Big news from Mecca is that the chief religious authority in Saudi Arabia has condemned terrorism. But there is, alas, less here than meets the eye. This from AP, :
Saudi Arabia’s top cleric used the high point of the annual Muslim pilgrimage to denounce terrorists, calling them an affront to Islam. But he defended the kingdom’s strict interpretation of the faith.
Delivering a sermon Saturday to 2 million pilgrims, Sheik Abdul Aziz al-Sheik said those who claim to be “mujahedeen,” or holy warriors, were shedding Muslim blood and destabilizing the nation.
“Is it holy war to shed Muslim blood? Is it holy war to shed the blood of non-Muslims given sanctuary in Muslim lands? Is it holy war to destroy the possession of Muslims,” he said, adding that their actions gave enemies an excuse to criticize Muslim nations.
AP notes breathlessly that “Al-Sheik’s sermon was likely watched on television by millions of Muslims in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states.”
And what does the good Sheikh recommend to fight terror?
“This country is based on this religion and will remain steadfast on it,” he said. “Islam forbids all forms of injustice, killing without just cause, treachery … hijacking of planes, boats and means of transportation. After all this, our religion is still described as terrorism?” he said. . . .
“The minds of youth in the Islamic nation need to be shielded with Islamic sharia (law), and good manners and deeds,” he said.
So in other words, he has denounced terrorism, but not jihad. Jihad as taught by the Sharia that he cherishes, however, mandates that Muslims must fight against unbelievers until they convert to Islam or submit as inferiors under Muslim rule. For details, see here.