Saudi officials warn against "extremist" fatwas

January 17, 2009

Makkah Governor Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz today opened the International Conference on Fatwa and its Controls, held by the Islamic Jurisprudence Complex of the Muslim World League (MWL).

 

Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom and the Chairman of the MWL’s Jurisprudence Complex, delivered an address in which he warned of the dangers of irresponsible or religiously incorrect fatwas.

Emphasizing the importance of knowledgeable Islamic scholars, Sheikh Abdulaziz said, "Issuing a fatwa isn’t an easy task. It’s a great responsibility."

During his remarks, Prince Khalid noted that fatwas are being spread "through satellite channels, the Internet and other modern communications media and pulpits," creating a system of "fatwa without rules." This phenomenon, he said, allows those who are prejudiced, ignorant or extremist to issue religious rulings that contradict and defame Islam.

"Ignorance in religion and being prejudiced in fatwa are the most dangerous challenges before the Muslim community," said Prince Khalid. Youths, he added, are particularly vulnerable to false interpretations of Islam that encourage extremism and disunity.