The Latest on the Hajj Khutbah
It has been widely reported that during his Eid Khutbah, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Sheikh, slammed America. What has not been reported is that he concluded his sermon with the following statement: "Islam does not allow terrorism because it stands for peace and harmony. Muslims all over the world must unite to follow true Islam propagated by Prophet Mohammed." Clearly if he sees a conflict with America, it is an intellectual and cultural conflict, not one waged with acts of violence.
Let's be clear, I have no great love for the Saudi Kingdom, and the Mufti, who is appointed by the government. But, I believe his stand against terrorism in this year's Eid sermon ranks among the most significant declarations against terrorism by Muslims. Yes, the Fiqh councils (a council of islamic scholars and imam) in America and Canada has issued fatwas (religious edicts) against terrorism. Yes, various sheikhs, scholars, and imams have condemned it for years. But the Eid sermon in Mecca, with an immediate audience of some 2. 5 million muslims, and a much larger global audience, declaring so boldly that terrorism has no place in Islam -- it is definately more significant.