Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) Speaking about young men leaving to fight in Iraq, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, head of the Council of Senior Ulemas, said: "Going there is like throwing [yourselves] into danger, and that is not correct." The Council is Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority.
The Sheikh's statement confirms US and Iraqi allegations that "Saudi militants are infiltrating Iraq". In the last few days, several Saudi nationals have in fact been arrested for entering Iraq illegally. Coalition forces fighting in Falluja have also identified many Saudi militants among the radical groups present in the city.
The Grand Mufti's warning comes a few days after 26 Saudi Muslim scholars called on the Iraqi people to resist the "occupying forces" in their country.
Recently, al-Qaeda chief in Saudi Arabia, Saud ben Hamud al-Otaib, called on Muslims to go on jihad "on this fourth Ramadan since the new crusade campaign against Muslims" started.
"The one (Allah) who forbade dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, intoxicants, gambling," al-Otaibi said, "is the same one (Allah) who forbade you from staying at home and not answering the call for jihad (when it becomes a duty of every Muslim as it is now)".
Aware that carrying out a holy war in the Saudi Kingdom is difficultsome al-Qaeda operatives have been recently arrested in Ruiahd , al-Otaibi is urging Muslims to go to Iraq to perform their religious duty.
"Why don't you join your brothers in Falluja, Ramaadi, Baqubah, or Mosul?" he stated. "How can you be content with your living in the comfort of your home while your brothers in Iraq and other places are crying for help?"
Al-Otaibi warned that "the Holy Qu'ran has not left any legitimate excuse," adding that "we are determined to continue on this road (jihad) and nothing will distract us or make us change course". (LF)