By Arab News
By Muhammad Al-Sulami
Saudi scholars have declared their support for the ongoing people’s struggle against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and expressed their concern at the violence unleashed by forces loyal to the embattled administration.
The scholars made their position clear while responding to a recent statement by Qaddafi’s son Seif Al-Islam that before “the rebellion started, some religious preachers and scholars used to visit Libya to lick the boots of the Libyan leader.”
Member of the Saudi Council of Senior Religious Scholars Sheikh Saleh Al-Lehaydan denied that he ever issued a fatwa condemning the Libyan protesters for opposing Qaddafi.
Another scholar, Sheikh Aed Al-Qarni, said that he visited Libya last year to converse with common people in mosques and not to praise Libyan rulers.
“The bloodshed should be stopped. Qaddafi’s government is not Islamic. He is an usurper who rebelled against the Sanusi king about four decades ago and never received the oath of allegiance of the people,” said Al-Lehaydan.
The scholar added that Qaddafi is an evil conqueror who rejected the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and argued that the Holy Qur’an was enough for them. He added that Qaddafi also refused to accept the ijma (consensus) of the Companions and Muslims on Islamic matters.
“He is not an imam (leader) or a true Muslim, but a vulgar ignorant Bedouin, an arrogant man with military power,” he added.
He urged Libyans to bring down Qaddafi peacefully. “You strive to drive him out without bloodshed, not damaging the lives and property of individuals or the government. The public security should not be disrupted. He and his cohorts should be removed without bloodshed if possible,” he said.
An alleged fatwa from Salafi scholars aired by an official Libyan radio station stated that anyone fighting against Qaddafi would die as a Kharijite (a seditionist against the Islamic establishment), no funeral prayers would be said for him and the body would not be washed ritually.
Al-Lehaydan said the fatwa is a forgery because no fatwa could be issued in favor of Qaddafi. “On the other hand, anyone who dies for reaffirming the Shariah and the truth is a martyr,” the scholar said.
Al-Qarni said Al-Saedi Qaddafi, another son of the Libyan leader, demanded in a recent telephone call that the Saudi scholar denounce the current Libyan revolution. He said Al-Saedi might have been scheming to influence the Libyan public with biased statements from influential religious leaders in the Arab World.
“What Al-Saedi wants from me is to condemn the current protests against his father’s misrule,” he said.
He said Al-Saedi also told him that the Libyan protesters were infiltrators and drug addicts.
“I replied to him that he was killing women and children. Ben Ali and Mubarak also spoke like him, saying that infiltrators were causing trouble in their countries. First you stop armed attacks against the Muslim people. You stop oppression,” Al-Qarni said.
He also said that Qaddafi squandered Libya’s rich resources on stupid whims. “Qaddafi banned the Holy Qur’an and Sunna and replaced them with his Green Book,” the Saudi scholar said, adding that international organizations should make a concerted effort to help the Libyan people, who are heading for a humanitarian crisis.