Riyadh, Aug 19:
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh Tuesday termed extremist militant groups as “the first enemy of Islam” and stressed that the ideas of extremism and terrorism do not belong to Islam at all.
Referring to the Islamic State Sunni extremist group and Al Qaeda-affiliated groups in a statement titled “Foresight and Remembrance”, the Grand Mufti said more dangerous ideas are those ideas that are being marketed in the name of religion, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
“These foreign groups do not belong to Islam and Muslims adhering to it, but they are an extension of the Kharijites who were the first group that deviated from the religion because they accused Muslims of disbelief due to their sins and allowed killing them and taking their money,” Al al-Sheikh said.
The Grand Mufti, who is also general president for Scientific Researches and Fatwa, noted that the tolerance of Islam is one of the characteristics of Islamic Sharia and the largest one of its objectives.
“We call in this regard to unify and coordinate educational and developmental efforts to enhance the thought of moderation stemming from our true Islamic Sharia through formulating a complete plan with clear objectives and an executive plan that achieves those goals as a concrete reality,” the top cleric added.
The highly influential Grand Mufti’s comments come in the wake of Saudi Arabian crackdown on supporters of foreign terrorist organisations such as Syria’s Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups, in the country.
Last week, Saudi Arabia donated $100 million to the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCTC) in its efforts to curb terrorism.