"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Grand Mufti condemns extremism and violence in sermon, experts discuss it

Photo Source: dailymail.co.uk
Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Hajj sermon delivered by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, at the Nmira Mosque in Makkah has raised interest levels among specialists because of its harsh condemnation of terrorism. Excerpts from the sermon, which condemns terrorism and urges moderation, were reprinted in hundreds of newspapers in the Arab and Islamic worlds. Some clips with English subtitles have appeared on the internet, posted on YouTube.

In his sermon, Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz urges Muslims to be united and faithful. He calls for the protection of the environment and stresses the need for security. He noted that when security is missing, women and children suffer, disorder follows and peace and prosperity vanish.

Speaking about Islam, he said that it is a religious of forgiveness and moderation. Violence is against Islamic ethics. The ultimate purpose of Islam is to spread peace and security. However, many observers focused on one interesting part, namely intellectual security.

As he described what he meant by intellectual security, the mufti called on Muslim communities to guard against deviancy, especially extremism and fanaticism. He warned that recent advancements in media and technology have led to the spread of dangerous ideologies and cyber terrorism. He called on Muslim teachers, imams, scholars, think tanks and professors to spread the true message of Islam and fight the spread of extremism.

Experts note that the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has never been regarded as a progressive thinker. Last year for example, he insisted that ten-year-old girls were ready for marriage. However, because he is rooted in Wahhabism, Islam’s most rigid and inflexible tradition, which is not very open to progress and change, his call for moderation and condemnation of extremism is of particular significance. As such, it has the potential of reaching the more radical intransigent elements in Muslim societies.

At the same time, experts believe that his sermon likely reflects a tendency towards moderation inspired by the Saudi ruling family, which is increasingly concerned about extremism and terrorist violence.

2 comments:

  1. The problem with Islam as i see it, is they do not have a unified belief and theological system. Their religious outlook depends on what group one belongs, is one a Sunni?, If yes is he a wahhabist? or Shiite? What kind of Shiite? and so on. I fear that the Grand Mufti's statement however good intentioned will fall on deaf ears. Those so-called Muslim "extremist" will just ignore it and label him "apostate".

    Dennis Yuson
    Tracy, CA.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Dennis,

    I agree. That's one of the many problems Islam and Muslims in general are facing in the 21st Century.

    Although the Catholic Church is open to Dialogue with some moderate Islamic groups but these Muslims do not represent the whole. As you've pointed they could be Wahhabis, Shiites with numerous school of thoughts not reflecting that of the Grand Mufti.

    I agree, this statement from Makkah could fall on deaf ears. Let's keep our fingers crossed for now.

    Thanks for the valuable comments.

    ReplyDelete

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