Saudi Grand Mufti: Destroy all Christian churches

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A mufti is a jurist who interprets Muslim religious law.
Grand Mufti is the title given to the titular head of the Muslim community. The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia is Sheik Abdul Aziz al ash-Shaikh, 72, the equivalent of the Catholic Church’s pope. He’s been blind since 1960.
The blind Grand Mufti has just declared it necessary to destroy all Christian churches in the Middle East region. In so doing, Sheik Abdul puts the lie to Muslims’ insistence that Islam’s God is the same as the God of Judaism and Christianity, and that Muslims respect Jews and Christians as all “People of the Book.”

Saudi Grand Mufti Sheik Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh

As reported by an editorial in The Washington Times on March 16, 2012:

On March 12, Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, declared that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.” The ruling came in response to a query from a Kuwaiti delegation over proposed legislation to prevent construction of churches in the emirate. The mufti based his decision on a story that on his deathbed, Muhammad declared, “There are not to be two religions in the [Arabian] Peninsula.” This passage has long been used to justify intolerance in the kingdom. Churches have always been banned in Saudi Arabia, and until recently Jews were not even allowed in the country. Those wishing to worship in the manner of their choosing must do so hidden away in private, and even then the morality police have been known to show up unexpectedly and halt proceedings.

This is not a small-time radical imam trying to stir up his followers with fiery hate speech. This was a considered, deliberate and specific ruling from one of the most important leaders in the Muslim world. It does not just create a religious obligation for those over whom the mufti has direct authority; it is also a signal to others in the Muslim world that destroying churches is not only permitted but mandatory.

Being not just a mufti but a grand mufti, the sheik’s declaration that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region,” therefore is a fatwa — a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law.
Not only is the sheik’s declaration unreported by the useless MSM, the fatwa also went without any comment, even less a condemnation, by the Obama administration.
The Washington Times notes:

If the pope called for the destruction of all the mosques in Europe, the uproar would be cataclysmic. Pundits would lambaste the church, the White House would rush out a statement of deep concern, and rioters in the Middle East would kill each other in their grief. But when the most influential leader in the Muslim world issues a fatwa to destroy Christian churches, the silence is deafening. […]

The Obama administration ignores these types of provocations at its peril. The White House has placed international outreach to Muslims at the center of its foreign policy in an effort to promote the image of the United States as an Islam-friendly nation. This cannot come at the expense of standing up for the human rights and religious liberties of minority groups in the Middle East. The region is a crucial crossroads. Islamist radicals are leading the rising political tide against the authoritarian, secularist old order. They are testing the waters in their relationship with the outside world, looking for signals of how far they can go in imposing their radical vision of a Shariah-based theocracy. Ignoring provocative statements like the mufti’s sends a signal to these groups that they can engage in the same sort of bigotry and anti-Christian violence with no consequences.

Mr. Obama’s outreach campaign to the Muslim world has failed to generate the good will that he expected. In part, this was because he felt it was better to pander to prejudice than to command respect. When members of the Islamic establishment call for the religious equivalent of ethnic cleansing, the leader of the free world must respond or risk legitimizing the oppression that follows. The United States should not bow to the extremist dictates of the grand mufti, no matter how desperate the White House is for him to like us.

Alas, The Washington Times’ counsel that Obama should condemn what the Saudi Grand Mufti said will fall on deaf ears. Have we already forgotten this famous bow to the Saudi king in 2009?

Thankfully, since Islam is not (yet) a unified political religion, but is divided at least into the Sunni and Shia sects, dissenting Muslim voices are already criticizing the Grand Mufti’s call to “destroy all the churches” in the Gulf region.
Turkey’s top imam, Mehmet Görmez, said he cannot accept the Grand Mufti’s fatwa because it runs contrary to the centuries-old Islamic teachings of tolerance and the sanctity of institutions belonging to other religions.
H/t our beloved fellow Grouchy.

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0 responses to “Saudi Grand Mufti: Destroy all Christian churches

  1. The USSA dare not bite the hand that pumps its oil…. If the old USofA –as it was before FDR closed his deal of non-criticism of the Saud mafia re their takeover of Arabia, when it then became Saudi Arabia– that Nixon represented was still around, be assured that our foreign policies would be radically different. But as it now stands, it will be ‘blood for oil’ for a long time yet.

  2. Hey, how ’bout that religion of pieces… er… peace!

  3. Question: on what grounds? Did the Grand Mufti give any reason for this statement? Or is this just another statement out of the blue that is being put out there to get people in an uproar? We are bombarded by reports of things people have said, that are either distorted, or not in context, and before anyone has time to figure out what’s up, then more madness breaks out. Since people in the United States are “supposedly” so much for everything UN CHRISTIAN, same sex marriage, legalising marijuana, bi sexuality, pornography, why would the idea of destroying Christian Churches be something to worry about. Go figure.

    • “why would the idea of destroying Christian Churches be something to worry about.”
      ARE YOU FOR REAL, ALICE? You continue to bleat about the death of murderous Qaddafi, but you’re flippant about the fate of Christians in the Middle East. You’re some piece of work.
      There is no religious freedom at all in Saudi Arabia. Any kind of public activity, such as possessing a Bible, wearing a crucifix or pray, is strictly forbidden. In too many cases Christians are persecuted, arrested and tortured. In April 2001 two people from the Philippines were arrested for worshipping Christ in their own house. They had to spend one month in jail after being brutally whipped. In May 2001, 11 Christians were arrested for praying together in a private house. In summer 2001, 13 Christians were arrested in Jedda, tortured and whipped in the presence of the other prisoners. At the present moment, there are no priests in Saudi Arabia. The last one, an American priest, was forced to leave the country in 1985.

      • Dear Dr. Eowyn. I was being satirical, it is probably not the best way to go about things, and I know that this man is making an dreadful proclamation, based on a decree by Mohammed which may or may not lead to the results you describe. My intention was to express the view I have that the love of Christianity in the United States, at least at the public press level has degenerated so greatly that it is questionable to me, at any rate if anyone would care about this kind of prospect. So many churches are empty on Sundays and so many Christmasses are trivialized that it is beyond a tragedy. I love the Lord with all of my heart and I love this country with great passion, and I am so upset that you took what I said as something other than utterly ludicrous. I have shared my heart with you and the other contributors at FOTM and I would not suddenly become a piece of work just like that.
        Yes I do care about Qadaffi, yes I do think Putin is pretty great, but that doesn’t mean that I think that destroying churches is okay. In fact, when I was writing my little remarks, I have to admit I wasn’t thinking of people getting destroyed, just the actual buildings, and that too, was an oversight, and showed that not enough thought was given by me to your concerns. I hope that you know that I share your opinions and love the choice and immediacy of your response to things, tragic and funny, and that the dismay I feel right now will not be smothered again by the cynical way things seem from time to time, cynical bordering on despair. So, there it is. I will not take your goodwill for granted again, at least not wittingly.
        All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the LORD God made them all. If only we could always be thinking on these things………………………here is my olive branch.

        • Thanks for the clarification, Alice. I suggest adding [snark] the next time you’re being sarcastic or ironic.

          • Thank you, your suggestion is accepted and will go into practice. Soon, I hope!!!!!!!!! I really am sorry to cause you any regrets about allowing me to participate in your Fellowship. Halleluyah anyway.
            (not snark, but heartfelt) ITNOJ

  4. To be more accurate, the say that maybe noone would care about churches being destroyed in the USA, was an exageration, another fault of mine. What would have been better would be to say a vocal portion of the population would not be very upset about this, as I remember an article I think it was here, about the condition of a church after the OWS members had been around it was messed up. But anyway, that doesn’t alter the fact that I am really devastated you think I don’t care about those people in Saudi Arabia, or anywhere for that matter where persecuted Christians are being penalized for worshipping the LORD. Why there isn’t a major uproar going on about the disregard of the Plan of Salvation and the agonizing death of Jesus, and the wonder of the resurrection and his ascension for the remission of our sins is driving me crazy. Enough said.

  5. Ah yes, that camel-dung infused, peaceful and serene “religion” of Islam.
    Ya just gotta love it.
    Thank you Jihad Jimmy and the Dept. of (higher priced) Energy.

  6. I appreciate your article, Dr. Eowyn, as it has a little more depth than most of the articles on this subject. I’m an American expat in Kuwait, and we are starting to see the effects of recent Kuwaiti parliamentary lean towards strictness. My community church’s lease was curiously revoked after seven years, so we are currently without a meeting place. This just happened in the last three weeks. It would be easy to interpret this as influence from the new Islamist bloc in the Kuwaiti parliament, but it could have just been one local resident throwing his wasta around. We’re looking for a new location, so how this search goes could be telling. There is a motion in parliament to stop all new church establishments, but it is now law here yet. Generally the Kuwaitis have been a very tolerant people, so I will be very surprised if we don’t find a new location. It remains to be seen. Interesting times to be a Christian abroad in the Arabian peninsula.

    • Thanks, James. I hope what happened to your church is some kind of glitch and not a policy decision by the Kuwaiti government.
      I send you my prayers.


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