2003 Press Release

Saudi religious leaders forbid attacks on non-Muslims

(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) – Saudi Arabia’s Council of Senior Ulema (Religious Scholars) has issued an edict condemning attacks and other violence against innocents.  The edict also conveys that it is a crime to randomly judge people as “infidels” and target them for violence.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Council of Senior Ulema Shaikh Abdulaziz Al-Ashaikh said that this is a very serious matter as it relates to the shedding of innocent blood, the bombing of buildings, and the destruction of public and private installations. The edict issued by the Council on this matter is as follows:

“The acts of shedding the blood of innocent people, the bombing of buildings and ships, and the destruction of public and private installations are criminal acts and against Islam. Those who carry out such acts have deviant beliefs and misguided ideologies and are to be held responsible for their crimes. Islam and Muslims should not be accountable for the actions of such people. Islamic Law clearly prohibits leveling such charges against non-Muslims, warns against following those who carry such deviant beliefs, and stresses that it is the duty of all Muslims all over the world to consult truthfully, share advice, and cooperate in piety and righteousness.”

Violence against Westerners has not been an issue or problem in Saudi Arabia. However, the religious authorities took this step to reinforce the prohibition in Islam against all forms of violence.