Have you heard of Sheikh Adel Al-Kalbani?
The New York Times had. They did a feature on him.
This caption appears under a picture on the first page:
“Any qualified individual, no matter what his color, no matter where from, will have a chance to be a leader, for his good and The king is trying to tell everybody that he wants to rule this land as one nation, with no racism and no segregation.”
That was April 10. And what follows are excerpts from interviews with Sheikhh Adel Al-Kalbani, imam of the Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, which aired on BBC Arabic on May 5, 2009 and Al-Arabiya TV on February 27, 2009.
"Interviewer: "Where can Christians [pray]?"
Sheikh Adel Al-Kalbani: "Christians are allowed to pray in their homes. We have no problem with them praying where they live. But for the bells to be sounded in the land of the Prophet Muhammad – that [runs counter] to the Prophet's guidance. The Prophet's guidance, by which we act, dictates: 'Drive the Jews and the Christians out of the Arabian Peninsula.' Driving them out is undoubtedly the prerogative of the ruler, but they should be allowed to live here only if their presence is essential."
Sheikh Adel Al-Kalbani: "[The Christian] came as a visitor. He is not a citizen. If he were a citizen... watchamacallit... a Christian citizen – maybe there would be room for debate. Maybe. But in principle, he is a visitor, a guest, who stays for some time, and then leaves. He knew these were the rules before he came here. No visitor to a country can demand that it change its rules."
Interviewer: "Not to change the rules, but if you, as a Muslim, were to visit a country, wouldn't you hope there would be a mosque in which to pray, regardless of whether you are a citizen or not?"
Sheikh Adel Al-Kalbani: "I would hope so. Undoubtedly. But Allah be praised, according to the Prophet's guidance: 'The whole Earth was made a mosque and pure for me.' Therefore, a Muslim can pray anywhere."
I guess we all can't be New York Times liberal.