Saudi Intellectuals Back Nasrallah

Saudi intellectuals have voiced their support for Hizbullah and its chief Hassan Nasrallah, counting an old fatwa by a Saudi scholar banning Muslims from helping Lebanon's resistance movement because it is Shiite.

Saudi Intellectuals Back Nasrallah

"I, as a Muslim and Arab, feel happy when Hizbullah inflicts damage on the Zionists, and we should praise the resistance in the media," Sheikh Salman Al-Odah told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Friday, August 4.

Odah said Sheikh Abdullah bin Jebreen's edict is "an old fatwa issued several years ago and does not apply to the current situation."

"All Muslims must stand by the entire Lebanese people and help them at the humanitarian, material and moral levels," Odah stressed.

The scholar said some of those who have revived bin Jebreen's fatwa may have done so because they are dismayed by events in Iraq, where Shiite militias are accused of systematically killing Sunnis and putting the country on the edge of a devastating civil war.

"They have not been careful to differentiate" between what is happening in Iraq and in Lebanon, he said.

Issued several years ago by Sheikh Abdullah bin Jebreen, a former member of the Council of Senior Ulema, Saudi Arabia's highest religious body, it describes Hizbullah as "rafidhi" — a derogatory term for Shiites used by some Sunnis.

"It is not permissible to support this rafidhi party ... or pray for its victory, and we advise Sunnis to disavow it," the fatwa says.

The revival of the fatwa was harshly criticized by prominent Muslim scholars, accusing its supporters of seeking to provoke sectarian dissension.

Saudi columnist and media adviser Jamal Khashoggi expressed regret that some scholars and preachers in his country were trying to "provoke a stupid sectarian dissension between Sunnis and Shiites."

Bin Jebreen's old fatwa had been "invoked by an advocate of hatred in order to serve (the agenda) of Salafi extremists," Khashoggi wrote in the Emirati daily Al-Ittihad.

He said another scholar, Sheikh Nasser al-Omar, "who never made a secret of his antipathy for Shiites," added his own "political reading to the fatwa" and went on Arab satellite channels to claim that "the current events prove the hatred that the Shiites and Iran harbor toward Sunnis."

He also deplored that the Saudi criticism of Hizbullah at the beginning of the war had been ideologically motivated.

"The sectarian dimension was the last thing on the mind of the Saudi official who spelled out the Saudi position in the first statement issued after the outbreak of the crisis," he said.

"The Saudi position would not have been any different if the (Sunni) Islamic Group or the Lebanese Communist Party had abducted the soldiers and triggered the crisis."

In a recent televised message, Nasrallah warned against reacting to purported anti-Hezbollah edicts in a manner that would benefit Israel.

"Positions or fatwas might be issued that undermine (Muslim) unity. We should not be influenced by them, and I warn against ... being dragged to inappropriate reactions, because reactions which are wrong, like these fatwas, will serve our enemies," Nasrallah said.

Prominent scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi called in an interview with Al-Jazeera Arab news channel for "supporting the resistance in Palestine and Lebanon" and criticized "calls which stoke up sectarianism."

Hizbullah has inflicted heavy losses on the Israeli army with its chief emerging as folk hero across the Muslim world.

Even after 23 days of non-stop Israeli bombardments and grounds incursions, Hizbullah demonstrated on Friday an unchallenged combat and rocket capabilities.

Five more Israeli soldiers were killed in ferocious fighting in south Lebanon, taking to 17 the number of Israeli soldiers killed in less than 48 hours.

According to official Israeli figures, forty soldiers have been killed in clashes with Hizbullah since Israel unleashed its onslaught on Lebanon on July 12.

Hizbullah reportedly has an estimated 2,000-3,000 well-armed and trained fighters who have shown themselves to be an organized force capable of springing surprises and inflicting casualties on Israel's forces.

Nasrallah threatened late Thursday to strike at Israel's capital of Tel Aviv if Beirut were hit by air strikes.

"If you bombard our capital we will bombard the capital of your aggressive entity," he said in a televised speech.

Source: Islam Online

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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