17 imams face probe for ‘not condemning Sharura raid’
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs is investigating 17 imams in Riyadh for allegedly ignoring a government order to highlight and condemn the recent Sharura terror attack in their Friday sermons.
Most imams across the country had highlighted the incident and the dangers of terrorism in their Friday sermons, as ordered by the ministry.
The ministry stated on Friday that it would penalize the imams if the allegations are proven true.
Tawfiq Al-Sudairi, the ministry’s undersecretary, confirmed that 17 imams at mosques in Riyadh are under investigation for allegedly failing to highlight the incident in their sermons.
A Saudi newspaper, meanwhile, reported that 100 imams across the country allegedly ignored the ministry’s order to condemn the Sharura attacks.
Al-Sheikh Salman Al-Hadi, an imam in Jeddah, told Arab News that religious leaders play an important role in creating awareness of terrorist activities in the country.
He said people should be particularly aware of those who “deceive the young and convince them to fight against their country and society.”
The incident in the Kingdom’s southern governorate of Sharura took place two weeks ago when Al-Qaeda militants attacked the Wadia Saudi border post along the Yemeni border.
The terrorists killed the Saudi commander. Saudi security officers killed three of the assailants, and shot and captured two others.
This attack was preceded by an assault on the Yemeni side of the border post with the terrorists detonating a car bomb killing one Yemeni soldier and wounding another.
The suspected Al-Qaeda assailants were seeking to infiltrate Saudi Arabia from Yemen, possibly with the intention of carrying out further terrorist attacks.
Saudi security forces seized machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades from the vehicles used by the assailants.