UP Islamic Seminary Rails against new Saudi Laws
The Kingdom’s extremist views against some political parties in Egypt, Lebanon and Syria has earned it bitter criticism
Hardnews Bureau Delhi
Nadwat ul Ulama, the Lucknow-based Islamic seminary, has come out strongly against the new anti-terror laws promulgated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In a statement, Maulana Salman Nadwi, Dean, Faculty of Shariah, called the Saudis an agent of Israel and condemned the ban on Muslim Brotherhood. The seminary also refused to meet a Saudi delegation. Salman Nadwi went on to term the Saudi regime more ‘cruel’ than the Narendra Modi government. The seminary says such an extreme step has been taken owing to “religious, community, and reformative responsibility.”
The strongly worded statement comes after the Saudis issued a decree on Friday labelling Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the Al Nusra Front and the Lebanese Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. The decree orders that any Saudi who fights abroad could be jailed for 20-30 years, and those who join, endorse or provide moral or material support to groups classified as “terrorist” or “extremist” will risk prison sentences of five to 30 years. Besides, the decree is open to interpretation and bans any atheistic thought.
Battling the twin onslaught from the pro-democracy sentiment and the extremist forces, the Saudis are taking course to all the options to ensure the status quo is not disturbed, at least within its borders. In a departure from its long standing position of granting asylum to the banished leaders of the Brotherhood, the Saudis have been very critical of them after they were able to form the government in Cairo. The fear of this anti-monarchy ideology was palpable. So much so that the Saudis went on to downgrade their diplomatic ties with Qatar, their small, nouveau riche neighbour. They also banned Al Jazeera, the Qatari Emirate-supported news channel, which it believes has been giving too much space to the extremist ideologues besides being kind to the Brotherhood. The Saudis have also asked that the Qataris shut down Rand Corporation and Brookings Doha Centre, two of America’s biggest think tanks working out of Doha.
Moreover, the Saudis have warned that it will seal the land and the water boundaries if the Qataris don’t stop financing terror, especially hinting at Doha’s support to the extremist groups fighting alongside the opposition in Syria. Interestingly, Saudis, themselves, had been at the forefront of aiding the anti-Assad forces.