Saudi Mufti: Destroy Churches in Middle East; No International Protests

Contact: Morton A. Klein at 212-481-1500

NEW YORK, March 23, 2012 -- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has pointed to blood-curdling words spoken by the Saudi Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, who declared recently that  is necessary to destroy all the churches of the region. In answer to a question from a Kuwaiti delegation regarding an announcement last month by a Member of Kuwaiti legislature, Osama Al-Munawer, that he plans to submit a draft law calling for the removal of all churches in Kuwait, the Saudi Grand Mufti “stressed that Kuwait was a part of the Arabian Peninsula, and therefore it is necessary to destroy all churches in it.” The Saudi Grand Mufti’s ruling follows the hadith [sayings attributed to Muhammad], who is said to have declared on his deathbed that “There are not to be two religions in the [Arabian] Peninsula,” which has always been interpreted to mean that only Islam can be practiced in the region (‘Raymond Ibrahim: Saudi Grand Mufti Calls for "Destruction of All Churches in Region,’ Jihad Watch blog, March 14, 2012).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is amazing and a commentary on our times that the senior Muslim cleric, in the land that gave birth to Islam and in the country that has custody of the two main Muslim holy sites of Mecca and Medina, can call for the demolition of churches without this vicious statement attracting any significant international condemnation or protest.

“Imagine  what would occur if the Pope called for the demolition of all mosques in Italy, or if the Chief Rabbi in Israel made a similar call in respect of mosques in Israel. The protests would be huge, furious and immediate. Nor would the matter die away in a week or two. Yet, when the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia calls for churches to be demolished - deafening silence. And this, despite the routine frequency of attacks already upon churches and Christians across the Middle East (with the exception of Israel), something which the Grand Mufti’s call can only serve to increase.


“We call upon the Obama Administration to publicly condemn the words of the Saudi Grand Mufti.”

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