Tiny Minority of Extremists Update: the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, tolerant, law-abiding, democratically minded, and...pray for the destruction of unbelievers every Friday. One reasonably courageous Saudi cleric wants to end all that -- but would doing so constitute bid'a, an unacceptable innovation?
"Saudi cleric urges prayer reform," by Magdi Abdelhadi for BBC News, September 7 (thanks to Charles B.):
A leading Saudi cleric has called on Muslims not to pray for the destruction of unbelievers.
A supplication to that effect is often reiterated at the end of every Friday prayer in Arab countries, something critics say can radicalise youth.
Sheikh Salman al-Awda said such prayers were against Islamic sharia.
But he added they were permissible if the interests of Muslims were harmed, so his words may have little effect on radicals who oppose the US or Israel.
It is very common for the Friday prayer in Arab societies to end with the Imam calling for the destruction of the "kuffar", the un-believers, to which the worshippers respond "Amen".
Such public display of hostility to other cultures was picked up by critics as an example of how mainstream Islamic preaching contributes, perhaps inadvertently, to the radicalisation of Muslim youths....
No kidding, really?