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Saudis accuse ulama body linked to PAS chief of terrorism

 | November 23, 2017

IUMS is the latest to be added on the so-called 'terror list'.

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KUALA LUMPUR: Saudi Arabia and its three Gulf allies today extended their so-called “terror list”, naming an international organisation of Muslim scholars whose leaders include PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

The Saudi-led quartet comprising Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain, which recently joined forces in its diplomatic onslaught aganst Qatar, has added the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) on its list of organisations and individuals they accuse of supporting terrorism.

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency, they said IUMS was “working to promote terrorism through the exploitation of Islamic discourse”.

IUMS is one of two new entities and 11 individuals that have been added to the list. The other is the International Islamic Council “Massaa”, and 11 individuals.

“The two listed entities are terrorist organisations working to promote terrorism through the exploitation of Islamic discourse and its use as a cover to facilitate various terrorist activities,” the statement said.

The Qatar-based IUMS was formed in 2004 and is headed by the influential Muslim scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has also been named by the Saudis for links to terrorism.

IUMS members include Saudi cleric Salman al-Awdah, who was arrested by Saudi authorities in September, Tunisian moderate Islamist leader Rached Ghannouchi, and Moroccan scholar Ahmed Raissouni.

The quartet again accused Qatar of aiding terrorism, saying the individuals had “carried out various terrorist operations in which they have received direct Qatari support at various levels, including providing them with passports and assigning them to Qatari institutions with a charitable appearance to facilitate their movement”.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain severed ties with Doha on June 4, accusing it of supporting terrorism, in what is a move to punish the oil rich sheikhdom for its friendly approach to Iran, Riyadh’s arch-enemy in the Middle East

Hadi this week lashed out at Sunni-Shia sectarianism, saying he would choose Qatar, Turkey and Iran over other Arab powers in the Middle East.

“I return to the Quran although the ruler who is the servant of the Two Holy Cities has forged intimate ties with Israel and the United States, because my faith is not with the Kaabah but with Allah,” Hadi said in an article published by PAS mouthpiece Harakahdaily on Tuesday, referring to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Abdul Aziz.

Hadi had in the past attracted criticism by some quarters for attending a conference in Iran. Qaradawi, then a critic of Iran, had distanced his organisation from the visit.

IUMS comprises of tens of thousands of Muslim scholars worldwide, and has worked towards reconciliation between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

Shia Muslims are frequently attacked by Saudi ulama, who follow a strand of conservative Islam promoted by 18th-century scholar Muhammad Abdul Wahhab.

 


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