2003 News Story

Another imam renounces his support for terrorists

Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Fahd has recanted and withdrawn his fatwas [religious opinions], describing them as "a grave mistake". He was the second of the Saudi scholars detained for promoting militancy this year to take to the airwaves to renounce his support for militants and condemn terrorist attacks.

Shaikh Al-Fahd, age 35, is one of three scholars arrested in Madinah last May following the Riyadh bombings for issuing fatwas declaring that the killing of security personnel during confrontations was halal [permissible]. He had also ruled against anyone giving information to security forces concerning the 19 suspects announced by the Ministry of the Interior a week before the May 12 bombing. The other two are Ali Al-Khudair, who recanted on Saudi TV last Monday, and Ahmad Al-Khaledi.

Shaikh Al-Fahd said he requested the interview of his own accord after being "shocked" by the suicide bombing at a Riyadh housing compound this month which killed 18 people, mostly Arabs. He now says the attack was a sin and the bombers were not martyrs because they violated Islam by killing Muslims, and non-Muslims who were under the protection of the state, murdering women and children, harming security and property, distorting the image of jihad [holy war] and Islam itself. "Blowing oneself up in such operations is not martyrdom, it is suicide. How can they kill Muslims, innocent people, and destroy property in the home of Islam?" he said. "We did not think matters would reach this point ... My message is: Fear God and stop shedding blood. Fear God and repent your mistakes. It is not shameful to admit mistakes."