RIYADH: The Kingdom’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, yesterday denounced attacks on diplomats and embassies as un-Islamic after deadly protests against a US-made anti-Islam film swept the Middle East.
At the same time, he called on the international community to take steps to criminalize any act of abusing great prophets and messengers such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them).
In a statement issued yesterday, Al-Asheikh also appealed to world Muslims to react to any attempt to denigrate Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by strictly adhering to the values advocated by the Prophet (pbuh) instead of unleashing violence against innocent people, the SPA reported.
“Condemnation of the attempts to abuse the Prophet (pbuh) should be within the Law of Allah and Sunnah of the Prophet. The Muslims should not shed the blood of innocent people, or vandalize properties or of public institutions,” the Grand Mufti said.
The mufti said the hatred of Islam through such movies would not harm the great personality of the Prophet (pbuh) or any aspect of Islam but would only backfire on the people who spread venomous ideas.
"Such animosity only helps in spreading the glory of the Prophet (pbuh) with greater vigor,” he said.
The mufti also warned that the enemies of the Prophet (pbuh) and Muslims achieve their goals when Muslims resort to violence. “Muslim rage is playing into the hands of their enemies when Muslims attack innocent people and set fire to public or private institutions. Such acts, in fact, damage the image of Islam, a situation the enemies of Islam seeks to create. Such acts go against the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh) and are deplorable,” the mufti said, while reminding the faithful that all Muslims are willing to sacrifice their lives and properties for the cause of their dear Prophet (pbuh).
“The goal of those who abuse Islam and Muslims is to divert the energy of Muslims from building their nations and efforts for unity and development,” the mufti warned.
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal yesterday reiterated the Kingdom’s strong disapproval of the film and also stressed the principles of interfaith dialogue in a telephone talk with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The prince condemned the attack on the US diplomatic missions.
Meanwhile, the Taleban claimed responsibility for an attack on a base that killed two American Marines, saying it was a response to the film.
Hundreds of Muslims took to the streets of Sydney, some throwing rocks and bottles in clashes with police.
Police stormed into Cairo’s Tahrir Square and rounded up hundreds of people early yesterday after four days of clashes and demands from protesters for the US ambassador’s expulsion.
Libyan authorities said they had identified 50 people who were involved in the attack in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens died.