Sin has led to Middle East unrest, says Saudi Arabia’s top cleric

May 7, 2012

(Islamist protesters wave flags with Koranic inscriptions during a protest in front of the Tunisian television headquarters in Tunis April 24, 2012. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi )

Saudi Arabia’s top religious official has blamed Muslim sinfulness for instability in the Middle East, where pro-democracy unrest has toppled four heads of state.

“The schism, instability, the malfunctioning of security and the breakdown of unity that Islamic countries are facing these days is a result of the sins of the public and their transgressions,” Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh was quoted as saying by al-Watan newspaper.

In a Friday sermon, he accused “chaotic” people of wearing mask of “democracy and equality” for actions leading to injustice and instability within the umma, or Muslim nation.

Revolts that erupted last year have removed Arab autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen and are still raging in Syria and Bahrain. They gave voice to millions of people who suffered decades of repression but have alarmed Gulf Arab rulers.

Ties between Riyadh and Cairo were strained by the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, a close Saudi ally, and by the rising power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, an organization viewed with suspicion by many Gulf governments.

On Friday an Egyptian delegation visited Saudi King Abdullah to smooth a spat caused by protests at the Saudi embassy in Cairo, which had led to the recall of the Saudi ambassador. The king later ordered the envoy back Cairo and the embassy said he would return on Saturday.

Last month, the grand mufti was criticized after international media quoted him as saying all churches in the Arabian Peninsula should be destroyed, angering Christian bishops in Austria, Germany, and Russia. The comments could not be verified by Saudi officials.

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3 comments

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Sinfulness? Well before we all start pointing the finger; perhaps all the teachers of Religion should see what the rest of us see when it comes to Religion; here have a look for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMUqhbOac QU and in the end You Decide what Religion means to you.

Posted by retkirnov | Report as abusive

Dear Asma

Does the excerpt

“Ties between Riyadh and Cairo were strained by the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, a close Saudi ally, and by the rising power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, an organization viewed with suspicion by many Gulf governments.”

implie that Saudi Arabia is not cooperating with the MB?
How can we be sure of that is the Saudis are doing everything they can to topple down Assad from the Syrian “throne”, making the way open for the MB to take the power?

Thanks.

Posted by Brazilian1 | Report as abusive

Idiocy. I’m sure if the Salafists were leading, the Grand Mufti would be cheering them on; the Brotherhood is not based in Saudi cultural oppression, and is therefore unacceptable to him.

And the idea that “sin” is responsible for all the social turmoil is probably correct, just not in the way this. person. wishes it to be. The sin of corruption. The sin of abuse of power. The sin of greed and stealing from the people to enrich political cronies, THOSE are responsible for the turmoil.

I’m sure he thinks it’s because the entire region isn’t firmly under Saudi cultural oppression.

Posted by Burns0011 | Report as abusive