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Saudi Scholar says Iraq jihad is a road to ruin

Source:The News
Date:13/11-2004
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s top religious cleric warned Saudis on Thursday against going to neighbouring Iraq to fight what he called a ruinous jihad against US-led forces.

Responding to a call to jihad (holy war) by 26 Saudi preachers on Sunday, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh said they were wrong to incite young men to go and fight in Iraq.

"There is no flag to fight under and no basis to stand on and going there would be the road to ruin," the mufti told Okaz newspaper. Last year’s US-led invasion of Iraq angered many in Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam and home to its two holiest cities.

Iraqi authorities said last month they had captured 24 suspected Saudi militants, and diplomats say many more may have slipped across the border to fight.

An Internet statement by 26 Saudi religious scholars on the eve of the US-led assault on Falluja declared support for militants fighting the Americans and said jihad in Iraq was a religious duty. It said Muslims should stand with their Iraqi brothers, but did not explicitly call on them to go and fight.