Terrorism violates Islam, says Saudi Arabia’s top religious leader. Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh made that clear in a February 1st sermon in Mecca. His words were delivered to two-million Muslim pilgrims at the hajj. Grand Mufti Sheikh Al-Sheikh said that, “Islam forbids all forms of injustice, killing without just cause, treachery. . .hijacking of planes, boats, and other means of transport.”
The condemnation comes as terrorists continue their campaign of suicide bombings in Iraq, Israel, and other places. On February 1st, two suicide bombers killed more than one-hundred people in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil. And on January 29th, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed eleven people on a bus in Jerusalem.
In Iraq, the terrorists operate in the shadows. But it is thought that at least some of them have links to the al-Qaida terrorists responsible for the September 11th, 2001, attacks in the U.S. that killed some three-thousand people.
In Israel, the terrorists are more open. Two groups claimed responsibility for the Jerusalem bus-bombing. They are Hamas, short for “Islamic Resistance Movement,” and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. These groups also claimed joint responsibility for a suicide bombing on January 14th carried out by a young mother of two small children. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, self-styled “spiritual leader” of Hamas, boasted about using a female suicide bomber and threatened more terrorist attacks against Israelis.
Despite their claims to be acting in the name of Islam, says Iraqi journalist Hassan Fattah, the groups that instigate suicide bombings have nothing in common with “mainstream Muslims”:
“This is certainly not Islam as Muslims know it. I should just say that, you know, there is not really much of an argument about that in any of the Muslim world, I’d say.”
Such terrorists, says President George W. Bush, “bear a deep hatred for the values of the civilized world”:
“They hate Christians and Jews and every Muslim who does not share their narrow and violent vision.”
No one can be neutral in the face of such hatred. Everyone, says President Bush, “must condemn terror and act against the few who would destroy the hopes of the many.”