While Riyadh insists to the world Saudi clerics condemn terrorism, statements broadcast on national television convey the opposite message, calling for the killing of Jews and Christians and the ultimate takeover of the United States by Islam.
Since the March 24 bombings in the Saudi capital, the kingdom’s diplomats have been preaching tolerance, says the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.
For example, Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, said in a June 15 statement that “senior religious scholars in Saudi Arabia have continually and unequivocally condemned terrorism. In our war against terrorism, these condemnations are a powerful weapon.”
Also, Nail Al-Jubeir, director of the Saudi information office, said May 6: “Our religious establishment has taught moderation to our people. The religious establishment has demonstrated that it is the body most competent and effective at de-legitimizing Al Qa’ida’s cultist ideology.”
But that contention is flatly refuted by numerous examples from Saudi television provided by MEMRI, including some available on the Washington-based group’s website.
On May 24, Sheik Dr. Ahmad Abd Al-Latif, a professor at Um Al-Qura University, was asked the following question on Saudi channel TV1: “Some imams and preachers call for Allah to annihilate the Jews and those who help them, and the Christians and those who support them… Is it permitted according to Islamic law?”
Professor Al-Latif responded: “What made them curse the Jews is that the Jews are oppressors. … The same goes for the Christians, because of their cruel aggression against Islamic countries … while the truth is that this is a crusading war whose goal is to harm Muslims. This is why a Muslim is allowed to curse the oppressors from among the Jews and Christians. … Cursing the oppressing Jews and the oppressing and plundering Christians and the prayer that Allah will annihilate them is permitted.”
Sheik Muhammad Al-Munajid, a disciple of one of Saudi Arabia’s most revered religious leaders, Sheik ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdallah ibn Baaz, was identified in a report in the Washington Post on Dec. 11, 2003, as running a “website that promotes intolerance of Christians and Jews and calls for holy war on Shiite Muslims.”
He was included as one of 16clerics associated with the Saudi embassy’s Islamic Affairs Department who was stripped of diplomatic credentials.
Al-Munajid stated on Iqraa TV on April 15: “The issue is not one person, two, ten or a hundred going out with their guns to support their brothers. Defeating the infidels requires a much greater effort. It requires the mobilization of the nation. How can the nation be mobilized? I believe that the stupid acts of these Jews and Crusaders mobilize the nation. The big explosion will come! In spite of everything, it will happen!”
Much of Saudi TV is based upon religious programming, MEMRI notes, and many of these programs refer to the spread of Islam throughout the world and the battle against non-Muslims.
On a May 20 episode of Iqraa TV’s “Mushkilat Min Al-Hayat,” or Problems from Life,” Saudi Sheik Abdallah Al-Muslih, chairman of the Commission on Scientific Signs in the Koran and Sunnah of the Muslim World League, used evidence from early Islam to support his claim that suicide bombings on enemy land are permitted according to Islamic law.
“Regarding a person who blows himself up, I know this issue is under disagreement among modern clerics and jurisprudents. … There is nothing wrong with [martyrdom] if they cause great damage to the enemy. We can say that if it causes great damage to the enemy, this operation is a good thing. This is when we talk of Dar Al-Harb. But, if we speak of what happens in Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia … this is forbidden, brothers! This is the land of the Muslims. We must never do this in a Muslim country.”
Supporting Jihad against U.S. troops in Iraq is the topic of many Saudi TV programs, says MEMRI. On May 10, Dr. Yassin Al-Khatib, a professor of Islamic law at Um Al-Qura University, declared on the UAE’s Al-Majd TV, which frequently has Saudi guests on it, that “the honor, blood, property and mostly the fact that they entered the country [i.e. Iraq] … make it every Muslim’s duty to go out against them, not only the Iraqis.”
“This is every Muslim’s duty,” he continued. “Jihad today has become an individual duty that applies to each and every Muslim. It is forbidden for a person to remain silent. … When the Muslims fought in Afghanistan they destroyed the Soviet Union, which was a superpower. It collapsed and Allah willing, so will this [the U.S.] collapse.”
The coming Muslim takeover
Saudis often discuss the issue of the U.S. becoming a Muslim state in the future, according to MEMRI.
On a March 17 broadcast on Iqraa TV, Saudi preacher Sheik Said Al-Qahtani discussed this issue, as well as cases in which Muslims are permitted to declare a defensive Jihad.
“We did not occupy the U.S., with 8 million Muslims, using bombings. Had we been patient, and let time take its course, instead of the 8 million, there could have been 80 million [Muslims] and 50 years later perhaps all the U.S. would have become Muslim.”
He asked, “What should a Muslim do if he is attacked in his country, on his land?”
In this case, Al-Qahtani continued, “there is no choice besides defense, self-sacrifice, and what religious scholars call – Defensive Jihad. … We attacked their country, and this caused them to wake the dormant enmity in their hearts. … Especially since there is global Zionism, the enemy of Islam, and Judaism, and fundamentalist Crusaders. … They interpret this whole incident as only the beginning and thus there is no choice but a preemptive strike.”
Al-Qahtani added on another Iqraa TV show on May 5: “Allah said, ‘prepare against them all the force and horsemen that you can.’ What for? In order to strike fear into their hearts. … At the same time, [we should] establish strategies for the future, even if only for the short term, and prepare … so that one of these days, even 100, 200, or 400 years from now, we will become a force that will be feared by the infidel states.”