Riyadh, 23rd November 2003
Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Fahd withdrew several fatwas (opinions) advocating militancy, describing them as “a grave mistake” in an interview broadcast yesterday.
Al-Fahd, who was the second Saudi scholar to be detained for promoting militancy this year, renounced his support for militants and condemned terrorist attacks.
Al-Fahd is one of three scholars who were arrested following the Riyadh bombings in May for issuing fatwas that declared the killing of security personnel during confrontations “halal” or permissible. He also ruled against providing information to security forces about the 19 wanted suspects announced by the Interior Ministry a week before the May bombings. The other two scholars arrested were Ali Al-Khudair, who recanted and denounced terrorism on Saudi television last Monday, and Ahmad Al-Khaledi.
Al-Fahd said that he requested the interview after being shocked by the suicide bombing at a Riyadh housing compound this month, which killed 18 people. He said that the attack was a sin, and the bombers were not martyrs because they violated Islam by killing both Muslims and non-Muslims residing under the protection of the state, murdering women and children, damaging security and property, and distorting the concept of Jihad (struggle for the faith) and the religion of Islam.
“Such suicide operations do not result in martyrdom. How can those responsible kill innocent Muslims and non-Muslims and destroy property in the home of Islam? We did not think that matters would reach this extent. My message is: Fear God and stop shedding blood. Fear God and repent your mistakes. It is not shameful to admit mistakes,” he said in an interview conducted by Dr Ayed Al-Qarni.