Asharq Al-Awsat
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on : Thursday, 17 Feb, 2011
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Saudi Grand Mufti cries foul over fake fatwa

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – The highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Aal al-Sheikh, has categorically rejected what has been reported about the Saudi Arabian Council of Senior Ulema issuing a religious fatwa supporting the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization.

The fake religious decree in question stated that Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and those affiliated to his Al Qaeda organization “are upright and following the right path” and that the organization is an “Islamic Caliphate.”

The Saudi Arabian Grand Mufti, who is chairman of the Council of Senior Ulema, and also heads the permanent Committee for Research and Religious Edicts, said that this was a false fatwa, categorically rejecting it and its content.

In a statement issued by the Committee for Research and Religious Edicts to the Saudi Press Agency, the Saudi Arabian Grand Mufti described this fatwa as being “categorically false” and “lies” saying that it had been “forged.”

The statement issued by the Committee for Research and Religious Edicts also said that “what has been published by some websites…is a forged fatwa that has falsely been attributed to the committee, and it features the forged signatures of the committee members.”

The statement also said that the forged fatwa’s assertion that “Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda organization are following the right path and that the [Al Qaeda] organization is an Islamic caliphate” is completely false and untrue. The Committee for Research and Religious Edicts said “what has been attributed to the committee in this false fatwa is a lie and slander, and we do not endorse or accept this [view], God will call to account those who forged and publicized this fatwa.”

In the second part of the statement, the Committee for Research and Religious Edicts said that “Islamic Shariaa law is very clear on the issue of purposefully misquoting somebody, attributing something to them that they never said. Those who commit this will be punished according to Islamic Shariaa law, in this world and the Hereafter.”

The statement also quotes a number of Quranic verses and hadiths of the Prophet to this effect, including “(All that is) a lie against Him. He will repay them for that which they invent.”[Surat Al-Anaam, Verse 138.] As well as “Those who invent a lie against Allah will never prosper” [Surat Yunus, Verse 69] and “See how they force the lie against Allah, and this is sufficient as a manifest sin.” [Surat An-Nisa, Verse 50].

This represents the serious position being taken by the Committee for Research and Religious Edicts with regards to the gravity of official religious fatwas being forged. The statement went on to say that nobody would be deceived by clearly false fatwas such as this, and that fatwas had already been issued asserting that it is not permissible for any Muslim to join Al Qaeda, accept its deviant ideology, its operations and actions, or habour its members. The Committee for Research and Religious Edicts also stressed that nobody should be lenient with those who spread fabricated lies particularly when this is regarding official fatwas.

The false fatwa attributed to the Committee for Research and Religious Edicts featured the false signatures of Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Aal al-Sheikh, and permanent Committee for Research and Religious Edicts members Dr. Ahmad Bin Ali Sir Al-Mubaraki, Dr. Saleh Bin Fowzan Al-Fowzan, Dr. Abdul Kareem Bin Abdullah Al-Khudhair, Dr. Muhammad Bin Hassan Aal Al-Sheikh, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Muhammad Bin Khunain and Sheikh Abdullah Bin Muhammad Al-Mutlaq.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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