That is why the onus of the responsibility lies with all societies, with all their institutions, to confront and combat terrorism since, just as the security institutions have their obligations, cultural – academic, mass media, and educational – institutions have a great responsibility to inculcate the right ideals and sound human values and to immunize societies against any delinquent ideas or evil deeds.”

STATEMENTS ON THE ROLE OF MOSQUES IN DENOUNCING EXTREMISM

  • Council of Senior Ulema (religious scholars), in a fatwa (religious edict) condemning terrorism, September 17, 2014

The Council called on religious scholars “to do their duty and intensify the guidance of people in this serious matter to clarify the truth.”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsSheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), AlMadinahnewspaper, August 28, 2012

“It is the duty of all imams and sermon preachers not to allow the deviants to use the mosques wrongfully or for illegal purposes…We call for shielding young people from deviant ideologies and their sources”

  • Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance Saleh Al-Asheikh, statement to the Saudi Press Agency, July 4, 2008

Al-Asheikh emphasized the need for society and religious establishments to combat terrorism and extremist ideology. He noted that some young Saudis have been misled into branding people and even some Muslim religious scholars as infidels. Imams and preachers should teach and guide the youths before they fall prey to the influence of extremists and become outlaws.

Al-Asheikh said that the first responsibility lies with the family and then the imams at mosques to confront extremism and protect the youth from extremist ideologies.

  • Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance Saleh Al-Ashaikh, ArabNewsMay 10, 2008

“A preacher should know that it is his religious duty to speak out against terror and misguided ideologies as he is aware of what the Shari’ah says on the matter…When a preacher believes in what he is saying and is in the need of uprooting extremist ideologies his words will be sincere and strongly influence the people.”

  • Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior, in a press conference after opening the Seventh Engineering Conference at King Saud University, Al-WatanDecember 2, 2007

“Pulpits of mosques should be used to guide people. When they are used for other purposes, it is an error that can lead to the gravest danger, namely violation of the faith and rebellion against the ruler.”

  • Sheikh Riyadh Al-Muhaidib, Chief Justice of the Jubail Court, Al-Watan, October 29, 2007

“Cursing peaceful non-Muslims is not accepted in Islam … Preachers are required to follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in this respect…“Preachers play a significant role in explaining Islam to all people, including People of the Book. Imams of mosques who deviate from the path of tolerance and moderation are few and do not represent a trend.

  • Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior during a meeting to over 600 prayer leaders and imams in Jeddah, ArabNews, June 21, 2007

“It is your responsibility to confront this problem [deviant ideology] by applying your knowledge, minds and courage.” He noted that there are at least 14,000 Friday mosques in various parts of the Kingdom and continued, “This means we have 14,000 platforms. If the khatibs use this opportunity to expose the deviants and their ideology, it will have a great positive impact upon society.”

  • King Fahd, addressing the Shura Council, May 17, 2003

“…It is the responsibility of our religious leaders to save our youth from the evil of destructive thoughts that propagate extremism and hatred and only result in devastation and ruin.”

STATEMENTS CONDEMNING VIOLENCE AGAINST INNOCENTS

  • Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, following a counterterrorism meeting hosted in Jeddah, September 11, 2014

“They [terrorists] kill innocent peoples and they cut their victims and they take pride in this in the name of religion. They are killing souls that God has forbidden to kill, and they have disfigured the face of humanity.”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsSheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), September 15, 2012

The Grand Mufti denounced attacks on diplomats and embassies as un-Islamic and stressed that the best way to stand by the Prophet (peace be upon him) is to follow his Sunnah (teachings), spread his virtues and the values of Islam. In a widely publicized statement, Sheikh Al-Asheikh emphasized that that Muslims should not let their anger lead them to kill innocent people and attack public facilities. If Muslims surrender to anger, they will achieve the objectives of those who are behind producing this offensive film. Sheikh Al-AsShaikh appealed to all countries and international organizations to criminalize acts ridiculing all prophets and messengers of God.

  • Sheikh Salman al-Oadah, ArabNews, January 6, 2008

“…How much blood has been spilled? How many innocent children, women and old people have been killed, maimed and expelled from their homes in the name of Al- Qaeda? Are you happy to meet Allah with this heavy burden on your shoulders? It is indeed a weighty burden—hundreds of thousands of innocent people, if not millions. How could you wish for that?”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), in a statement following the killing of Egypt’s envoy to Iraq, July 8, 2005

“Killing of the souls that Allah prohibited is a greater crime and one of the greatest sins, as Allah says: ‘And kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause,’ and Allah also says: ‘Because of that we ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder or to spread mischief in the land, it would be as if he killed all mankind.’”

  • Sheikh Saleh Al-Luheidan, Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Saudi Press Agency, May 2, 2005

“Shedding the blood of the innocents is prohibited everywhere, and whoever does not believe in its prohibition is a sacrilegious deviant.”

  • Crown Prince Abdullah, in an address to the nation, May 13, 2003

“As revealed in the Holy Qur’an, the taking of an innocent life is a crime against all of humanity. In the words of the Prophet (God’s peace and mercy be upon him): ‘He who kills a resident living in peace among you, will never breathe the air of heaven.’”

  • Council of Senior Ulema (religious scholars), fatwa (religious edict), February 11, 2003

“The acts of shedding the blood of innocent people, the bombing of buildings and ships, and the destruction of public and private installations are criminal acts and against Islam. Those who carry out such acts have deviant beliefs and misguided ideologies and are to be held responsible for their crimes. Islam and Muslims should not be accountable for the actions of such people. Islamic Law clearly prohibits leveling such charges against non-Muslims, warns against following those who carry such deviant beliefs, and stresses that it is the duty of all Muslims all over the world to consult truthfully, share advice, and cooperate in piety and righteousness.”

  • Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdullah Al-Subail, Imam of the Grand Mosque of Makkah and member of the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars, Saudi Press Agency, December 4, 2001

“Any attack on innocent people is unlawful and contrary to Shari’ah…. Muslims must safeguard the lives, honor and property of non-Muslims who are under their protection and with whom they have concluded peace agreements.”

STATEMENTS CONDEMNING SUICIDE BOMBINGS

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), Al-Hayat, December 12, 2013

“Killing oneself is grave crime and grave sin…Those who kill themselves with explosives are criminals who are hastening their way to hell.”

  • Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, speaking at the First National Conference on Intellectual Security, May 20, 2009

“I do not think that we have any honor as Saudis to find our sons abroad turning into bombers who kill innocent men, women and children that are not guilty of anything anywhere, whether in Iraq, Pakistan and Lebanon or anywhere else. These individuals make bombing as their profession. This is a dishonorable act and a great sin …The religion of Islam has nothing to do, whatsoever, with these individuals.”

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), Saudi Press Agency, April 22, 2004, the day after a suicide bombing in Riyadh

Shaikh Abdulaziz Al-Ashaikh issued a statement citing verses from the Holy Qur’an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad that clearly stipulate such an act as “forbidden and highly sinful.” He also declared that it is forbidden to cover up such acts, or to express justification for them, and whoever does so, is an accomplice to the crime.

  • Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema (religious scholars), in an interview with SharqAl-Awsat, April 21, 2001

“What you call suicide bombings in my view are illegitimate and have nothing to do with jihad in the cause of God. I am afraid it is another form of killing oneself.”

STATEMENTS ON PROMOTING MODERATION

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, address to the Islamic Solidarity Summit, Makkah, August 14, 2012

“If we observed justice, then we could conquer injustice, if we practiced moderation, then we conquer extremism and if we reject dispersion, then we could keep our unity, strength and determination, by God willing.”

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, address at United Nations High-Level Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue, November 12, 2008

“Terrorism and criminality are the enemies of every religion and every civilization. They would not have appeared except for the absence of the principle of tolerance.”

  • Excerpt from the final statement issued by the Arab leaders attending the 19thSummit of the League of Arab States in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 29, 2007

“We therefore decide: …To spread the culture of moderation, tolerance, dialogue, and openness; to reject all forms of terrorism and extremism, as well as all exclusionary racist trends, hatred campaigns and endeavors.”

  • The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Organization of the Islamic Conference Summit in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, December 7, 2005

“Fanaticism and extremism cannot grow on an earth whose soil is embedded in the spirit of tolerance, moderation, and balance…. I also look forward to the spread of moderation that embodies the Islamic concept of tolerance.”

  • Crown Prince Abdullah, Arab News, July 1, 2003

Our youth must be inoculated against alien ideas. Families, schools and mosques as well as the country’s ulema and intellectuals and the media and every sincere person must contribute to this effort in order to expose alien thoughts and show the truth.”

  • King Fahd, addressing the Shura Council, May 17, 2003

“…And I say to every citizen that one of the most important obligations is to confront narrow mindedness, regionalism and social division. Confronting these ills is a requirement of our faith and contributes to national unity.

INITIATIVES TO COMBAT TERRORISM AND TERROR FINANCING

  • Combating Terrorism: The late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz called for the establishment of an international center to combat terrorism more than 10 years ago out of his firm belief that terrorism can be most effectively fought when nations work closely together in all areas, including the sharing of information.
  • In 2005, Saudi Arabia hosted the historic Counter-Terrorism International Conference in Riyadh where more than 55 countries participated and during which the proposal for the establishment of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNCCT) was unanimously adopted. In 2008, King Abdullah pledged $10 million to the United Nations to establish the Centre and, in 2011, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the U.N. to launch the UNCCT. In August 2014, King Abdullah provided the Centre with a donation of $100 million to enhance its capabilities and effectiveness in helping countries combat terrorism. In February 2014, King Abdullah issued a royal decree on counterterrorism. The decree reinforced that acts of terrorism, including membership in terrorist organizations, and ‎participation in hostilities outside the Kingdom, will not be tolerated.
  • Saudi Arabia continues to undertake effective initiatives in support of countries combating terrorism around the world. Examples include:
  • Lebanon – Saudi Arabia donated $1 billion to Lebanese security services to combat terrorism. This aid is separate from the $3 billion Saudi Arabia pledged to Lebanon in December 2013 to strengthen the capabilities of the nation’s armed forces.
  • Yemen – Saudi Arabia is the largest donor of aid to Yemen. Its aid has helped the country enhance counterterrorism training and expanded Yemen’s expertise and intelligence collection in order to combat the spread of terrorism.
  • Iraq – Saudi Arabia contributed $500 million to the Iraqi people, regardless of religion or ethnicity, in order to help the Iraqi people overcome the hardships they have endured and to help thwart the spread of extremism.
  • Saudi Arabia has also provided financial support to other countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Mauritania to help enhance counter-terrorism capabilities.
  • Combating Terror Financing: Terror networks thrive on illicit funding, often hiding behind charitable organizations. To combat this threat, Saudi Arabia has put in place one of the world’s strictest financial control systems to prevent funds going to support terrorism.
  • All Saudi financial institutions have implemented the 40 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of the G-8 regarding money laundering and the eight recommendations regarding terror financing. In August 2015, Saudi Arabia joint the FATF as an Observer Member.
  • Saudi charities are prohibited from transferring money abroad. The collection of cash contributions in mosques and public places is prohibited.
  • The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency offers programs and has implemented a technical program to train judges and investigators on legal matters involving terrorism financing and money laundering methods, international requirements for financial secrecy, and methods exercised by criminals to exchange information.
  • Saudi Arabia works closely with the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Australia and other allies to combat terror financing on a global scale.
  • Overcoming Extremism: Saudi Arabia will not tolerate extremists who have misused religion to advance perverted agendas. To combat this threat, Saudi officials and religious scholars have publicly and unequivocally condemned terrorist acts, and have aggressively sought to discredit deviant terrorist ideologies.
  • Saudi Arabia has launched a nationwide effort through the Kingdom’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs to ensure mosques have not been used as sources of extremism.
  • The Senior Council of Ulema (religious scholars) has issued a fatwa (religious edict) prohibiting terrorism and terrorist financing, and declaring any support for terrorism is a violation of Islamic law.
  • To combat the spread and appeal of extremist ideologies among the population, the Kingdom has initiated a Counter-Radicalization Program. This effort educates at-risk groups about the dangers of violent extremism and provides positive, alternative outlets.
  • In 2007, King Abdullah launched an international effort to promote interfaith dialogue. In 2011, The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) was founded in Vienna to promote mutual understanding among followers of different religions and cultures around the world.

 

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