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Saudi clerics still encourage Jihad

Senior U.S. officials say the Saudis have changed significantly. Many clerics now speak out against jihad. Yet when it comes to killing Americans in Iraq, some send a very different message.

"I praise the jihad against the occupiers in Iraq," said Sheik Ai'dh Al-Qarni on Arabic-TV. "Throats must be split and skulls must be shattered."

Ah, what a holy man!

"When imams preach intolerance or hate towards others, they are dismissed or punished," says Adel Al-Jubeir, a Saudi Arabian foreign affairs advisor. But then the facts on the ground show that the culture of murder and mayhem preached since the last fourteen centuries cannot go easily, perhaps, it may not go and may also outlive the Saudi regime.

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Another cleric says suicide bombings are forbidden inside Saudi Arabia, but outside they can be "a good thing."

"There is nothing wrong with [suicide attacks] if they cause great damage to the enemy," said Sheik Abdallah Al-Muslih, also on Arabic-TV.

In fact, in November 2004, 26 Saudi clerics published a religious statement urging Muslims to wage holy war in Iraq. "Jihad against the occupiers is a must," said the statement. "[It is] not only a legitimate right but a religious duty."

Inside Saudi Arabia today there’s an official Government supported campaign against extremism. Television ads, billboards and even ATM machines drive home the toll of terror. The Saudis recently hosted a worldwide conference condemning all terrorism and declaring they've cracked down.

"When imams preach intolerance or hate towards others, they are dismissed or punished," says Adel Al-Jubeir, a Saudi Arabian foreign affairs advisor. But then the facts on the ground show that the culture of murder and mayhem preached since the last fourteen centuries cannot go easily, perhaps, it may not go and may also outlive the Saudi regime.

Story credit: MSNBC

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