Asharq Alawsat runs this piece on how Saudi clerics are now being targeted by extremists for their lack of sufficient religiosity. Even following a fundamentalist, Salafi strain of Islam is not enough. These complaints are not new—they were used during the 1979 siege of the Grand Mosque at Mecca and they’re a well-rehearsed part of the Bin Laden ideology—but now the extremists are taking action, as noted in yesterday’s arrests of militants in the Kingdom.
Having unleashed a tiger, the ulema are now having to ride it.
Saudi Arabia: Religious Establishment Under Threat
Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Kingdom’s religious establishment is under threat with yesterday’s announcement of the arrest of six terror cells, one of which was particularly put together for that sole purpose, thus exposing the contradiction of their deviant ideology.
However, the latest terror cells are not the first in Saudi Arabia to target the kingdom’s religious establishment.
The murder of a judge; Sheikh Abdul Rahman Bin-Muhammad al-Suhaybani, in 2003 by three individuals persons advocating the takfiri ideology indicated that this view has existed for sometime.
From the onset, the terrorists called the Ulema in Saudi Arabia the “sultan’s ulema” in an effort to justify their criminal intentions.
Foremost of all was the fatwa [religious ruling] of Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh in 2001 in which he proscribed the killing of non-Muslims and residents in Muslim countries which followed threats by Osama Bin Laden, leader of Al-Qaeda organization, against the Americans and British residing in Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, the Saudi mufti’s recent warning to the youths against traveling abroad for the purpose” of jihad in the cause of Allah”, saying suspicious parties were trying to entrap them, pointing out that these (Jihad), “operations that had nothing to do with religion.”