A top Saudi cleric declares Shiites to be infidels, calls on Sunnis to
drive them out
CAIRO, Egypt: A top Saudi Sunni cleric on Monday declared Shiites around
the world to be heretics and urged Sunni Muslims around the world to
expel Shiites from their land.
Abdullah bin Jabrain, a key members in Saudi Arabia's clerical
establishment, joined a chorus of other senior figures from the
kingdom's hard-line Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam who have deemed
Shiites as infidels, the latest sign of increasing sectarianism in the
"Some people say that the rejectionists (Shiites) are Muslims because
they believe in God and his prophet (Muhammad), pray and fast. But I say
they are heretics," said bin Jabrain in a statement posted on several
Islamic Web sites.
"They are the most vicious enemy of Muslims, who should be wary oft
their plots," wrote bin Jabrain. "They should be boycotted and expelled
so that Muslims spared their evil," he wrote.
Bin Jabrain is a member of the Senior Clerics Association, a grouping of
Saudi Arabia's top clerics that is closely linked to the government. The
statement's authenticity could not be immediately confirmed. It appeared
on a Web site where hard-line clerics often post statements.
Last month, Abdul Rahman al-Barak, another top Saudi cleric and
considered close to the kingdom's royal family, urged Sunnis worldwide
to oppose reconciliation with Shiites.
Al-Barak said Shiites should be considered worse than Jews or Christians.
"By and large, rejectionists (Shiites) are the most evil sect of the
nation and they have all the ingredients of the infidels," al-Barak
wrote in a fatwa, or religious edict, that was posted on his Web site.
Like most hardline Sunnis, al-Barak and bin Jabrain employed the word
"rejectionists," used as a derogatory term to describe Shiites because
they opted out of the Sunni school of Islamic theology.
Also last month, about 30 prominent Saudi Wahhabi clerics called on
Sunni Muslims around the Middle East to support their brethren in Iraq
against Shiites and praised the anti-American insurgency.
Thousands of Iraqis have been killed this year in sectarian bloodshed
between the majority Shiites and the Sunni Arab minority, who lost their
dominance after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Saudi Arabia, like most Arab countries, is predominantly Sunni but has a
significant Shiite minority.
Last month, Nawaf Obeid, a former adviser to the Saudi Embassy in
Washington, spoke of the possibility of "massive Saudi intervention to
stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis" if the
United States withdraws from the country. Saudi citizens are also
reportedly raising funds for Sunni insurgents in Iraq.
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