Saudi mufti warns against joining jihad abroad


Shaikh Abdulaziz Al Shaikh said in a statement carried by the official state SPA news agency that ‘zealous’ young men were being exploited by ‘outside forces… for shameful goals’ under the banner of jihad.

The Saudi mufti and his Council of Grand Ulemas (religious scholars) carry great influence in Sunni circles, the majority religion in the Muslim world.

The mufti warned that participation in a jihad which was not condoned by the appropriate religious authorities was a ‘violation of the foundations of Sharia (Islamic law).’

Saudi Arabia was the country of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s birth and the militant network has been behind a wave of deadly violence in the kingdom since May 2003.

The majority of the 19 hijackers who carried out the September 11, 2001 against the United States were from Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home of its holiest sites.

The kingdom, a close ally of Washington, has come under international pressure to crack down on religious scholars who preach radical Islam.



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