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It’s all sorted now: Saudi denounces all terrorism 14, April 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Islam, Saudi Arabia.
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The Council of Supreme Scholars, the highest religious body in Saudi Arabia, has issued a fatwa denouncing any and all acts of terrorism including its financing. Those giving money towards such causes will now be considered to be “partners” in the crime.

Whilst this decree is a positive step in the right direction, there are three reasons to hold back with the balloons and party-poppers.

Firstly, it is important to note the precise wording of the fatwa. Terrorism is defined as acts

targeting public resources, hijacking planes or blowing up buildings.

I would suggest, therefore, that this fatwa has been demanded by Saudi’s political establishment to stop those planning to attack Saudi’s oil infrastructure. To the best of my knowledge, it doesn’t mention the killing of innocent people, ergo, it’s a joke.

Secondly, does anyone really think that a terrorist in, for example, Saudi will desist from attacking some “public resource” because Saudi’s clerics have said it’s illegal and haram? Surely 99% of such people ipso facto hate Saudi’s clerics and don’t listen to a word they say. They see them (correctly) as a tool* of the ruling family and surely wouldn’t pay any attention to such a fatwa.

Thirdly, many fatwas are utterly ridiculous. Any religious authority can issue one. Granted, a fatwa from Saudi’s religious authority will carry more weight than most (probably) but still they are, it seems to me, wholly flimsy. Here are a few of the best fatwas that I’ve come across: (Hat tip)

[Incidentally, none of these are from crazy, no-name Imams…]

  • The Fatwa: Grand Mufti Sheikh Ibn Baaz  The Sun Revolves Around the Earth

    In a 2000 Fatwa titled “The Transmitted and Sensory Proofs of the Rotation of the Sun and Stillness of the Earth”, Saudi Arabian Grand Mufti Sheikh Ibn Baaz asserted that the earth was flat and disk-like and that the sun revolved around it. He had insisted that satellite images to the contrary were nothing but a Western conspiracy against the Islamic world.

  • The Fatwa: Ezzat Attiya: Adult Breastfeeding in the Workplace

    In May 2007, Ezzat Attiya wondered how unrelated men and women could work together in the same office, when Islam forbids men and women who aren’t married or related to be alone together. His answer: let her suckle him FIVE TIMES. Yes, that’s right, an adult female breastfeeding an adult male coworker will defuse all sexual tension in the office. See, the female worker will now be the male worker’s foster mother, and they can be alone together anytime. Attiya’s ruling was intergalactically mocked, and quickly condemned on the homefront as well. He was later suspended from his job, pilloried in Arab newspapers, and issued a hasty retraction saying it was a “bad interpretation of a particular case.”

  • Muhammad Al-Munajid: Bring Me the Head of Mickey Mouse

    That’s right, somebody put on hit on Mickey Mouse. Calling Mickey “one of Satan’s soldiers,” Sheikh Muhammad Al-Munajid decreed that household mice and their cartoon cousins must be “killed in all cases”, according to the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph.

    And get this—the guy’s not your average nutjob, either—Munajid used to be a former diplomat at the Saudi embassy in Washington D.C. He made the remarks on Arab television network al-Majd TV after he was asked to give Islam’s teaching on mice.

    But don’t worry, Mickey won’t be alone. Munajid also put a hit on Jerry from “Tom and Jerry”. Maybe they could rent a flat with Salman Rushdie (above).

  • The Fatwa: Rashad Hassan Khalil: No Nudity for Sex

    In 2007, the former dean of Islamic law at al-Azhar University in Cairo issued a fatwa that nudity during sexual intercourse invalidates a marriage between husband and wife. Debate was immediate. Suad Saleh, head of the women’s department of Al-Azhar’s Islamic studies, pleaded for “anything that can bring spouses closer to each other” and Islamic scholar Abdel Muti concurred, saying “Nothing is prohibited during marital sex, except of course sodomy.”
    For his part, Al-Azhar’s fatwa committee chairman Abdullah Megawar backpedaled and said that married couples could see each other naked but should really cover up with a blanket during sex.

*I do not mean this in a flippant way. The nexus between the ruling Al Sauds and the clerical authorities is a fascinating and symbiotic relationship. Each needs the other to maintain their power. Each wants to gain more power than the other. Their relative powers have waxed and waned for hundreds of years now. In a time when the Al Sauds need the Wahabbi clerics to sanction something (such as the stationing of US troops on US soil) they need, the Clerics charge a price according to how ‘much an ask’ that is. In this example, one noted author described this as the descent of Saudi society into “bottomless Islamisation” as the Al Sauds were demanding a staggering broad ranging and unpopular fatwa. Therefore, the Wahabbis seized this opportunity to take control of education and other social services and to bolster their vice and virtue police while they were in the ascendancy. So, in short, I firmly believe that Saudi religious authorities would say absolutely anything if the price was right.

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Comments»

1. Anonymous - 14, April 2010

Below article shows condemnation of terrorism is more than Maktoob News says.

http://www.aawsat.com/details.asp?section=4&issueno=11459&article=565041

All terrorism everywhere in world not just in Saudi or Muslim countries is crime.

The definition says “includes” and then these four examples. But not all is covered.

The article says 9/11 is terrorism as well as attacks in Saudi. Not named but these involve attacks on innocent civilians. Waha compound attack in AlKhobar, the Riyad compound bombings, etc.

davidbroberts - 15, April 2010

This article adds nothing whatsoever. Even if it did, given that it is in Al Sharq Al Awsat, it must be understood in that context for ASAL is wholly incorporated, regulated, managed and edited to the whims of the Saudi elite.

Though I focused on terrorism as it referred to Saudi, I think it was still clear that the fatwa was a general ‘worldwide’ one. Whilst you are correct in that the definition ‘includes’ just the few mentioned acts of terrorism hence there are more aspects to it, doesn’t this reinforce my point? That the fatwa was written for a Saudi audience who primarily care about their oil, royal and security infrastructure?

2. Anonymous - 15, April 2010

Yes, the Saudis primarily care about their oil, royal and security infrastructure.

We Arabs do not yet have the Western high morality such as England or the USA who undertake actions around the world not for their own oil, political and security infrastructure but for the good of their fellow men.

Insha Allah one day when we are enlightened we will invade Northern Ireland to liberate the oppressed there and spread democracy. Then I am sure the Protestent Sheikhs will issue their own fatwa without true meaning.

davidbroberts - 15, April 2010

As you say. Inshallah one day.

3. American Delight - 21, April 2010

I’m afraid you may be right that most Muslims will take this fatwa about as seriously as we take adult breastfeeding. Clever point, you!


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