A top Muslim's imam questioned Saudi-Arabia view of Churches

A top Muslim's imam questioned Saudi-Arabia view of Churches

Toulouse : France | Apr 06, 2012 at 12:41 PM PDT
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Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti there was no basis in Islamic texts for people seeking burial in Mecca or Medina

Toulouse, France – A top Turkey's Muslim cleric has stepped into an international row over Christianity in Saudi Arabia, rejecting comments attributed to the Saudi grand mufti that all churches there should be destroyed.

Mehmet Gormez, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate in Ankara, told a Turkish newspaper that Islam respected the rights of other faiths and calls for the destruction of churches were against the rules of tolerance.

Accusing the Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh of issuing fatwa, or religious order, against Churches last month, that later prompted protests from Christian bishops in Austria, Germany and Russia and provoked a storm on Christian websites around the world.

Imam Gormez said in an interview published by a Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman Friday edition, "The mentioned opinion is evidently against the aims of Islam (and) against the Muslim tradition's established practice of respecting non-Muslims' rights as well, therefore we strongly believe this declaration has left dark shadows upon the concept of rights and freedoms preached in Islam that have not always been observed''.

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A top Muslim's imam questioned Saudi-Arabia view of Churches
Head of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate Mehmet Gormez (R) seen chating with the Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoga on Monday
Adebanjos is based in Seevetal, Niedersachsen, Germany, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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