Saudi Arabia
H.E. Shaikh Salih bin Muhammad Al-Luheidan
Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council
Condemnation of Terrorism
September 14, 2001

Praise be to God Almighty:

In the midst of the catastrophic events that have hit America, questions and queries have been raised as to how such acts are judged and interpreted by Islamic Shariah [Law], which encompasses all things and gives clear rulings on every calamity: any calamity that affects humans has its ruling in Islamic Shariah.

Many questions have been raised by officials and by the public as to the ruling of Islamic Shariah on such acts, and whether it is considered acceptable or permissible by Islamic scholars, who shoulder the responsibility of clarifying rulings and Islam's point of view with respect to disasters.

God Almighty, the Master of all Rulers, has prohibited injustice among humans. Aggression against those who have committed no crime, and the killing of innocent people, are matters that Islamic Shariah has dealt with: these are not permissible even during wars and invasions. Killing the weak, infants, women, and the elderly, and destroying property, are considered serious crimes in Islam. Acts of corruption and even laying waste to the land, are forbidden by God and by His Prophet. Viewing on the TV networks what happened to the twin towers [of the World Trade Center] was like watching Doomsday.

Those who commit such crimes are the worst of people. Anyone who thinks that any Islamic scholar will condone such acts is totally wrong.

Aggression, injustice and gloating over the kind of crime that we have seen, are totally unacceptable, and forbidden in Islam.

God Almighty says: “And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just, that is nearer to piety.” Inflicting a collective punishment is considered by Islam as despicable aggression and perversion. Killing innocent people is by itself a grave crime, quite apart from terrorizing and committing crimes against infants and women. Such acts do no honor to he who commits them, even if he claims to be a Muslim. These sorts of crime are pernicious: in fact, the Kingdom's Islamic scholars, at the time when Saudi Arabia was looking into the phenomenon of hijacking planes, resolved to forbid such acts regardless of the religious belief of the passengers, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, since terrorizing any person is forbidden in Islam.

Accordingly it is incumbent upon the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as a state governed by the spirit and rulings of Islam, to deplore any criminal and corrupt act, irrespective of whether the perpetrators are Muslims or non-Muslims. Those who are truly versed in the fundamentals and reality of Islam know that such acts are crimes of endless harm.

Considering the numerous questions and queries that arise regarding such acts and our position as a judicial board, from an Islamic perspective, we view them as despicable. It has been narrated that the perpetrator alone shall carry the burden of his crimes. I have been telling the press that Muslims do not condone such brutal acts nor should they be held responsible for them, since the creed of Islam urges that no person be responsible for a crime committed by others. This is a prerequisite for justice: “No bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another.”

With respect to what has been reported in the media about reactions and how Americans view Arabs and Muslims residing in the United States, I have in the past said that Americans as guardians of democracy cannot deal with Muslims on the basis of crimes committed by a few. Criminals and aggressors cannot be equated with the innocent and the peaceful.

I would like to reiterate that Islam rejects such acts, since it forbids killing of civilians even during times of war, especially if they are not part of the fighting. A religion that views people of the world in such a way cannot in any sense condone such criminal acts, which require that their perpetrators and those who support them are held accountable. As a human community we have to be vigilant and careful to preempt these evils.

Islamic Shariah is based on the principle that prevention is better than treatment; one of its goals is looking into causes.

I would like to confirm that the Islamic World and its religious and political leadership cannot condone such acts; and I am convinced that western and American society cannot deal with Islamic nations and peoples from the basis of the crime committed.

Muslims have to deal in good faith with those who live beside them in all societies, since Islam does not discriminate between humans: for they are all brothers.

This barbaric act is not justified by any sane mindset, or any logic; nor by the religion of Islam. This act is pernicious and shameless and evil in the extreme.

I pray to God to guide the devious to the path of righteousness, and to protect us from all evils and from our own bad deeds, and to be gracious to us.