A leading Saudi government cleric and author of the country’s religious curriculum believes Islam advocates slavery.
“Slavery is a part of Islam,” says Sheik Saleh Al-Fawzan, according to the independent Saudi Information Agency, or SIA.
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In a lecture recorded on tape by SIA, the sheik said, “Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam.”
His religious books are used to teach 5 million Saudi students, both within the country and abroad, including the United States.
Al Fawzan – a member of the Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body – says Muslims who contend Islam is against slavery “are ignorant, not scholars.”
“They are merely writers,” he said, according to SIA. “Whoever says such things is an infidel.”
Al-Fawzan’s best-known textbook, “Al-Tawheed – Monotheism,” says most Muslims are polytheists, and their blood and money are therefore free for the taking by “true Muslims.”
SIA said although the Saudi government claims religious curriculum is being reformed, Al-Fawzan’s books are still in wide use.
Al-Fawzan is a member of the Council of Religious Edicts and Research, the Imam of Prince Mitaeb Mosque in Riyadh and a professor at Imam Mohamed Bin Saud Islamic University, Saudi Arabia’s main center of learning for the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam.
SIA noted Al-Fawzan, a leading opponent of curriculum reform, opposes elections and demonstrations as Western influences, is against Arab women marrying non- Arab Muslims and has issued a fatwa forbidding the watching of television.
Al-Fawzan has threatened to behead a Saudi writer and scholar, Sheik Hassan Al-Maliki, for his criticism of Wahhabism, according to SIA. Al-Maliki was fired from his position with the ministry of education after writing a 50- page paper criticizing Al-Fawzan’s book “Al-Tawheed.”