First Published: 2003-05-27

Al-Azhar: Muslim frustration does not justify suicide bombings

Al-Azhar's theological research committee savage attacks in Riyadh, Casablanca violate many Islamic principles.


Middle East Online

The committee acknowledged one's right to defend his or her country from occupation and invasion

CAIRO - Al-Azhar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, warned Monday that Muslim rage does not justify suicide bombings, such as recent deadly ones in Riyadh and Casablanca.

"These savage and blind attacks have terrified the whole Muslim world ... and are in clear violation of many Islamic principles," Al-Azhar's theological research committee chaired by the institution's top cleric, Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi, said in a statement.

"Taking Muslims' sentiments of frustration and injustice in other parts of the world" to justify attacks "is erroneous," the committee said.

The committee acknowledged one's right to defend his or her country "from occupation and invasion, but such attacks against innocent civilians under the cover of religious, political or other slogans is completely different."

Tantawi had previously condemned the May 16 Casablanca blasts targeting foreigners and the Jewish community and which killed 43 people, and a triple suicide bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 34 people four days earlier.

Both attacks were linked to Islamic extremists.

Meanwhile, the jailed leaders of Jamaa Islamiya, a banned Islamist group which waged attacks on Egypt in the 1980s and 1990s, also denounced the blasts in a statement.

The Jamaa Islamiya announced in 1999 a formal end to a violent campaign, launched along with other groups to topple Egypt's secular regime, that claimed the lives of 1,300 people, including scores of tourists.


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