Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti has ignited a needless firestorm. In comments made in Kuwait earlier this week, the Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah called for all Christian churches in the Arabian Peninsula to be destroyed. He bases his opinion on a hadith that purports to state that the prophet Mohammed said there was no room for other than Islam in the region.
It goes without saying that this provocative statement did indeed provoke reaction and outrage from religious groups – including non-Christian groups – as well as the Islamophobes and Saudi-bashers. The outrage is deserved as this is truly the antithesis of the cooperation and mutual understanding that King Abdullah has endlessly sought.
Indeed, if a Christian religious authority, say the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury were to call for the destruction of all mosques in Europe, there would be more than a little outrage coming from the Muslim world. That outrage would be correct, as well. This is a breathtaking example of intolerance and deserves to be condemned and mocked.
Destroy all churches in Gulf, says Saudi Grand Mufti
The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has said it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region,” following Kuwait’s moves to ban their construction.
Speaking to a delegation in Kuwait, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, stressed that since the tiny Gulf state was a part of the Arabian Peninsula, it was necessary to destroy all of the churches in the country, Arabic media have reported.
Saudi Arabia’s top cleric made the comment in view of an age-old rule that only Islam can be practiced in the region.
The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia is the highest official of religious law in the Sunni Muslim kingdom. He is also the head of the Supreme Council of Ulema (Islamic scholars) and of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing of Fatwas.