JEDDAH Saturday 28 June 2008: Reacting to the recent disclosure by the Interior Ministry that terrorist organizations were exploiting Haj and Umrah facilities to bring in foreign Al-Qaeda cadres into the Kingdom, several religious scholars have stressed the need to deal firmly with extremists.
“The Saudi government tries its best to ensure excellent facilities to Haj and Umrah pilgrims and so it is the duty of all pilgrims not to violate the sanctity of the holy cities and not to create law and order problem. Any act or ideology that aims to disrupt law and order in the Kingdom, which is the home to Makkah and Madinah, is an unpardonable crime,” said Ibrahim Al-Khodairy, member of the Cassation Court in Riyadh.
Al-Khodairy added that extremists coming to the Kingdom in the guise of pilgrims are not real Muslims, Al-Eqtisadiah daily reported yesterday.
The imam and khatib at the Grand Mosque, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, said that some youths were attracted to the extremist ideologies because of weak family control or the failure of schools and mosques to pass the right message to them. “Terror is the bane of the modern age, a cancerous growth that should be removed,” Al-Sudais said.
Ahmad Al-Muwarrae, imam and khatib of a Makkah mosque, said that the extremists send messages to the young people with the aim of recruiting them to perform criminal acts.
“Their aim is to destroy the peaceful life enjoyed by the people in the country,” Al-Muwarrae said.
A lecturer at the Prophet’s Mosque and former professor at the Islamic University in Madinah, Saleh Al-Sehaimi, said that it’s wrong to blame unemployment for these activities, as some scholars think.
“There are certain issue that many of our scholars admit do exist in the society but they could be resolved without resorting to destructive activities,” Al-Sehaimi said.