Thursday, December 14, 2006

Saudi Mufti issues lukewarm statement distancing Saudi officialdom from the anti-Shiite statement

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh issued a statement that was printed in the Baghdad newspaper Al-Sabah, in which he invited Iraqis to adhere to unity and renounce violence and sectarianism, and his assistant assured the newspaper's reporter by phone that the anti-Shiite statement of the 38 Saudi Sheikhs issued earlier this week doesn't represent position of the Saudi religious hierarchy, but only their personal opinions. The assistant said the Grand Mufti is always calling for unity, and rejects any statements that will cause any more spilling of blood. But the text doesn't indicate any actual criticism of this particular statement of the 38 by the Mufti or his assistant.

The newspaper couples this with a lengthier statement by the head of the Shia Religious Endownments (Waqf) Agency in Iraq, Saleh al-Hidari which actually criticized the statement of the 38, and in no uncertain terms. He said Iraqis of all persuasions and nationalities and religions reject this kind of thing, which springs from the same distorted concepts that form the basis of terrorism in the Arab and Islamic world and everywhere else, adding that these lying and tyrannical ideas were previously unknown in Iraq.


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