Says UPI: “A Saudi extremist religious leader repented in public for inciting Saudi youth to carry out terrorist attacks. Sheikh Ali al-Khoderi appeared on Saudi television Monday night to back track the edicts he issued in the past giving the green light to Muslim extremists to carry suicide attacks, justifying them as holy war.”
Sounds great, until he’s quoted. “He denounced the bombing of a residential compound in Riyadh earlier this month, saying the act ‘in which Arab Muslims, including women and children, were killed, is the doing of atheists and non-believers.’ . . . Bombing attacks and other acts destabilizing security in the kingdom were utterly rejected and unacceptable.'”
OK, but this Sheikh, whose name is spelled three different ways in this brief story, doesn’t seem to say anything about bombing attacks that aren’t against Muslims. What about suicide bombings in Israel? Chechnya? Kashmir? Bali? Istanbul? New York City? I would like to give this “repentant” cleric the benefit of the doubt, but I am sure he is aware of the sharp distinction between the killing of Muslims and of non-Muslims in Islamic law. Traditional Islamic law stipulates that retaliation (in modern terms, capital punishment) is obligatory for murder, but not in cases where a Muslim kills a non-Muslim (cf. ‘Umdat al-Salik, o1.1 and o1.2). This is not ancient history. This is Islamic law today.