Saudi cleric apologizes for ‘intolerant’ views of Sahwa movement

Ayed Al-Qarni appeared on a Ramadan TV show to apologize for the Saudi Sahwa movement. (Screengrab)
Updated 08 May 2019

Saudi cleric apologizes for ‘intolerant’ views of Sahwa movement

  • Ayed Al-Qarni regrets fatwas which contradicted moderate reality of Islam
  • Al-Qarni says Qatar plays a role in attracting radical clerics

RIYADH: A prominent figure in the Islamic Awakening (Sahwa) movement has apologized to Saudi Arabia for what he described as its offenses against Islam.

“I am today supportive of the moderate Islam, open to the world, which has been called for by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” the Saudi cleric, scholar and author Ayed Al-Qarni said.

“We invite the world to come over ... our religion was sent as a mercy and safety to mankind,” he said during a Ramadan show on the Rotana Khalijia channel. “In the name of Al-Sahwa, I apologize to Saudi society for the mistakes that have contradicted the Qur’an and Sunnah, and contradicted the tolerance of Islam, a moderate religion.”


Sahwa movement

The Sahwa movement was a faction of Saudi Qutbism - An Islamist ideologydeveloped by Sayyed Qutb, the figurehead of the Muslim Brotherhood

The Sahwa movement, which peaked in the 1990s, was a faction of Saudi Qutbism — an Islamist ideology developed by Sayyid Qutb, the figurehead of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It was led by a number of hate preachers including Safar Al-Hawali and Salman Al-Ouda. The movement’s origins stem from when Muslim Brotherhood members fled prosecution in Egypt in the 1950s and 1960s, and sought refuge in Saudi Arabia. 

They demanded a bigger role for clergy in governing and a more conservative society as a defense against Western cultural influences. They also opposed the presence of US troops on “Muslim land.” In the same TV interview, Al-Qarni also spoke of Qatar’s role in luring Sahwa clerics.

“The further away you are from our country (Saudi Arabia), the more they (Qataris) like you... and give money, villas for those who oppose Saudi Arabia,” he said.

In an Arab News special series we focus on the "Preachers of Hate" who preach messages of 

In a series that exposes the purveyors of hate, Arab News exposes the people, the movements and their ideologies. “Preachers of Hate” looks at movements such as the Sahwa movement, which was was a faction of Saudi Qutbism - an Islamist ideologydeveloped by Sayyed Qutb.

Read more: Now read about other preachers of hate

Festivities kick-off as Saudis celebrate national day across kingdom

Updated 20 September 2019

Festivities kick-off as Saudis celebrate national day across kingdom

DUBAI: The first activities of the Saudi General Authority for Entertainment (GAE) kicked off on Thursday evening in celebration of the kingdom’s National Day on September 23 in the province of Jeddah.

The festivities were held on Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Street and Corniche Road with performances of national songs and fashion shows representing Saudi cultural heritage, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The events also included workshops for children to participate in the celebration of the occasion. The activities ended with a firework show.

In Jizan, families enjoyed heritage shows hosted by the GAE at the corniche as well as Saudi art and photography.

Storytellers entertained children with stories of King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud and the history of the unification of the states of Saudi Arabia.

Artwork of Saudi landmarks were exhibited, celebrating modern and historical architecture in the kingdom.

Meanwhile, schools across the kingdom organized activities to mark the celebrations for children, highlighting the role of the founding father of Saudi Arabia in “reuniting and unifying the country.” Schools have also partnered with government bodies to educate students on the role and status of Saudi Arabia on the world stage.

Across the kingdom, preparations to celebrate National Day have been completed, with street decorations and a number of events planned.

Celebrations will be held over five days to commemorate Saudi National Day.