Skip to main content.
A non-profit service providing academics, religion professionals and other researchers with religion & cult news
ReligionNewsBlog

Religion news articles about religious cults, sects, world religions, and related issues

Home | About RNB Related: Cult FAQ | Cult Experts | Apologetics Index | Cult Information Search Engine
More articles about: Islam:

Saudi Arabia sends


ReligionNewsBlog.com • Thursday June 26, 2003

Reuters, June 25, 2003
http://www.jordantimes.com/

RIYADH (Reuters) Saudi Arabia has suspended more than 1,000 Muslim preachers until they are retrained to promote religious moderation and reject the extremism of Al Qaeda militants, a government official said on Tuesday. Abdul Rahman Al Matroudi, deputy minister at Saudi Arabia’s religious affairs ministry, said clerics would be instructed to tell worshippers the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks which was believed to be carried out mainly by Saudi hijackers violated Islamic teachings.

The suspensions were part of a regular review of Saudi preachers, not a reaction to last month’s suicide bombings in Riyadh or pressure to rein in a religious establishment blamed in the West for helping foster Muslim extremism, he said.

They have been told what happened on Sept. 11 and (attacks) in other places are against Islam and they have to tell the people that this is the stand which Muslims should take, Matroudi told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, has more than 50,000 mosques, each with a prayer leader or preacher.

If someone is found not fit to be in that job he will be asked to resign, or be retrained. That is what is happening. It has nothing to do with what is going on (after the bombings), Matroudi said, adding scholars found some preachers had a shortage of knowledge.

The teaching which is given to them is the true teaching of Islam, which is always against extremism, he said, adding the training emphasises moderation.

The moves began before the Riyadh bombings, which killed 35 people and were blamed on Al Qaeda. But those attacks and ensuing shootouts between militants and police in Mecca, the holiest of Muslim cities, have shaken Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom has cracked down on a number of radical preachers it blames for inciting violence. At least three clerics have been arrested for encouraging support of militants.

Anti-US sentiment

Saudi Arabia has been trying to control anti-US sentiment fuelled by the American-led occupation of Iraq, Washington’s robust support for Israel and a perceived US smear campaign against the kingdom and Islam after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Fifteen of the 19 suspected hijackers of the planes that crashed into targets in New York and Washington were Saudis. The United States said the attacks were the work of Saudi-born Osama Ben Laden’s Al Qaeda.

Western critics have blamed Saudi Arabia’s education system and deeply conservative religious establishment for creating a permissive environment in which anti-US militancy flourished.

Unfortunately some of the Americans do not know exactly what is going on here. Therefore, sometimes they give their judgement without knowing our culture, Matroudi said.

Our imams and our preachers, all of them are criticising the thought and the way of al Qaeda.

Bin Laden won some support among ordinary Saudis over his demand for the withdrawal of US troops stationed in the Gulf state since the 1990-91 Gulf War. Most are leaving after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in neighbouring Iraq.

But Saudi officials say any popular support for Al Qaeda was eroded by the bombings in Riyadh and the discovery of militant cells in Mecca and Medina, Islam’s holiest cities.

info Original content is © Copyright Religion News Blog. All rights reserved.
    Do not republish or repost. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

share this article Share this article

tag Related Articles

arrow Tags:
arrow Topic(s): Islam

Comment Comment

Join Religion News Blog at Google+ to comment, share, and follow.

RSS Feed Follow Us


 Follow

Religion News You May Like This As Well

Why are you not using Nozbe?

Don't you need to get things done?

Religion News Search Search Religion News Blog