JNN 13 Dec 2013 Riyadh – Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, the highest religious authority in the birthplace of Islam, has condemned suicide bombings as grave crimes, reiterating his stance in unusually strong language.
The Saudi cleric, whose views influence many Sunni Muslims respectful of the kingdom’s strict version of Islam, denounced suicide attacks after al Qaeda’s 2001 assault on U.S. cities, but his latest comments , published on Thursday,recast the message in sharp terms.
“Killing oneself is a grave crime and a grave sin,” Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh was quoted as saying by the pan-Arab, Saudi-owned Al Hayat newspaper on Thursday.
“Those who kill themselves with explosives are criminals who are hastening their way to hell.”
Nearly two months ago, the mufti, who is appointed and paid by the Saudi government, urged Saudis not to travel to Syria to join Wahabi rebels battling to unseat President Bashar al-Assad.
Riyadh broadly backs the rebels, but with the rise of factions in Syria that claim to be Islam-oriented, the country has grown increasingly worried that Saudis who fight for the anti-Assad cause might one day return home with the aim to unseat the kingdom’s government.
Saudis who had fought for al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq staged a violent campaign in their homeland from 2003-06 in a failed attempt to bring down the ruling al-Saud dynasty.
Although some prominent Saudi clerics spoke approvingly of suicide attacks on non-Muslims more than a decade ago, most have since argued against such actions.
“Their (suicide bombers) hearts have veered away from the right path, their minds have been invaded by evil,” Al Hayat quoted Al al-Sheikh as saying after what the daily described as a recent lecture in a Riyadh mosque. “They have been exploited in order to cause destruction to themselves and society.”
The mufti did not refer to suicide bombings in a specific country. Such attacks have occurred across the Middle East and beyond, nowadays most frequently in Iraq , Afghanistan, Pakistan lately and Syria.
Saudi Arabia’s policy toward Syria reflects its regional power struggle with Iran, a strong ally of Assad, whose minority Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam. While Saudi Wahabi hardliners regard All the Muslims sects as heretics except themselves , and especially regard Shi’ites as heretics , as due to their roots , which are direct descendants of the Group of People who were real heretics , but to take the Personal and Financial Benefits of the Rapid Growth of Islam , converted on face as Muslims , but deep in their Hearts , they were Non Beleivers.