RIYADH, 7 November 2004 — Twenty-one prominent Saudi religious scholars have signed an open statement to the Iraqi people legitimizing their resistance and forbidding any cooperation or dealings with the occupied American forces.
In a statement published yesterday on a prominent Islamic website, the Saudi scholars also called for not shedding Iraqi Muslim blood and not targeting nationals of other countries whose governments have not taken part in the war.
The people signing the statement said the reason that led them to issue such a statement was “the exceptional condition that Iraqi people are going through, also to call for unity among Muslims and it being a Muslim duty to advise their brethren.”
The scholars stressed the importance of a unified Iraq, asking Iraqis to forsake personal, regional or tribal interests to ensure that justice is served among all. They also told the Iraqi people that they should understand the reality they were living because, “any vision that goes beyond seeing things in their true perspective with all its details will end in failure.”
The statement was signed by Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali — who has been a mediator between terrorists and the Saudi government in the past year — Sheikh Salman Al-Awdah, Sheikh Nasir Al-Omar, Sheikh Hatim Al-Ouni, Sheikh Awad Al-Qarni, Sheikh Saud Al-Finaisan, and many others.
The scholars also said that resistance was legitimate and it is not allowed for any Muslim to harm a resisting person or to tell the enemy of their locations. But, in contrary, they should stand beside them and protect them. They also issued a fatwa — a religious edict — saying it was sinful in Islam to assist or support any military operations by the occupying forces and that anyone who does so would be “cooperating in evil and enmity”
They called, at the same time, for easing everyday conditions of ordinary Iraqis by providing their day-to-day needs of medical, educational, and living conditions, stressing the importance of saving Muslim blood and honor in Iraq and considering that “a basic principle of the religion”
The statement also added that there were “hidden hands” that try to “ignite turmoil and rip Iraqis into sects, fueling domestic battles between Shiites and Sunnis and between Kurds and Arabs”.
The statement called on Muslims everywhere who consider themselves “followers of Dawa (propagation)” to turn to Iraq to help take part in its reconstruction and contribute in its educational and philanthropic services.
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