The House of Saud has been as responsible as anyone for the spread of Wahhabism and the havoc that fanatical creed has wrought. Since being attacked by al Qaeda terrorists, however, the Saudi government has launched what seems to be an effective anti-terror campaign.
There is now some evidence that the Saudis are willing to strike at the heart of the problem: the propensity of the Muslim religion, especially in its Wahhabist form, to spawn violence. There is no separation of church and state in Muslim countries, and the Saudi government has considerable authority over its clerics. It may finally be using its influence to counter the violent theology of the Wahhabis. Yesterday a second Saudi cleric reversed course and came out against mass murder. The Associated Press reports:
“A second prominent Saudi cleric has renounced Islamic militancy and attacks against innocent people during an interview aired on state-run TV Saturday. Nasser al-Fahd made his remarks four days after cleric Ali al-Khudair also reversed his fatwas – or religious edicts – promoting violence.
“Saudi authorities arrested al-Fahd, al-Khudair and another cleric, Ahmad al-Khalidi, in May….The three clerics were charged with advocating violence in sermons in mosques and on the Internet. No dates for their trials have been set.
“‘The solution is not in bearing arms,’ the bespectacled al-Fahd said during his interview aired Saturday evening. ‘There is no good in violence,’ he added, appearing relaxed and composed. ‘Why should innocent people pay the price?’ In relation to the deadly Nov. 8 bombings at a Riyadh residential compound that killed 17 people, mainly Arabs and other Muslims, al-Fahd said: ‘We never imagined that things would go this far.'”
Yeah, I’ll bet. To give them the benefit of the doubt, it’s possible that the clerics only meant to encourage murdering Hindus, Christians and Jews, not fellow Muslims. The Saudis have a long way to go to reverse the damage they have done, but cracking down on Islamofascist religious leaders is an important step in the right direction.
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