“Slavery is a part of Islam,” says a leading Saudi government cleric. “Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam.”
And he is the author of textbooks that are used to teach Muslim students in Saudi Arabia and the United States.
leading government cleric Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan is the author of the religious books currently used to teach 5 million Saudi students, both within the [Kingdom] and in Saudi schools aboard – including those in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
The slick Saudi flack “Adel Al-Jubeir and other officials have repeatedly claimed religious curriculums are being reformed, but Al-Fawzan’s books continued to be used according to the minister of education’s statements published by Al-Watan daily September 14th, 2003.”
This may be because Sheikh Saleh has friends in high places:
Al-Fawzan is member of the Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, a member of the Council of Religious Edicts and Research, the Imam of Prince Mitaeb Mosque in Riyadh, and a professor at Imam Mohamed Bin Saud Islamic University, the main Wahhabi center of learning in the country.
The Sheikh has little use for the apologetic arguments of Muslim moderates:
Al-Fawzan refuted the mainstream Muslim interpretation that Islam worked to abolish slavery by introducing equality between the races. ‘They are ignorant, not scholars,’ he said of people who express such opinions. ‘They are merely writers. Whoever says such things is an infidel.’
It gets worse:
Al-Fawzan’s most famous book, ‘Al-Tawheed – Monotheism’, is taught to Saudi high school students. In it, he says that most Muslims are polytheists, and their blood and money are therefore free for the taking by ‘true Muslims.’
Note one thing: the controversial aspect of this is his classification, in Wahhabi fashion, of most Muslims as polytheists. Not in dispute, at least in terms of classic Islamic jurisprudence, is the principle that the blood and money of polytheists are free for the taking by Muslims.
[Al-Fawzan] is also is a leading opponent of those who seek to introduce change to the Saudi school curriculum. He also claimed that elections and demonstrations are western imitations.
Certainly there is no broad Islamic tradition of elections and demonstrations. (Thanks to Little Green Footballs).