Moderate Muslims urge action against extremists

Claude Salhani 

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia stated in a recent speech that Muslims cannot keep on remaining silent while other Muslims continue to cause harm to Islam.

Abu Dhabi’s Al-Ittihad newspaper followed up Monday with an opinion piece expanding on the king’s speech in an article titled "Who Is Harming Islam?"

The Emirates’ newspaper described Abdullah’s speech as a "scream" for action.

The Saudi monarch said it was no longer acceptable to "simply complain or condemn." The time had come for action.

The king’s initiative is a welcome development, particularly coming from a monarch with the status and privilege Abdullah carries in the Muslim world.

Aside from his royal title, the Saudi king also holds the title of "custodian of the two holy mosques," in reference to Islam’s first- and second-holiest sites, Mecca and Medina respectively. The third is the al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, in Jerusalem where the al-Aqsa Mosque and the renowned golden Dome of the Rock are located.

The author of the article suggested establishing a central global "fatwa institute" to combat the trend of independent fatwas, or religious edicts, that currently plague the Muslim world.

"Fatwa shops" is how the author of the article described it. Sunni Islam allows for almost anyone to issue a fatwa, which at times has had the unfortunate result of producing the most inane edicts.

The Sunni branch of Islam does not have a central figurehead. There is no equivalent to say, the Catholic Church’s pope, or grand ayatollahs found in Shi’ite Islam.    Read More..


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