Sunday, February 01, 2004

Saudi cleric denounces terror 

Here's some good news from Saudi Arabia:

MOUNT ARAFAT, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia's top cleric called on Muslims around the world Saturday to forsake terrorism, saying those who claim to be holy warriors were an affront to the faith.

In a sermon that was remarkable not only for its strong language but also its timing — at the peak of the annual hajj — Sheik Abdul Aziz al-Sheik told 2 million pilgrims that terrorists were giving their enemies an excuse to criticize Muslim nations.
The timing is key, and I'm glad the article mentioned it. The hajj is one of the holiest times for Muslims, and the Sheik had the widest possible audience for his sermon. This isn't the first time a prominent Saudi cleric has denounced terrorism--a number of clerics have done so in recent months--but this is huge, considering it came from the leading Saudi cleric during the hajj. Let's hope his listeners took the message to heart.

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