Shoura backs fatwa on funding terror

Published: May 10, 2010 00:51 Updated: May 10, 2010 00:51 

RIYADH: The Shoura Council endorsed on Sunday the recent fatwa given by the 
Council of Senior Islamic Scholars headed by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz 
Al-Asheikh on terror financing last month. 

Describing terror financing as evil, Shoura Council Chairman Abdullah 
Al-Asheikh said on Sunday the Council will frame a set of regulations to combat 
terror financing. 

He said the proposed recommendation would be sent to the Council of Ministers 
and would include regulations to prohibit financing terror activities and it 
would incorporate stringent punishments for violations since such funding could 
be a threat to the peace and security of the country.   Last month, the 
20-member Council of Senior Islamic Scholars said terror financing was a crime 
as big as terrorism itself because it empowers and enables sabotage, 
insecurity, murder and destruction of property. Custodian of the Two Holy 
Mosques King Abdullah echoed this sentiment in a statement on Friday, making no 
distinction between funding terrorism and acts of terrorism. 

"Terror financing amounts to helping acts of terrorism and supporting the 
existence and spread of terror," said the fatwa. 

"Terror is a crime that sabotages security. It is crime against people and 
private and public property. It manifests in bombing houses, schools, 
hospitals, factories and bridges; in hijacking and blowing up airplanes. It 
also destroys government resources, such as oil and gas pipelines. Such acts of 
destruction are prohibited under Shariah." In statement issued on behalf of the 
Shoura Council, Abdullah Al-Asheikh explained that donations to legitimate and 
legal charitable activities is not the same as blindly donating to 
organizations that channel funding for terrorism. 

"Charity helps distressed people while financing terror helps destroy men and 
property," he said.

The chairman also said that a new recommendation by the council would establish 
guidelines for financial donations. The Kingdom has already implemented 
stricter guidelines for establishing charitable organizations, and it is 
illegal for groups to collect money unless they have been accredited by the 
state. The measure was aimed at controlling which groups could legally accept 
financial donation.

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