A leading Islamic scholar has described attacks on Christians by violent Islamic extremists as “heart-breaking” and condemned Islamic extremism.
- Sheikh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri argues that the “real offenders of blasphemy” are not people who draw cartoons of Muhammad, but those who commit atrocities in the name of God and Islam.
- Dr. Qadri, heads the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre in Ireland, lays the blame for violent Islamic extremism at the door of Muslims who disseminate the Wahhabi-Salafi ideology emanating from Saudi Arabia.
- The Sunni cleric told parliamentarians, clerics and activists in London’s Houses of Parliament yesterday (24 November) that the intolerant doctrines of Wahhabism and Salafism have been “aggressively exported” through hundreds of billions of dollars of funding of Islamic centers in the West and in Muslim-majority countries.
- Dr. Qadri shared a platform in the House of Lords yesterday with the Damascus-based Syriac Orthodox Patriarch, Ignatius Aphrem II, at the launch of a report by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, which assessed levels of religious freedom around the world.
- It concluded that religious freedom has deteriorated in 11 of the “worst offending” 23 countries in the last two years, and in seven of the remaining 12, including North Korea, Syria and Nigeria.
- The Patriarch criticized Western governments for being too “soft” on the Saudi government, which he linked to the actions of extremists radicalized by Wahhabism. “The West is concerned more about its economic interests and business dealings with Saudi than the persecution of minorities or killing of Christians … The British, the Americans are not putting pressure on Saudi Arabia … because their oil deals apparently are more important than the other things.”
- He also urged Western nations to exercise caution in recognising militant groups operating in Syria as “moderate opposition”. “Who is moderate and who is not moderate?” he asked. He criticised Western media coverage of the Syrian civil war for being “one-sided” and not reporting attacks by rebels on Christians in the government-held areas.
Original article WorldWatchMonitor / TRUNEWS summary.