Daily Israel Report

Saudi Grand Mufti: 'Destroy All Churches'

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah declared that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region."
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 3/16/2012, 3:13 PM

Baptist Church
Baptist Church
israel news photo: Flash 90

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah declared, last Monday, that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region,” Raymond Ibrahim of Jihad Watch reported in an article published in the Middle East Forum, on March 14th.

“The Sheikh based his proclamation on the famous tradition, or hadith, wherein the prophet of Islam declared on his deathbed that ‘There are not to be two religions in the [Arabian] Peninsula,’ which has always been interpreted to mean that only Islam can be practiced in the region,” Ibrahim explained.

Ibrahim noted the inherent hypocrisy in the Grand Mufti quoting the hadith as reason to destroy churches, whereas, when non-Muslims do so “they are accused of being ‘Islamophobes,’ of intentionally slandering and misrepresenting Islam, of being obstacles on the road to ‘dialogue."

The Mufti’s proclamation to obliterate Churches was made immediately following his recent calls to silence and suppress dissenting views, namely those of the former columnist Hazma Kashgari, whom he insisted be tried in a religious court for a series of 'blasphemous' tweets.

While the Mufti asserted that the “justice system in Sadi Arabia is fair,” he nonetheless went on to say that, “all matters related to justice should be reviewed by Shariah courts as God the Almighty said in the Holy Quran."

Kashgari immediately apologized for his comments, tweeting: "I have made a mistake, and I hope Allah and all those whom I have offended will forgive me," before fleeing the country.

Furthermore, Ambassador to the United States Micheal Oren, in an article he published in the Wall Street Journal last Friday, affirmed that Arab discrimination against Christian minorities is becoming an increasingly prevalent phenomenon throughout the Arab world.

“In Egypt, 200,000 Coptic Christians fled their homes last year after beatings and massacres by Muslim extremist mobs,” Oren stated. “Since 2003, 70 Iraqi churches have been burned and nearly a thousand Christians killed in Baghdad alone, causing more than half of this million-member community to flee.”

He went on to state that “[c]onversion to Christianity is a capital offense in Iran, where last month Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was sentenced to death” and that “Saudi Arabia outlaws private Christian prayer.”

In fact, Oren asserted, the “only place in the Middle East where Christians aren’t endangers but [are] flourishing is Israel.”

The facts seem to speak for themselves. Yet, as Ibrahim notes, “the West, with all its institutions of higher learning, including governmental agencies dealing with cultural and religious questions—is still thoroughly ‘confused’ as to what Islam teaches.”