The big bad old West keeps associating Islam with terrorism. Imagine that. Osama? Abu Bakar Bashir? Abu Hamza? Omar Bakri? Zarqawi? Zawahiri? Fawaz Damra? Ahmed Omar Abu Ali? Etc. etc. etc.? Never heard of ’em. From the Times of India, with thanks to Hari:
MECCA (Saudi Arabia): A top Saudi cleric told Muslim pilgrims marking the climax of Haj on Tuesday that the West was using the global phenomenon of terrorism to scare people away from Islam and discredit legitimate Muslim causes.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Sudeis, the state-appointed preacher at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, also called for stability in Iraq and said Islam was innocent of the charge of “terrorism”.
“The campaign against Islam has become fierce and Muslims are being described in insulting terms to distort the image of Islam and scare people away from it,” he told the 2.5 million pilgrims in a sermon to mark the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.
He accused Western countries of hypocrisy in promoting freedom and democracy, citing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“When the oppressor Zionist enemy uses its war of smart bombs and tanks against our brothers in Palestine, violating our holy sites, that’s not terrorism to their mind – but defending land, religion and honour is,” Sudeis said….
“Islam is innocent of this grave phenomenon (of terrorism). The shedding of blood in this country and other Muslim countries is a forbidden criminal act,” the cleric said, adding that fighting Islamic rulers was “foolish” and counterproductive….