Thursday , November 23 2017

‘Confront the radical mind’

Ahmad Al-Sarraf
Adel Al-Kalbani of Saudi Arabia is considered one of the most controversial clerics in a deeply conservative society. He issued a fatwa in 2010 saying singing and playing musical instruments was not ‘haram’ under the pretext there is nothing mentioned in Islam to prevent it but the fatwa drew opposition from the rest of the clergy and some of them demanded that Kalbani should be held accountable for that.

He also announced recently that he will not prevent his daughters from driving cars, if the concerned government authorities permit.

Kalbani, who was born in 1959, has held several religious positions, and was earlier appointed imam of the Taraweeh prayers at the Grand Mosque. At the moment he is the imam of King Khalid University mosque in Riyadh.

In an interview with one of the religious channels in Saudi Arabia, in response to a question whether DAESH is the product of religious awakening, Kalbani said he did not doubt it.

He added that DAESH may be intelligence industry, as some believe, but the intelligence services, he said, do not create something new.

They exploit what exists and therefore they exploited those who adopted the DAESH ideology which is not based on the thoughts of the Muslim Brotherhood, nor that of Sufism or Ash’ari theology which is an early theological school of Sunni Islam. The thoughts and principles of DAESH are contained in the books of the Salafists.

Al-Kalbani added most of those who criticize DAESH do not criticize their ideas but their actions, and we want to criticize the thought of the organization, but we do not do it.

For example, we criticize the way they kill their opponents because this tarnishes our image in front of the world, so we ask if the killing is not detrimental to us would it be acceptable.

Kalbani went on to say, ‘If the ideology of DAESH is basically built on the Salafi ideology, predecessor, international intelligence and services provided to members for money and weapons, in the end they took advantage of a doctrine existing in our books and among us.

There are even those among us who have the same thought, but the ratio differs. They had even called earlier for shedding the blood of the journalists and others based on our fatwas, which is to say from the Salafist sources.

The interview is available on YouTube, and can be sent to those who wish.

Now, did we not repeat such talk years ago? Did we not say that it does not matter who is behind DAESH, whether Iran or the Gulf States or international intelligence or Syria or the demons?

The memory of DAESH will be wiped out sooner than later, but what concerns us is the thought that dominates the members of this organization and the influence it has on all movements and organizations that precede DAESH for hundreds of years.

This thought cannot be confronted by a few people, but by the countries, particularly big Muslim states such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Iraq.

Taleban which ignited the region over the past thirty years with sectarian wars is one of the products of more than 150,000 religious schools (madrassahs) in Pakistan alone – the schools which are established and funded by countries in the Gulf.

We have to wake up from our slumber and do something to reform our educational systems before Donald Trump and his ilk force us to do so.

email: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf

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