Al Qaeda, IS enemy No. 1 of Islam: Saudi Grand Mufti
20 August 2014
(Translation of this article appears in Arabic section)
Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh on Tuesday blasted Al Qaeda and Islamic State militants as “enemy number one” of Islam, in a statement issued in Riyadh.
“The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism... have nothing to do with Islam and (their proponents) are the enemy number one of Islam,” the kingdom’s top cleric said.
He cited militants from the Islamic State, which has declared a “caliphate” straddling large parts of Iraq and Syria, and the global Al Qaeda terror network.
“Muslims are the main victims of this extremism, as shown by crimes committed by the so-called Islamic State, Al Qaeda and groups linked to them,” the mufti said, quoting a verse in the Holy Quran urging the “killing” of people who do deeds harmful to Islam. His stance reflects the Saudi clerical community’s hostility towards IS militants, known for their brutality.
IS militants, already well established in Syria, launched an offensive in Iraq on June 9 and rapidly seized control of vast swathes of territory there. “In the circumstances the Islamic nation is living through, several countries have been destabilised” by extremists, who “divide Muslims” in the name of religion, the mufti said.
He warned: “In Islam, after heresy, dividing Muslims is the greatest crime.”