Muslim Cleric: ‘Only Kill the Infidels’
Vol: 29 Issue: 1 Sunday, February 1, 2004
While America is in the grip of Super Bowl fever, the Islamic world is augmenting its annual pilgrimage death toll in Saudi Arabia with suicide bombing attacks in Iraq.
First, the pilgrimage, known as ‘the Haj’.
Nearly 250 Muslim worshipers died in a haj stampede during the annual stoning of Satan ritual. The devil-stoning is the most animated ritual of the annual pilgrimage.
The haj is the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all able-bodied Muslims at least once in a lifetime.
Many pilgrims frantically throw rocks, shout insults or hurl their shoes at the pillars – acts that are supposed to demonstrate their deep disdain for the devil.
The devil is evidently not impressed, and each year, he shows a little disdain in return. Last year, 14 pilgrims were trampled to death during the ritual and 35 died in a 2001 stampede. In 1998, 180 pilgrims died.
The stoning ritual also marked the first day of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, celebrated at the haj and around the Muslim world with the slaughtering of a camel, cow or sheep. Meat is eaten and distributed to the poor.
The haj began Thursday and climaxed Saturday as some 2 million Muslim pilgrims listened to Saudi Arabia’s top cleric allegedly ‘denounced’ terrorists, calling them an ‘affront’ to Islam. But only under certain circumstances. Then, he defended the kingdom’s strict interpretation of the faith that both spawns and encourages acts of terror in the name of Islam.
Sheik Abdul Aziz al-Sheik said in his sermon there were those who claim to be holy warriors, but were shedding Muslim blood and destabilizing the nation.
“Is it holy war to shed Muslim blood? Is it holy war to shed the blood of non-Muslims given sanctuary in Muslim lands? Is it holy war to destroy the possession of Muslims,” he said, adding that their actions gave enemies an excuse to criticize Muslim nations.
The majority of the victims of suicide attacks in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq and elsewhere have been Muslims.
While Kurdish Muslims celebrated the Haj, two suicide bombers attacked in Iraq, killing at least 57 Muslims and wounding another 250. The attack was the first in which the suicide attackers wired bombs to themselves and detonated them while on foot, akin to the suicide attacks by Palestinian militants in Israel.
The suicide attacks at the Irbil offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan occurred as party leaders were receiving hundreds of visitors to mark the start of the four-day Muslim holiday, Eid Al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice.
The dead included the governor of the region, ministers in the local administration and several senior officials.
Kurdish Minister for Human Rights, Mohammed Ihsan, said that other Muslims were the deliberate targets of the attacks.
“On the first day of Eid we receive people and well wishers and that’s why security wasn’t as tight as during the rest of the days. They (the attackers) took advantage of this.”
Elsewhere, Islamic terrorists targeted a Palestinian neighborhood in Baghdad, killing four Palestinians. The victim’s families blamed the United States, chanting during the funerals, “Allahu Akbar!”, or “God is Great!”, “America is the enemy of Allah!” and “A martyr is God’s beloved!”
Note the classic elements found in most ‘denunciations’ of this kind. I find it more than a bit relevant to understanding the mindset of militant Islam that the cleric did NOT denounce killing.
He denounced killing Muslims. And not because of the loss of life. Because it gives Islam a ‘bad name’ by providing ‘enemies an excuse to criticize’ Islamic states. Killing infidels is still ok and completely consistent with Wahabbi Islamic theology.
Al-Sheik, who is widely respected in the Arab world as the foremost cleric in the country considered the birthplace of Islam, spoke at Namira Mosque in a televised sermon watched by millions of Muslims in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
In speaking about terrorists who killed fellow Muslims, al-Sheik was clearly referring to the prophet’s final sermon, which contained the line: “Know that every Muslim is a Muslim’s brother, and the Muslims are brethren. Fighting between them should be avoided.”
Al-Sheik also criticized the international community, accusing it of attacking Wahhabism, the strict interpretation of Islam that is applied in Saudi Arabia: “This country is based on this religion and will remain steadfast on it.”
After the sleepless night of prayer following the sermon, pilgrims gathered pebbles to throw at the pillars. Each threw seven times, chanting “bismillah” (“In the name of God”) and “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great”).
Calling America “the greatest Satan,” Egyptian pilgrim Youssef Omar threw pebbles at one pillar where someone scrawled “USA.”
Then, as a highlight of the annual religious festival, they had their annual riotous stampede, sending 242 of their number to meet up with Allah directly.
This is the ‘religion of peace’ the White House keeps telling us about, practicing that religion of peace at the holiest site in all Islam, its birthplace.
And they are afraid that TERRORISM will give them a bad name?