Saudi Sheik Admits His Call for Jihad
Not just “any sheik”, but the Head of The Supreme Council in Saudi Arabia
Earlier this week I posted here on the Saudi Sheik who says one thing when the camera is on and something completely different when the camera goes off. The Head of the Supreme Council in Saudi Arabia, Sheik Saleh Al Luhaidan, had said in November of last year that clerics who instigated violence would be prosecuted:
“The authorities should question and hold accountable the authors of the statements and edicts which make the people feel that fighting in Iraq is a heroic and religiously legitimate act,” Luhaidan said.
He also said donating money to fighters and militants in Iraq at the present time “is only bound to aggravate the situation.”
“We don’t want to repeat in Iraq the same mistakes committed in Afghanistan,” he added.
Some 26 Saudi Sunni scholars and clerics issued an open letter earlier this month to the Iraqi people urging them to resist the “occupation” of Iraq and affirming such actions are legitimate from a religious point of view.
But, only a month earlier in a secret taped converstation obtained by NBC he said something completely different:
If someone knows that he is capable of entering Iraq in order to join the fight, and if his intention is to raise up the word of God, then he is free to do so,” says Luhaidan in Arabic on the tape.
He warns Iraq is risky because “evil satellites and drone aircraft” watch the borders. But he says going is religiously permissible.
“The lawfulness of his action is in fighting an enemy who is fighting Muslims and came for war,” says Luhaidan.
This week the Sheik admitted that the recording was authentic; that it was his voice in the recording:
An investigation by NBC’s Lisa Myers proved that the audio clip was authentic. Luhaidan admitted in a phone conversation with NBC that the voice on the audio clip was in fact his voice. Saudi Intelligence claimed that the clip was a fabrication and nothing more but NBC’s investigative team proved them wrong.
A leader of the Saudi Institute says this shows the real face of The Saudi Kingdom:
The sheik also says those donating money to the fight in Iraq should be sure it actually helps the cause.
“This statement shows the real face of the Saudi government,” says Saudi dissident Ali Al-Ahmed of the Saudi Institute, based in Washington.
These statements by the Sheik pose problems for President Bush regarding his Middle East policy. And, ignoring such statements allow those who doubt the president’s best intentions to point fingers as noted in the New York Post and reprinted at the Saudi Institute this week. And, because of that, the story is getting play from the left, the right, the atheists, and even the Shariah Law proponents.
But, it doesn’t stop there. Not yet. The head of the judiciary in Saudi Arabia also has spoken out against public demonstrations, giving notice to would be protesters of certain repercussions:
“Religious authorities and the government are at one in opposing street protests — the former believe they destabilize society, and the latter argue that they are opening up other avenues of expression,” said one commentator who asked not to be named.
The head of Saudi Arabia’s Higher Judiciary Council, Sheikh Saleh bin Mohammed al-Luhaidan, said in remarks published here hours before Thursday’s attempted protests that demonstrations were “demagogic” and authorities were duty-bound to “stand up firmly” to such activities.
He has said in the past that Sharia Law is to be enforced on westerners:
Saudi Arabia’s top judicial official was quoted yesterday as saying Westerners working in the kingdom must obey its tough penal laws or suffer the consequences.
Sheikh Saleh bin Mohammed Al Luhaidan, head of the Supreme Judicial Council, also rejected criticism of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Sharia laws, saying Westerners should stay home if they intended to break them.
“It is they who are in need of us because they come to us. And if the Westerners in Britain or Canada or other countries don’t wish to work in the kingdom then there are other countries that come and respect the kingdom’s laws.”
And, to top it all, he was quoted in September 2001 after the destruction of the World Trade Center and The Pentagon in an article about Islam. Sheik Saleh bin Mohammed Al Luhaidan had this to say to America:
“Islam does not condone murder except (to punish) those who kill or who attack Muslims, and therefore, such crimes which do not differentiate between a baby, woman or elderly person…are considered one of the greatest crimes.”
So, tell us Sheik, is this what you really felt?