Saudi Gazette reports that the Saudi government has removed an imam from his mosque due to his preaching extremism and encouraging young Muslims to fight jihad in Syria and Egypt. This, the government says, is unacceptable and goes far beyond what Islam permits. In doing so, the government reasserts its position that only rulers can call for jihad. The article states that the (unnamed) imam was arrested and that he faces further punishment, but does not provide any details.

Firebrand imam arrested after Eid sermon
Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The imam of a Riyadh mosque has been arrested for allegedly encouraging young men to carry arms and go wage jihad in war-torn areas during his Eid Al-Fitr sermon, Al-Hayat newspaper reported Thursday.

The newspaper did not name the imam but said he delivered his sermon at Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul Wahab Mosque in Al-Salam district of east Riyadh.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Dawa and Guidance has moved in quickly to suspend the imam, who also called for the release of a Saudi woman terrorist nicknamed the “Al-Qaeda Lady”, who has been jailed on charges of supporting terrorists.

The ministry’s Undersecretary for Mosque Affairs Dr. Tawfiq Al-Sudairy described the imam’s actions as “unacceptable” because he violated Islamic norms in his sermon.

He said the ministry has suspended him from leading prayers or delivering sermons and added that further punitive measures would be taken against him.

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