Riyadh: A top Saudi cleric has slammed
suicide attacks by Islamist martyrdom-seekers as devilish acts
that do not qualify as jihad, a Saudi newspaper reported
"He (a suicide bomber) claims to be a mujahed (holy
warrier) in the name of Allah, but he is not. He is fighting
in the name of the devil who has tempted him and convinced
him" to carry out the attack, said Sheikh Saleh al-Fawzan.
"A Muslim is prohibited from killing himself," the
member of the Saudi supreme council of Islamic scholars said
in a lecture in Riyadh, according to Asharq Al-Awsat
He said acts of violence branded as jihad, or Muslim
holy war, were nothing more than "sabotage."
"This is not jihad. This is sabotage and unrightful
killing," the cleric said, adding that jihad in Islam should
only be declared by the leader of the Muslim community.
"Jihad has rules and regulations. It should be called
for by the leader of the Muslims," he said.
Martyrs in the Islamic faith are promised generous
rewards in paradise.
Fawzan also condemned the New Year`s Day bombing of a
Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt that killed 21 churchgoers,
slamming it as an act of "treachery."
The newspaper termed his condemnation of suicide
attacks as unprecedented in a country which was home to 15 out
of the 19 hijackers of the passenger planes used in the
September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.