But they were unsuccessful. Now, one would think that if the uprisings were really entirely secular and democratic, as goes the media meme, these clerics would not be so quick to endorse them. “Gaddafi’s sons tried to get Saudi cleric help – TV,” from Reuters, February 28:
DUBAI, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Sons of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have failed to persuade prominent Saudi clerics to issue religious rulings against a revolt that is threatening to bring down the veteran leader, Al Arabiya television said on Monday.
The Saudi-owned channel said on its website that Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam had contacted one cleric, Salman al-Awda, and Saadi Gaddafi had reached out to a second, Ayedh al-Garni, but both rejected their calls.
“You are killing the Libyan people. Turn to God because you are wronging them. Protect Libyan blood, you are killing old people and children. Fear God,” Garni said he told Saadi.
Garni made the remarks on air on Sunday, the website said, adding Awda gave the same message to Saif al-Islam.
Awda has a weekly television show on Saudi-owned pan-Arab channel MBC1 and has been praised by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden before as a religious scholar he felt did not toe the government line. Garni gave lectures in Libya last year.
Gaddafi’s forces have been trying for days to push back a revolt that has won over large parts of the military and ended his control over eastern Libya. Gaddafi has accused followers of al Qaeda of staging the protests in the east, where Islamists have clashed with government forces in the past.
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and the ruling al-Saud family see the clerical establishment, who have wide powers in society, as the leading authority in mainstream Sunni Islam….
Clerics close to the government have said it is not the place of religious scholars to back protests or otherwise. But others have said Gaddafi is an illegitimate ruler and denounced him as an apostate.