Saudi Mufti Says Martyr Bombings UnIslamic
WASHINGTON, April 22 (IslamOnline) - Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh said that Muslims must refrain from martyr bombings and hijacking because it is against the teachings of Islam.
In an interview published in the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, he said "Hijacking of planes and frightening people is against Islamic shari'a [law] and is not an act of jihad [holy struggle]."
The Mufti said, "Muslims must refrain from such acts," and added that hijacking is an act of aggression against innocent victims and threat to public security.
Sheikh Abdul Aziz also touched on the issue of suicide (martyr) bombings, which he opined might be unIslamic.
"I have no knowledge that suicide bombings have a basis in Islam or constitute a form of jihad. I'm afraid it could be a form of killing oneself," the Mufti said, noting that suicide is also banned in Islam.
His comments on suicide bombings are bound to create controversy since Palestinian resistance groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad have carried out several such attacks against Israel during its occupation of Palestine.
The latest such attack was carried out Sunday, which killed two and injured more than forty people. Palestinian resistance groups say they are forced to carry out these kinds of attacks since they are poorly equipped and cannot take on the military might of Israel.
The Grand Mufti's comments are not expected to stop Palestinians from carrying out further martyr bombings.
A local journalist based in Gaza, speaking to BBC, dismissed the views of the Saudi Grand Mufti and said that those intent on carrying out such attacks already have the blessings of other clerics in the region.
Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh was most recently in the news for declaring Pokemon and the observation of April Fool's day as haram.