Prominent Saudi religious leaders, including the imams of holiest shrines in Islam have repeatedly condemned terrorism. Saudi Arabia has suffered multiple terrorist attacks, and has been at the forefront of fighting extremism and terrorism in the region and in the world.
Following three simultaneous terror attacks on July 4, 2016, imams of the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah condemned terrorism and urged a tough stance to fighting the “evil goals” behind terrorist organizations. Terrorists carried out bombing attacks on the Saudi cities of Madinah, Qatif and Jeddah. Four security officers were killed in the Madinah bombing.
In a sermon the Friday after the attacks, Sheikh Khalid Ali Al-Ghamedi, the imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, said terrorism is “an outlandish phenomenon for Islam and in particular for Saudi Arabia, home to the two holiest mosques.”
Sheikh Al-Ghamedi continued, “The greatest and most appalling of all sins is for anyone to deliberately and premeditatedly shed the blood of innocent people… wreak chaos and havoc and undermine security and stability in order to achieve the evil goals of criminal gangs and sectarian terrorist organizations.” Sheikh Al-Ghamedi urged the public, including scholars, politicians, and the media, to expose “this deviant ideology” and “immunize society and people” against it.
In Madinah, the imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Hussain Al-AsShaikh, described the perpetrators of the recent attacks in Saudi Arabia as “the deviant group.” He stated, “The most powerful weapon being used by the enemies of our nation is to stoke division and have the youth break away from the group and consensus.”
In a message to the people of Saudi Arabia and all the world’s Muslims on the occasion of the Eid Al-Fitr, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz recommitted Saudi Arabia to “strike with an iron fist” the terror groups that seek to recruit youths to “extremism and violence,” and pledged efforts to “distance them from masterminds of misleading ideas.”