Khaled Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist (pictured right) who has been censored and jailed for his outspoken views. He received his advanced degrees from universities in the US and has worked for many news sources throughout the Middle East. The following article was written by Mr. Amayreh in response to remarks made by Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti (the highest ranking religious official) regarding the revolutionary events in Egypt and Tunisia. It was published in MWC News, Media with Conscience.
It has been reported that the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, condemned the ongoing revolution against the tyrannical regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
According to reports from Riyadh, the Sheikh condemned anti-regime protests in all Arab countries, calling demonstrations "chaotic acts" carried out by the enemies of Islam in order to "divide" the Muslim world.
The Saudi government outlaws all sorts of demonstrations which government-backed puritanical clerics consider a form of heresy that is incompatible with Islam.
There is no doubt that the edict of the Saudi Sheikh (pictured left), which by the way was not issued for the first time, reflects a primitive mentality and ignorance in understanding the true spirit of Islam. The sheikh justifies his ignorant opinion by arguing that rising up against an oppressive despot would cause "fitna" which means division or tumult or confusion.
However, it seems it doesn't occur to the sheikh, who seems to be living in the middle ages, not in the 21st century, that the fitna of living under tyranny and succumbing to organized oppression by brutal despots exceeds by far whatever fitna that might result from rising up against an oppressive authority.
Let us take Tunisia as an example. The former Tunisian dictator Zeinulabedeen bin Ali, who has been given asylum in the land of Prophet Muhammed (S), sought rather frantically to discourage people from observing Islam. He imprisoned and tortured thousands of Muslim activists for just frequenting the mosques. He instructed his repressive police apparatus to hound every religious person and fight every form of religiosity.
Indeed, in order to be able to access the mosque unhindered, especially during dawn prayers, one had to obtain a special permit from the police. Women, young and old, who donned a headscarf (I am not speaking about the full headdress veil or Niqab that is common in Saudi Arabia or Iran), had their scarves snatched in the streets by the police. Any objection to this humiliation would land the objector in prison immediately. In short, every possible effort was made by the brutal regime to discourage people from practicing their own faith.
Incidentally, Saudi Arabia, which claims, mendaciously of course, to follow Islam to the letter, maintained good, even cordial relations with the thuggish regime of President Zineulabedeen bin Ali.
And now this so-called Mufti is telling us that this anti-Islam policy must not be resisted, protested or even demonstrated against for fear of fitna.
Well, this kind of submissive, subservient and slavish Islam is what enabled the decadent Saudi dynasty to enslave and ransack a huge country that could have become the richest nation on earth, thanks to its huge oil revenue. This is what made an essentially illiterate and nearly senile monarch, who can't even write or read his own name, stand at the helm of the very country where the glorious message of Islam was revealed to mankind through the Prophet Muhammed (s) who said "The greatest form of Jihad is uttering a word of truth in front of a oppressive king."
Needless to say, this pseudo-Islam which is being promoted by this Saudi sheikh, which dreads telling oppressors "you are oppressor" for fear of fitna is what makes adulterers and sodomites rule with an iron fist the land of Islam in Mecca and Madina and surrender Muslim sovereignty to the United States on a silver platter. They simply have a sheepish people that is told it is haram to criticize the decadent and oppressive rulers, let alone demonstrate against them. It is very much like the people of the Pharaoh who as the Quran said led his people to hellfire because they refused to rise up against him.
So, one wonders what kind of Quran does this ignorant mufti is reading from? There are hundreds of verses in the Holy Quran urging Muslims to resist and oppose oppression, so why does this so-called mufti overlook all these ayas? Isn't he by so doing displeasing the Almighty in order to please the decadent Saudi family?
Didn't the prophet (s), in the following authentic hadith, urge Muslims to resist evil: "Whoever of you sees a wrong done, he should try to change it, first with his hand, second with his tongue, and finally, if he couldn't, he should denounce it in his heart, which represents the weakest point of faith."
In another hadith, the Prophet said "If my Umma dreads telling the oppressor you are oppressor, it is finished."
I would further ask this sheikh: What are Muslims supposed to do when they see their rulers become servants for Israel and tools for their own enemies as well as thieves plundering billions of dollars from their people's coffers? Are they supposed to just sit down on their comfortable sofas and watch tyrants violate people's dignity, usurp people's rights and ruin the people's wealth, pending the arrival of the Day of Reckoning?
There is a prophetic tradition saying that two categories of people, if they don't deviate from the right path, the umma will be alright, but if they get corrupt, the entire umma will get corrupt. It was asked "who are they O Prophet of Allah." He said "the ulema (scholars) and rulers"
I urge this misguided mufti to revert to true religion and not to pay attention to the sticks of carrots of the House of Saud. They won't help him on the Day when neither family nor wealth would help, except he that appears before God, with a pure heart.
NOTE: I myself have written about this religious scholar before: Noor - TV Soap a Threat to Islam; and Divorce Saudi Style.