Top Saudi imam sees conspiracy
By Paul Martin, The Washington Times, June 3, 2002
LONDON – Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim cleric has called on the Islamic world to
unite against a worldwide conspiracy of Hindus, Christians, Jews and
secularists threatening Islamic moral values.
Muslims, he said, should cleanse themselves from creeping Western values and
In a television address monitored here, Sheik Abd-al-Rahman al-Sudays, the
imam of the Mosque of Mecca, Islam’s holiest shrine, turned his ire on the
followers of India’s dominant religion as tension mounted between that country
and mainly Muslim Pakistan.
“The idol-worshipping Hindus indulge in their open hatred against our brothers
and sanctities in Muslim Kashmir, threatening an imminent danger and a fierce
war in the whole Indian subcontinent,” he said in a live sermon heard
throughout the Arab world via the official Saudi national television and satellite
The linkage of Hinduism with the sort of invective normally reserved for Jews
and the supporters of Israel — together with scathing remarks about
Christians — made the speech unusual.
Since Saudi Arabia’s leaders exercise tight control on their media and on their
government-appointed imams, their comments — especially from Mecca
and on the main television channel — are seen as indicators of the
The imam lashed out with thinly veiled invective against the United States, with
which Saudi Arabia has close economic and military ties. He contrasted the
“sublime” truths of Islam with the supporters of “fake globalization that wastes
human values and ideals,” an apparent reference to the West in general and the
United States in particular.
Though he was particularly scornful of Jews, whom he said had been cursed
and turned into “pigs and monkeys” by Allah, he turned his ire on Christians
and capitalists as well.
“Their course is supported by the advocates of credit and worshippers of the
Cross,” the imam asserted, “as well as by those who are infatuated with them
and influenced by their rotten ideas and poisonous culture among the advocates
of secularism and Westernization.”
The imam prefaced his remarks with a warning to his own people not to
become confused by modernity. “The nation has never been in such a dire need
to follow the example of the prophet in this age of tribulations, sedition, open
challenges and mean plotting by the enemies of Islam,” Sheikh al-Sudays said.
Leaders of former communist countries also came under attack, especially in
zones where Muslims have taken up arms.
“The enemies of Muslims among the atheists insist on their arrogance
and aggression against our people and sanctities in struggling Chechnya,”
declared the imam.
He concluded with a prayer for God to support Islam and Muslims, to humble
the infidels, destroy the enemies of religion, and make his and other Muslim
countries peaceful and stable.
He went on: “Oh God, support our brother mujahideen in Palestine,
Kashmir and Chechnya. Oh God, we ask you to support our Palestinian brothers
in Palestine against the aggressor Jews and usurper Zionists.