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Saudi Arabia: Scholar States Churches Must Be Destroyed

(Mar. 19, 2012)

In response to a question on March 11, 2012, the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abd al-Aziz Al-Asheikh, Mufti and Chairman of the Supreme Council of Ulama (legal scholars), stated that all churches in the Arab Peninsula must be destroyed. The question was apparently from an al-Anba [an Arabic-language, Kuwaiti newspaper] reporter about the rules under Sharia law concerning a call to destroy and prevent the construction of churches in Kuwait; the call had been made by members of the Kuwaiti parliament. (Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh: Support the Syrian Army, Strengthen the Free Money Spell, and Weaken the Fork of the Aggressor, Jihad for the Sake of God [in Arabic], AL ANBA (Mar. 11, 2012).)

However, in 2008, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a well-known Muslim religious leader residing in Qatar who is the head of the International Federation of Muslim Scholars, issued a fatwa (religious edict) in which he concluded that the establishment of churches in Qatar is permissible under Sharia law. Al-Qaradawi based his conclusion on the writings of the tenth-century Imam Abu Hanifa, whose school of Islamic legal thought is followed by the vast majority of Sunni Muslims. (Churches Are 'Allowed,' GULF TIMES (May 21, 2008).)